Fundraising is a core component of a non-profit organization. Yet with crowdfunding platforms offering new ways to raise money, fundraising has also become something that the average person can do from their own home as well. The pros and cons of fundraising must be considered before starting a first campaign so that the best possible chance of obtaining the funds needed can be realized.
What Are the Pros of Fundraising?
1. Many opportunities are easy to understand.
People need to feel a connection to a program, need, or service in order to donate money. Thanks to modern fundraising efforts, these opportunities are very easy to understand. Whether it’s a discount card to local businesses, a 5K run, or an annual black-tie gala, people know what they’re going to get and that makes it easier for them to offer a donation.
2. Fundraising can create a sense of community.
Whether it’s a local bake sale or its a group project on Kickstarter, fundraising draws like-minded people together into a unique community. It gives the participants something they can “buy into” with their hard work and feel like they’re doing something good for the world.
3. They can be easy to organize.
This is especially true for product fundraisers. Just get the product and then sell it – that’s pretty straightforward. Crowdfunding takes only a few minutes to get started as well. That doesn’t mean there isn’t preparation time required to make the fundraising effort successful, but the start-up phase can often be fast, which removes many of the barriers to raising money that people experience.
4. Many opportunities offer high levels of profit.
Many fundraisers offer up to 100% profit on the products being sold. In the crowdfunding world, many fundraising opportunities have a 3-9% fee taken out of the final amount raised. This means more money goes to the people or projects that need it, allowing the community of givers to feel like they’re making a real difference.
5. Fundraising can happen at any time of the year.
Some fundraisers prefer to operate around the holidays. Others like to operate a fundraiser in the breaks between holidays. Thanks to the internet, any time of the year is a good time to start a fundraiser. With access to an entire world of potential contributors, the goal must be to target those most likely to contribute and when they will be most likely to do so.
What Are the Cons of Fundraising?
1. Fundraising can require a lot of selling.
Discount cards aren’t just going to sell themselves. Door-to-door selling is often required for effective fundraising. On crowdfunding platforms, numerous emails and social media posts might be required. For almost every campaign, someone has to sell it to let people know about it and that can be difficult to do if no one has a sales background.
2. The highest donations go to the most unique stories.
Lots of people raise money for medical bills, but the campaigns that receive the most have a unique and often tragic story behind them. If you don’t stand out in a world that has information floating everywhere, fundraising isn’t going to happen at the levels needed.
3. Many fundraising efforts create unnecessary purchases.
Most fundraising efforts involve things that are nice to have instead of being things that people need to have. Not every household can afford a $2 chocolate bar or invest into a $300 mattress. For families struggling with their own bills, the idea of helping someone else pay their bills seems almost ludicrous.
4. Most fundraising efforts require many volunteers.
This is especially true for event fundraisers. It may be necessary to determine the number of volunteers needed before planning the type of fundraiser that is going to be offered. Then it helps to ask people to volunteer instead of mailing information to them or sending information home with their kids with the expectation that they are going to participate in the fundraiser.
5. Sales might be limited based on payment preferences.
A lot of people today use debit or credit cards for payment only. Others might be using a digital platform, like PayPal or Bitcoin, to manage their finances. If a fundraising effort requires cash, that can make it difficult for people to get involved. The reverse is also true. If a household only uses cash and your only payment option is an online card processing platform, they’ll also struggle to contribute.
The pros and cons of fundraising show that the positives generally outweigh the negatives. Not every campaign will be successful, of course, but with modern technologies and climbing internet saturation rates, just about every person or business can begin to raise money and that means a whole lot of good can be done for others.