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Tuesday, August 23, 2005 

Fundraising - How To Do It Right - Part ll

In my last article about Fundraising, I covered some very important issues regarding fundraising as a musician and how to properly account for your "self-less"work in the name of charities. What I want to cover is how to promote a fundraising event to help you get maximum exposure and attendance.

A big mistake people make when organizing fundraising events, is assuming that just because you are doing something for a good cause...that people will come. That's simply not true. If the truth is to be known, fundraising events must work harder to attract attendee's than a regular event. Why? Because everyone wants money, and everyone needs money. And people get tired of giving money. Plain and simple. Not only that, it's difficult to tell anymore who is honest and really out for the cause and who is out for themselves in the name of a cause. So instead of worrying about it...most people don't give anything...or they give to the known and familiar efforts. So, your goal should be to become one of those known and familiar events. How do you do that? Well, it doesn't happen overnight. Here are just a few ideas to help you, help your cause more productively.

1. Think of ways your event can stand out...and promote those ways. Your event needs to be different. Like a song. Find a new way to do the same thing. Invent a gimmick for your event and make it stick. Avoid "cheesy", but come up with something that sets you apart and pleases the crowd.

2. Find out what other type of events for charity go on in your hometown. If there are events too similar to yours...network with someone. Most organizations can't have enough volunteers. And you could add something different to their current calendar of events rather than start your own thing. Don't step on the toes of another organizer for the same type of cause. It's worth your while to attend area club meetings and get to know the commuity leaders. It's always better to work with someone than as a separate entity. After all...it's about the cause right?

3. Remember that the more you do it, the more it will grow. The more events you have and the more press you get, the more legitimate you become to the public. Don't get discouraged if the first one or two events flop. The most important thing to do is stay consistant. People just respond to things that are consistant much more.

4. Find out what businesses other charities use as sponsors, and stay away from their sponsors. It's never good politics to try and tap in on what someone else already has or do what someone else already does. Don't copy other people. Be unique. Even if you come up with good ideas on your own - people will still accuse you of stealing them, so make sure you don't :)

5. Immediately after the event - send a thank you note in the form of a press release to your community. Mention all sponsors, and let the public know how much money was raised and how much will be going to the charity for each event.

6. Always remember that your fundraising event is about the cause you are raising money for. Not you. Don't be a ham. And avoid the "I" syndrome. Never forget to thank people that help you and don't take anyone for granted that offers their assistance.

In closing, my favorite quote from Jerry Springer comes to mind - "Take care of yourself....and each other"

Rock On!
Annette Warner

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    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded GoGirlsMusic.com, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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