5 Common Fundraiser Worries & How to Overcome Them
Read these helpful ways to keep your fundraising anxieties at bay.
Learn how to manage common worry-triggers and find joy in the fundraising journey! Terri Lynn is here to lend support every step of the way.
Post Date: Feb 24 2022
Midnight emails, last-minute meetings, sleepless nights leading up to your event…
If you’ve organized a fundraiser in the past and any of these sound familiar, then you’ve experienced the all-too-common affliction we call fundraiser anxiety. It stems from relentless worries about your fundraiser’s performance, reach, and impact — and it actually gets in the way of your fundraiser’s success.
We’ve heard all about it: from sky-high expectations to challenging deadlines, a fundraising organizer’s nightmare is trying to succeed without a plan or support. These empty holes can magnify all your underlying worries and make you feel like your fundraiser is destined to fail.
So, how do you slay your worry dragon? It starts with naming the big ones that keep you up at night, and then preparing ahead of time with reasonable to-dos and help from our Terri Lynn Fundraising team. Take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back for staring down that dragon, and read through the best ways to combat these top fundraising misgivings.
5 Common Fundraiser Worries
1. That you won’t meet your financial goal
It’s a fact: fundraisers have a lot of responsibility, and feeling stress about not reaching your financial goal is a very real and heavy burden. To start, be sure you’re setting a goal that can be attainable and reasonable for your organization (we like the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting). Gather your team and discuss your goals in the past (have you met them?), your projects on the horizon (can you fund them?) and your capacity (can you realistically raise the funds?).
Asking yourself and your team these questions is helpful:
What is the minimum amount that would make this fundraiser successful? What would our stretch goal be?
Is our goal too far-reaching for the resources we have? Do we need to scale back, or gather more resources?
What is realistic based on our plan? If your strategy is a two-day event and you need to sell X number of products, how many people each day need to make purchases? Does that number align with the amount of traffic your venue can accommodate?
The best way to combat your goal-reaching doubts is to make sure it feels attainable. If it’s too easy, your team won’t be motivated. But if it’s too far-reaching, then you can expect fatigue and drain from a team that doesn’t feel prepared to succeed. Find the right balance!
Bonus reading: Top 10 Tips for Fundraising Success
2. That you won’t be able to recruit enough volunteers
The best way to reduce fundraising anxiety is to assemble a go-getting team. If you’re concerned about not being able to recruit enough volunteers, then we have a big piece of advice: ask early and often. Give your volunteers plenty of time to plan their calendars by getting in touch long before your event. And plan 2-3 followup dates on your calendar if some folks don’t get back to you, too. Your first email or text might have come in when they had lots on their plate, and it’s a good idea to check back in.
Where do you find your volunteers? Make an all-star list that includes:
- Past volunteers
- Past supporters
- People who have benefited from your cause
- Volunteers with other organizations
- Student volunteers (who may have to fulfill community service hours for projects or graduation)
You can also recruit your current volunteers to find other people to serve on their committees. Appoint a marketing coordinator, for example, and let them invite their top picks for other committee members to help them. Empower the volunteers you already have, and work together as a team!
If you’re still short on volunteers, our Webstore program is a great hands-free, 24/7 fundraising tool that’s easy to manage and track. Plus, Terri Lynn products get delivered straight to your supporters’ doors!
3. That you don’t have enough time
We know, it’s hard to think of summer fundraising when there’s snow out the window. But starting early will save you plenty of headaches and rush-jobs down the road. Start with your target fundraiser date and work backwards. When would you like to have your volunteers in place? When would you like fliers to land in people’s mailboxes? When do you want to start advertising on social media or local newspapers?
Chances are, you’re looking at quite a few months before your actual event date.
So if you can, get your calendar organized now (here are this year’s holiday fundraising dates for reference). If you’re already nearing your big event and worried about getting everything done in time, enlist the help of Terri Lynn’s tried-and-true Fundraising Programs and free Promotions Kit to save big on time, personnel, and design expenses.
4. That the technology won’t work
If you’re planning a virtual event, or even an event that uses any technology for order placing or entertainment, then technical difficulties can be a real concern. First, take a deep breath and know that they happen — the digital powers-that-be even plague award shows and national broadcasts from time to time. The best thing you can do is have a Plan B.
Give yourself 30 minutes to use your imagination and envision all the technology mishaps you think could go wrong (only 30 minutes to get it all over with!). Then list an acceptable Plan B for each scenario and move past your worries.
Here are some examples:
- If the microphone doesn’t work, we’ll have a megaphone on-hand as backup
- If a speaker can’t connect to audio, we’ll have a backup person deliver their script
- If the online auction platform doesn’t work, we’ll extend the bidding deadline
- If the wifi doesn’t work, we’ll take orders via Order Forms instead.
5. That no one will show up to the fundraiser
We’ve all imagined empty rooms and resounding crickets after all the hard work that goes into planning a fundraiser. Combat that eerily low turnout in your mind by giving yourself plenty of time to promote your event. Give people a chance to mark their calendars, make plans, and prioritize supporting your good cause.
Here are some ideas for boosting your fundraiser turnout:
Reach out to your supporters where they are — on social media, over the phone, via email or in-person. Get in front of their eyes where they’re likely to be looking already (with help from the free and customizable Terri Lynn Fundraising graphics in our Promotions Kit).
Choose a venue or event that already has a history of high attendance. Maybe it’s a community festival, a local race, or a popular shopping area.
Plant your family and friends at the event to create a buzz! Have them help get the festivities started by being present, energetic, and supportive of your efforts.
Partner with other organizations to expand your reach. Call on sponsors to invite their own contacts, or ask the venue to promote on their own social media pages.
You can also make it easy to support your cause from anywhere by setting up shop with our Terri Lynn Webstore fundraising program. That way, if uncontrollable forces like weather or road construction keep your supporters away, they can still easily buy their favorite premium nuts, snacks and confections and support your fundraiser online.
Keep Your Fundraiser Worries at Bay
If you work consistently and early on managing your anxiety triggers, you’ll find they occupy your mind less and less. This means more time to grow your sales and actually enjoy the fundraising journey!
We’re here to lend support and resources every step of the way. Whether you’re just starting to plan for your very first Terri Lynn sale, or you’re a seasoned fundraiser looking for new tools, our Terri Lynn Fundraising team wants to help you reach your (hopefully S.M.A.R.T.) goals!