Article submitted by Brooke Parker, Development Director at the Pathway to Adventure Council
Fundraising can be challenging but also enjoyable. With fundraising goals set high for many charities, the task can seem overwhelming. In Scouting, we have amazing volunteers who range from stay-at-home parents to presidents of the PTA/PTO and those who are lawyers, doctors, judges, farmers, company owners, CEOs and the list goes on. Through Scouting and watching their child, niece, nephew or sibling go through the program, they are the key to sharing the Scouting benefits.
The community campaign in Scouting is a unique concept that we can leverage in a positive way to raise money. Yes, it is important to leverage people outside of Scouting! Also, we can utilize our many Scouting related individuals who are connected with the BSA in some way. Why do it by yourself? There are thousands of parents and volunteers in our units who can help connect us to the right people in the community.
Here are 5 areas below to rev up your community campaign.
- Cultivating relationships is a huge factor with the community campaign. It starts with getting to know your affluent units and areas that have the capacity to donate above the average Friends of Scouting gift. Once relationships are formed with the quality volunteers, there needs to be clear guidelines of what the goal is and the steps to achieve that goal.
- Identifying your chair! We as professionals know we can’t do it alone. Working with the nominating committee is one area to look in finding your chair for the campaign. The vetting process has started with the nominating committee and once identified and acceptance of the position you can begin the planning process on how you will accomplish the goal along with the agreed upon tasks. Also, your council board could provide some recommendations!
- Building your committee. Since you have your chair, next is looking for individuals who worked on the committee in prior years. They may have enjoyed working on the committee or might have contacts to add to the prospect list. Additionally, they could help with adding new individuals on the committee. Some people are not comfortable asking others for money. However, they may be willing to open up their rolodex and help make introductions.
- Increasing a FOS gift. If we do a great job in our prospecting and evaluating our prospects we will build on the plan. Analyzing a prospect’s financial ability to give, sets the bases of what we can ask for. We need to stop, listen and understand the individual’s comfort level with the cultivation and solicitation process. Then we have to ask!
- Mission accomplished! Characteristics of a success campaign are campaign kickoff, meeting updates and celebration. Behind the scenes efforts are the staff advisor and chair following up on the progress. Once you work the plan, create a positive enjoyable campaign and recognize the volunteers, then you all can be proud of the mission to bring more young people in Scouting and impacting lives for a lifetime.
Scouting Wire would like to thank Brooke for submitting this article.