The Unexpected Fulfillments of Fundraising
July 14, 2022
When it’s back-to-school season, it also means back-to-fundraising season.
From early fall to late spring, school fundraising will be in full swing for sports teams (especially hockey and football), music groups (orchestra, band, choir), school booster clubs, and scout organizations (cub, boy, girl). Other fundraising efforts are seasonal, such as Christmas with supporters eagerly awaiting wreath sales. Organizations like churches and nonprofits fundraise year-round.
First and foremost, fundraising is additional income that benefits groups, individuals, and communities. But with over 100 years of fundraising history to reflect upon, studies have shown many unexpected benefits exist beyond a purely monetary advantage. Rewards are evident for the organization, the participants, and especially children and students.
Besides the obvious financial impact fundraising has on a program, groups can benefit in a variety of other less tangible ways. Advantages include:
- Promotion – Fundraising brings heightened awareness and recognition to causes. It can assist in building a donor base and/or encourages increased support and volunteers.
- Donor Retention – If a program does yearly fundraisers, it is a great opportunity to sustain relationships and reconnect with faithful contributors.
- Team Building – Working together toward a common goal and spending more time as a group will tighten team bonds.
- Feelgood Vibes – Successfully meeting fundraising goals often prompts a natural high among participants. This leads to a stronger emotional attachment to the organization and the team.
Studies have shown that a common way to beat the blues or handle a rough patch, is to get involved with philanthropy and helping/empowering others. Boosts include:
- Bonds – Helping with a fundraiser presents the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. People become more involved with the local community and its workings.
- Grow & Learn – Being involved with different causes and fundraising methods provides the chance to learn new skills such as PR, business applications, and technology and social media. Exposure to new areas has the capability to spark unforeseen interests in participants.
- Motivation – When feelings of discouragement hit or day-to-day interests and energy are low, helping others is known to lift spirits. The desire to succeed and not let your team down is a powerful motivator. The good feelings that ensue often lead to an even increased desire to continue helping.
Some of the biggest rewards from fundraising can happen among children and students. They possess an incredible open-mindedness and the increased ability to absorb information. Their participation in such activities is an amazing way to help them along their path of becoming good, well-rounded individuals. Fundraisers can foster the following traits and skills:
- Attitude – Starting at the youngest of ages, the necessity of instilling good behaviors toward others is paramount. Working with a fundraiser helps kids to develop empathy, respect, friendship, and kindness.
- Communication – Kids working to entice sales or donations get a great chance to work on different aspects of communicating. They have many opportunities to improve writing and speaking clearly, learning about using engaging tones, and non-verbal clues and body language.
- Confidence – Fundraisers show a correlation between working hard and building accountability, self-confidence, responsibility, self-empowerment, and self-motivation. Kids may not be able to articulate this type of growth, but they will feel it and outwardly display it.
- Teamwork – A fundraising group teaches kids the different aspects of working on a team to complete a common goal. Concepts include individual roles, compromise, cooperation, unique skill sets, and delegation of tasks.
- Leadership – Not everyone desires to be in a leadership role. Those who do thrive in that position within a fundraiser. Especially with young people, participation will refine skills like encouragement with others, planning, innovation, creative thinking, problem-solving, strategic thinking, flexibility, and positivity.
- Community – Kids’ worlds grow larger as they mature. The knowledge and understanding of community may take time, but being involved in civic-minded activities will strengthen that insight. Creating an awareness of community will hopefully lead to lifelong philanthropic endeavors.
- Business – Simple business skills are helpful in all aspects of life. Fundraising will teach students about deadlines, goals, the value of a dollar, and financial responsibility.