Get Fundraising Fit


Most people would be completely daunted by the prospect of running their first half or full marathon, but for many they know they already have all the skills and experience they need to succeed. You see running a marathon is much like embarking on a new fundraising campaign, success is determined by your efforts in planning and preparation.

Before you embark on your next campaign, you need to get fundraising fit to ensure you are prepared to tackle the challenge with the same optimism, focus and drive needed to run a marathon.


We now impart further insight on the 6 Fundraising Fit Tips.

1 Set a Realistic Goal
It is not enough to simply identify your goal, you must ensure it is realistic and achievable. For an organisation with limited fundraising experience or a small donor base, raising $1 million dollars is as unlikely as someone who has never run before making it to the full marathon finish line. It is great to have a vision and dream big, however you may need to tackle your ultimate goal in stages, setting a number of interim goals along the way. In order to assess your fundraising fitness level you need to look at; 

  • What are your current ‘giving’ activities?
  • Do you have a good supporter database?
  • Have you launched a fundraising campaign before?
  • What is the current market like?
  • Do you have access to new donor markets?

2 Find Your Motivation & Purpose
Like many of us I had always thought about running a full marathon, however the right time did not present itself until I lost a friend to cervical cancer. Losing her was the motivation I needed to take the leap and sign up to run the marathon in her honor. 

While many of us have thought about running a half or full marathon, the right time doesn’t often present itself until you experience something in life that makes you (a) re-evaluate your prioritises or (b) stand up by saying now is a good time to take on a new challenge.

Strong motivations are important to consider when timing your fundraising campaign. These motivations will not only help drive your campaign, they will help engage your staff and supporters and focus your efforts. Once you find your motivation, things start falling into place quickly and you will find it easier to formulate a plan and prepare to achieve your goals.

3 Assemble a Team
While a runner runs a marathon alone, there are many people who contribute to their success. The runner needs the support of their family and friends, a trainer and a physiotherapist. Similarly, your campaign will need support from various individuals and groups, who each contribute their talents and expertise in their own way. 

In focusing on their financial goals, many organisations neglect the fact that a successful fundraising campaign also requires advocates or ambassadors to spread the word. A campaign requires a strong leadership team and engaged and knowledgeable staff to keep things on track.

4 Be Prepared
You can’t just turn up on race day and expect to finish a half or full marathon, you need to prepare, train, have strategies for injury prevention, correct fueling with the right nutrition, strength training etc. Preparing your body as best you can to ensure you not only can reach your goal but you can keep moving afterwards. 

Likewise with a fundraising campaign, you have to prepare as best you can to maximise your potential.

  • How well do you know your supporter database?
  • Do you have strong campaign leadership potential?
  • Does it fit in with your strategic plan?
  • Are you well placed to develop a strong marketing campaign?
  • Do you have sufficient resourcing etc.

5 Hire in Expertise
Top athletes know that hiring a trainer is an investment in their future success. Engaging an agency, like O’Keefe & Partners (OKP) is much like having a personal trainer. We provide motivation, expert assessment of your performance and the knowledge of what it takes to win against tough competition.

6 Know That it’s Not Over at the Finish Line
Whilst a runner looks forward to crossing the finish line and completing their challenge, we know focus will start to turn to some well-earned relaxation. At the same time some thought about the next challenge will start to bubble to the surface. 

Therefore it is important to take the time to recognise and thank everyone that has helped along the way. In addition assessing the performance and learn from any mistakes as a base for future goals. Once you have reached the conclusion of your campaign, take some time to celebrate your achievements but also make sure you show gratitude for your supporters, build on your success and continue to grow. Then set yourself a new goal and remember every achievement is a stepping stone to greater success.

Contact OKP for strategic advice to get fundraising fit on 1300 721 799


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