Starting a non-profit business can be a daunting task. Though the use of fundraisers and grants, you can create a solid basis of funding for your business for start-up expenses. Before you begin the fund-raising process, though, you need to make sure you have a solid business plan and a well-defined sense of what your new nonprofit is going to accomplish. Once you have some basic start-up funds, you may be able to get bank loans to help you finish getting together what you need to become a success.
Before you can start fundraising for your non-profit, you need to have a well-defined business plan and focus. If you are going to help the homeless, what are the specific tasks that you are going to undertake to help them? Can you sell this concept to others? Detail the specifics of your plan and have a well-defined purpose that is realistic and achievable. If you are going to start a small, local homeless shelter, you do not want your goal to be to eliminate homelessness worldwide.
Once you have your focus in place, you want to begin planning for your fundraiser to start your non-profit. Think about your area as a whole. What types of activities draw a crowd? What do the citizens of your town like to do for fun? If you live in a town that relies heavily on farming as its main source of income, you may want to throw a rodeo. If you live in a sports mecca, you may want to throw a golf or baseball tournament. Gather a group of supports and work together to come up with a good idea to raise funds for your non-profit. There are a variety of options out there, including: black tie events, themed parties, auctions, and carnivals, just to name a few.
Once you have your idea set in stone, start soliciting sponsors to underwrite the cost of the event. Go to your current volunteers employers and start there. If there are any big name companies in town, you want to solicit them as well. The biggest employers have the biggest stake in the community and are usually open to supporting community events.
When budgeting, allow the sponsors to cover the cost of the event and have the ticket sales be your profit. This ensures that even if no one shows, you at least break even. Obviously, the goal is to do better than that, but this at least puts you with a shot at a real profit.
Shower your community with posters about your event. Contact all area newspapers, magazines, radio and tv stations and send a public service announcement out about your event. Most media outlets have a free community calendar that will announce your event. Send out Evites and post your event on local webpages, your Facebook, MySpace and Twitter accounts. The more free publicity the better.
Never stop thanking the people that come to your event. Make sure to tell everyone there about your non-profit. Half of the battle is getting out your message. Once people know why you are in operation, they will be more likely to volunteer and further support your organization. Be organized, efficient and have fun. The more fun your event is, the more likely people are to come to it next year.
After your event, if possible, send thank you letters to all who supported you and attending. Include a brochure and more information about your organization. Additionally, try to either take out a large ad in the newspaper or make a radio commercial, if you can get either donated. The key is to give the sponsors as much recognition for their support as possible. The recognition will make them want to come back next year.