Business Ideas for Moms

How to Start a Fundraising Business from Home

I asked my friend, Stef Prose to write an article with tips she's learned after years of fundraising. Thankfully, she agreed. Here is her advice to Succeed in Fundraising as a Home Based Business.

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Fundraising How-To's, Tips and Advice

You have your home-based business and now you want to branch out and offer fundraising. A lot of home-based businesses offer some sort of fundraising, but how do you find groups who are involved in fundraising? You can’t make money from fundraising if you don’t have contacts, here’s where to start.

We all know schools, PTA’s, PTO’s, churches and sports teams need to make money and they do that through fundraising.  You can start by reading your local newspaper, there are always articles about the schools and sports events going on in your neighborhood. A contact person is listed in the article, contact them and ask if you can meet or send them information on your company. Once you get the contact information for the fundraising chairperson, find out as much about their previous fundraising events/efforts as possible. You will want to find out what their likes and dislikes were about the product/company/delivery…anything. The more you know about what they want the better you can help them. Make sure you can accommodate whatever needs they have. These groups live and die by their fundraising efforts and if you don’t deliver they cannot turn around and just ‘throw’ another fundraiser. It’s basically a one shot deal, parents don’t want to be hounded with fundraising, I don’t care what kind of fundraiser it is.

Next, if you are looking at schools, PTA’s, or PTO’s you can go to www.myschoolonline.com  and find schools and PTA groups in your area. If you go to their website you will find a contact section. Contact the Fundraising chair, however, if that information isn’t available, contact the President.  Look around the website and it will usually tell what they have done in the past for fundraising and a lot of school sites have a calendar that will list when their wanting to hold their next event. Some sites are not kept up with, however, one person can usually lead you to the appropriate person.

Another way to get your name out there is to physically go to the schools.  Ask the receptionist if she can put your information packet in their PTA/PTO mailbox. Most schools have a mailbox that their PTA checks if not daily then at least weekly. I know some fundraising reps will tell the receptionist that if she gets the appropriate person to contact them then they will bring her a freebie. This really helps the receptionist let the PTA know that information was put in their box. This really can be done even if you have a small child at home with you. I took my now 4 year old with me up to the schools, just make sure they are not running around loudly while you are possibly waiting to talk with the receptionist.

Ask the receptionist if she has a PTA/PTO business card with everyone’s contact information available. This is not unusual, I know at my children’s school they have our PTA business cards to hand out. As the PTA President I receive phone calls and emails all the time from fundraising companies. Just remember to follow up! If I receive a message from a rep and I return the call or email and don’t hear back, it’s out of my mind when fundraising comes about and makes me frown upon using them. I want to be able to contact a rep when I need them, especially if there’s ever a problem.

When getting started, especially phone calls, can seem intimidating. Remember: Schools, Sports Teams, PTA’s and PTO’s are looking for the best fundraising company for their group. Sometimes the individuals in charge of finding out fundraising information have limited time. These are volunteers and most of them spend as much time volunteering as they would if they were holding a full time paying job. It’s nice to be contacted rather than having to do all of the research on their own.
Also, remember that you are talking to parents just like yourself.  You need to be very organized, however, be personable. Volunteers will appreciate your sincerity and willingness to help, don’t let them down. Talk with them as if they were a friend, don’t use ‘business’ lingo that they may not understand, make them feel comfortable.

I hope this has helped you get started on the road to successful fundraising. .

Stefanie Prose

Proud Mommy of 4.

Owner of MagicMoms a WAHM resource site
Fundraising Coordinator- Elan Fundraising
PTA President for my children’s school
Helping YOU Raise Money for YOUR child’s school and sports teams!

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