There are many different types of fundraising campaigns that are more or less demanding and more or less attainable depending on your type of organization. Outlined below are the various options available to you.
The term “donations program” refers to your approach – political, strategic, active – that aims to build lasting relationships with your subscribers and donors.
Depending on the importance of your project and the size of your organization, the number of your subscribers (members, friends, etc.) and your financial means, your donation program could include the following:
- An annual fundraising campaign (targeting a specific project or program);
- One or more fundraising events;
- One or more campaigns to raise substantial funds, obtain goods and/or services;
- Soliciting gifts in the form of bequests or memorials.
To learn more about these topics, please consult the documents listed on the Conseil des arts website by clicking here.
Paid or service sponsorships are the most accessible funding tools for arts organizations, no matter what size they are. A sponsorship is an exchange of visibility for money or a service. Make a list of everything that could help your organization to grow (communications tools, telecommunications, printing, etc.) and think of asking potential partners to support you with one of these needs, in exchange for a well-developed visibility plan (recognition on your website, evening program, promotional campaigns, etc.). For some partners, integrating a sponsorship into their regular activities may be more feasible than making a donation.
A company may want to support you without receiving visibility. It could choose to offer you material goods or its expertise. This is very valuable for your organization and these donors must be acknowledged the same way as individuals and corporations who provide financial support.
However, a tax receipt can never be issued for a gift in-kind. You can, however, buy this service or good from the partnering corporation, which can then decide to give you the value in cash. This method of registering the donation is the only way of establishing its fair market value. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the donor intended to enrich you by voluntarily giving something to you. (see the definition of gift).
A donation that is the part of financial, tax or estate planning:
- Is either immediate or to come.
- Reflects the wishes and philanthropic objectives of the donor.
- Takes into account the donor’s personal, family and fiscal situation.
A planned gift can take on many forms: a legacy gift, donated life insurance policy, charitable gift annuity, charitable trust, donation of securities, etc. Each one has its own tax benefits.
Consult our section Leave a Legacy.
Every year, you set a fundraising goal for your campaign and you solicit donors to reach this goal. Remember that your donor is also planning his giving; try to synchronize your objectives with theirs.
The key to success is the ability to establish contact with donors and maintain this contact from year to years. Your database should be ready, as well as your follow-up letters! Do you have a communications strategy for promoting your campaign’s message?
To have a successful campaign, it’s important to use a variety of fundraising strategies. For example, even if you don’t have a specific fundraising goal or many resources, you can always include a donation request in all of your contacts with potential donors. In your newsletters and on your website, is there a button that allows people to send you their donation with a few simple clicks? This continuous fundraising is part of your annual fundraising objectives and should be well organized.
This type of campaign is often associated with a specific project (a new building, a research chair, etc.) and is spread out over a year. It’s prepared well in advance and relies on a fundraising committee that has the ability to attract major donors to your cause. A major campaign is very demanding and requires constant efforts from every member of your team.
The classic! Many arts groups organize one or several benefit events throughout the year. The goal is to bring supporters together for an evening and give them an unforgettable experience, while selling tickets at a higher cost. These activities usually comprise a cocktail party accompanied by a meal or an exclusive performance. Although they’re very demanding in terms of logistics, benefit events are an excellent way to create a buzz and bring your donors together to promote your organization. However, the success of a benefit event depends on following up with your donors. Furthermore, if your benefit activity doesn’t meet the following 3 objectives, think twice before forging ahead!
- Does it contribute to the visibility of your organization
- Does it have an effective cost/benefit ratio
- Does it allow you to identify potential donors
Essential elements of a successful benefit event:
- a database;
- a solicitation committee to sell tickets and obtain sponsors;
- an organizing committee to handle logistics;
- a warm welcome for guests - this will be their first, and lasting, impression;
- a follow-up: a thank-you letter, an invitation to other activities, how will you maintain contact?
Have you ever thought of organizing something completely different from the usual benefit evening? A draw, auction, treasure hunt, sports activity…these are just a few suggestions that could help you stand apart from other organizations that are also seeking donations. Monitor what’s going on with other organizations similar to yours and try to come up with something new! Don’t forget that volunteers are absolutely crucial for the success of these activities. How will you motivate them?
Another way of giving is to create a fund in memory of a loved one. This is a unique way to pay homage to a special someone, while supporting a cause that he or she admired. Contact your regular financial planner to learn how to create an in memoriam fund. Remember that arts councils are often good partners to allocate funds according to your chosen criteria.
- a good letter of solicitation;
- an honorary committee composed of people whose credibility will reflect on your organization and campaign;
- a campaign plan and timeline;
- a communications plan to promote the success of your campaign
- a team devoted to doing the necessary follow-ups for a successful campaign
- an attitude that recognizes the importance of fundraising activities. By making your fundraising campaign a priority, you’ll increase your chances of reaching your goals!