When planning a fundraiser, there are many steps that need to be taken in order to host a successful event. From planning the event itself to advertising to participants, it’s important to be prepared and plan ahead. One of the most important action items that perhaps isn’t prioritized enough is setting a fundraiser goal, which should be done before any other step.
The act of setting a goal can be approached in many different ways, from simply deciding on a fundraising amount that your organization would like to raise to using a goal setting criteria such as SMART goals. There are countless options on how to best set a fundraising goal, but the key to a great fundraiser is having a goal set for your organization ahead of time.
Steps to Setting a Fundraising Goal
Step 1: Reflect. Use previous fundraisers and organization needs to help define what you are raising money for in the future. When you know the past, present, and future needs of your organization, you are better prepared to set your fundraising goal. Having this conversation first will help determine how much money needs to be raised. A set amount is important because that will provide motivation and will allow you to work towards a tangible goal.
Step 2: Set a SMART goal. This step can be optional, but consider using SMART goals when planning your fundraiser. Setting SMART goals can help your organization clarify fundraising needs, focus efforts, and be more productive in planning and executing your event.
What SMART goals stands for:
S: Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
M: Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
A: Achievable (agreed, attainable)
R: Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
T: Time bound (time-based, time/cost limited, time-sensitive)
Step 3: Set an Action Plan. Once you know what your organization’s fundraising goal is, you can approach planning your fundraiser with better insight and direction. This is when you can make your goal a reality!
During your fundraiser, consider implementing a fundraising goal tracker. A goal tracker can be a fundraising goal chart (such as a thermometer that moves up as you raise more money), or simply someone assigned to keeping track of how many supporters your fundraiser is bringing in. By tracking in real time how much money your organization is raising, you can better gauge the success of your fundraiser.
When hosting a fundraiser with Chipotle, fundraiser results are generally sent out within 48 hours following your scheduled event. To follow your goal during the time of the event, it may be helpful to assign someone from your organization to track how many supporters are participating in your fundraiser. They can stay in the restaurant and track this, as long as they don’t advertise the event to any regular customers. Also note that supporters may order online for pickup by using your fundraiser’s unique code. This article may be helpful when calculating your fundraising goal and tracking your fundraiser with Chipotle.
Once your fundraiser is complete, it’s important to revisit your original fundraising goal to highlight successes and consider areas to improve. Don’t forget to celebrate! Fundraising should be fun but can also be a lot of work and preparation for those planning. After your event, be sure to follow up with your supporters to thank them for their participation and let them know how much you were able to accomplish towards your fundraising goal.