Sororities and fraternities, like all other tax-exempt organizations, rely on community support to make their fundraisers thrive. As a fraternity or sorority chapter leader, financial best practices should be a top priority to properly manage your philanthropy efforts.
Hosting a successful sorority or fraternity fundraiser on behalf of a national philanthropic partner is often easier said than done. After all, there are so many factors that go into hosting a successful fundraiser, and you and your members are likely also busy with college classes. Therefore, your fundraisers need to be designed for maximum efficiency — allowing you to reach your full philanthropic potential and engage your campus community without adding extra stress. Try the following three tips to raise more money:
- Leverage financial management software.
- Get chapter members involved.
- Focus on storytelling.
To boost community involvement in your philanthropy events and initiatives, you must have a rich support system. Let’s dive into these tips to cultivate your support base for fundraising success.
1. Leverage custom financial management software.
One of the biggest fundraising mistakes you can make is trying to manually manage a fundraising campaign. Instead, look for affordable financial management software products specifically designed for sororities and fraternities that can streamline campaign management.
It can be difficult to know which financial management software is most useful for an organization. Look for tools that contain features specific to sororities and fraternities. OmegaFi suggests looking for financial management software that:
- Provides comprehensive support resources. Keeping fundraisers on track can seem challenging. Access to knowledge base articles, online tutorials, and other 24/7 resources will help you overcome any hurdle you encounter with the system.
- Helps you track your semester’s budget. To better plan and execute your philanthropy campaigns, you need to be aware of your chapter’s budget. Use software with intuitive budget tracking and reporting tools so you always know where you stand in relation to your financial goals.
- Enables you to pay bills and fees. Fundraising campaigns can involve upfront expenses that must be paid in order for your organization to start generating revenue. Your software should help you easily plan ahead to pay these so you can keep fundraising.
- Is accessible on the go. When checking in on your fundraising status and how much you still need to raise, you should be able to access your data from mobile devices so you can make important decisions quickly.
- Prevents fraudulent activity. Protecting your fundraising revenue from fraud is a financial best practice for fraternities and sororities. A secure software solution can provide the protection you need and
- Avoids tax liabilities. Using third-party apps to collect fundraising revenue could be a tax liability. An integrated solution can help you mitigate any tax-related fees or penalties.
With dedicated financial management software, you can help your organization’s fundraising campaigns stay organized. Plus, you’ll save valuable time and money that would otherwise be spent on trying to juggle the various elements of a fundraising campaign.
2. Get chapter members involved.
There is no need for your chapter’s officers to bear the brunt of your philanthropic activities. In fact, fundraising can be a great opportunity to unite as a whole chapter and work together toward a common fundraising goal. Here are some ways you can get your members involved in fundraising:
- Social giving. One easy way to get your chapter members more involved with your fundraising goals is to encourage them to promote your campaign within their own social networks. Adding a crowdfunding element to your campaign and asking your chapter members to share it via social media can get a lot of attention for your cause, not to mention donations.
- Act as peer-to-peer fundraisers. Sharing your campaign on social media is one thing, but actively raising money for your philanthropic partner is another. Peer-to-peer fundraising empowers your members to raise money themselves. Equip your members to excel by using peer-to-peer fundraising software, training them, and checking in with them throughout the campaign.
Engaging existing members in your fundraising campaign can greatly increase your ability to raise money. Plus, successful philanthropy events and campaigns can impact how potential new recruits perceive your organization.
3. Focus on storytelling.
No matter what fundraising method you choose, storytelling will take your philanthropic efforts to the next level. Your donation prospect wants to feel an emotional connection to the organization they are donating to. Storytelling will help share your philanthropic partner’s values, goals, and vision for the future, expressing why they are deserving of their support.
Using effective storytelling tactics can help make your fundraising campaign more memorable and emotionally or intellectually engaging. Getting Attention recommends using the following details to resonate with your audience:
- Your origin story. Tell your audience why your partner was founded and how it came to be in its current state. Tell your audience what challenges it faced, how it overcame them, and what its vision for the future is.
- Your mission. Describe what your philanthropic partner offers its beneficiaries and the community as a whole.
- Personal testimonies. Allow your partner’s beneficiaries to explain how the nonprofit has impacted their lives. This helps your audience understand how important your organization is and why it deserves their attention.
- Your goals. Elaborate upon the goals that your philanthropic campaign is trying to support. Tell a story about a previous fundraising goal and what your partner was able to accomplish with the help of previous donors.
Adding emotional impact to your campaign will help the audience connect to the real people behind your cause and inspire them to be a part of the change.
As a sorority or fraternity manager and college student, you have a lot on your plate. These five tips can help you streamline your philanthropy campaigns without losing out on valuable gifts. By motivating current members to engage with your philanthropy and evolve their fundraising techniques over time, you can make your mark on your partner’s cause for years to come!