By Maria Molina, Philanthropy Advisor for Latin America Zones 25A/23B
As you know, we are one of the largest nonprofits in the world and our commitment to humanity continues this year with the theme “Serve to change lives.” And that is why we need to be even more creative in our fundraising strategies.
Raising money for local and international projects should be an essential part of every Rotarian’s life. Consider this example from the world at large. A recent article in Giving USA reported that contributions by service organizations hit a record high in 2020 at $47.7 billion dollars.
Forbes magazine, which evaluates nonprofits according to giving by individuals, rates The Rotary Foundation as one of the Top 100 most popular NGOs in the United States. In 2020, the Foundation ranked 52 in total giving. In 2021, we had another exceptional year with $440 million raised from approximately 445,000 individual donors.
Despite all this, we still face challenges, especially during a pandemic. It takes effort to retain donors and cultivate new ones. But I believe we can still have fun doing it.
So with that in mind, I present six ideas that I share with clubs in my zones that could help you fundraise, and have fun doing it!
- Encourage all Rotary clubs to give to The Rotary Foundation
It should be a part of every club’s DNA to give to the Foundation. How can we raise funds for projects in our community if we do not support the cause ourselves? It is important to show potential donors that we are engaged. The amount we give does not matter as much as that we do give.
- Share Rotary’s success story
As members, we are ambassadors for our Rotary Foundation! We feel passionate about our causes and we should share them with our communities! Visit www.rotary.org to learn more about our work and be better able to share with potential donors the impact we are making.
- Thank donors
Don’t forget to show appreciation to donors by thanking them. You can send a thank you note or call all the Rotarians who have supported the Foundation.
- Invite members and potential donors to a service project
Before you invite someone to contribute, show them a project! There is no better strategy for convincing them what an impact their contributions can make.
- Organize an event
Hold a special gathering to cultivate relationships and build networks with potential donors. Show a video that highlights our work.
- Share your own experience
Telling our story is one of the most powerful strategies we have. Consider writing an article for local media sharing why your are passionate about Rotary and the impact that your club has generated in your community.
Remember that fundraising is not about asking for money, but about inspiring people around you to invest in your mission, while providing members with a positive experience. I think the key to successful fundraising is to have fun.
Imagine how many people can read because of Rotary literacy projects, how many people now have access to essential medical services because of our health projects, how many schools have better sanitation facilities because of water and sanitation projects, and how many children are vaccinated because of our efforts to prevent disease.
Dear Rotarians and Rotaractors! You are the heart of Rotary. You are the most important asset we have. You have the power to change lives. You know your communities, you have influence, talents, and personal networks.
Thank you for all the good work you are doing to raise funds – for the Annual Fund, Endowment Funds, Rotary Peace Centers, or areas of focus! You are truly making a difference and changing lives through your giving and service.
Let´s not tire of giving and stay motivated to doing good in the world.
Appreciation for genenerally ignored simple but effective tips in fund raising with fellow Rotarians and/or non-Rotarians .
Good informative article. We Rotarians should learn and go forward for the fundraising.