Your Comprehensive (but Easy-to-Follow) Fundraising Guide

October 3, 2023

Girl thinking about fundraising

What is fundraising? That’s the question we’re looking at, right? You’ve come to the right place—after all, we’re the digital fundraising experts at MoneyDolly, so let’s do this right. 

What Is Fundraising?

Fundraising is the process of soliciting or raising financial support or funds for your group or cause. Seems easy enough, right? 

Oh, sweet summer child. The meaning of fundraising encompasses so much more than simply raising money. Seriously. Fundraising doesn’t merely give money to sports teams, school clubs, and worthy causes; it helps participants afford experiences and adventures that shape their lives. 

(Feel free to use that when you hit up your second uncle twice removed for a donation.)

Fundraising isn’t always easy, but there are a few ways to magnify your efforts and see the money roll in. We’ll explain how you can launch a successful campaign and the steps that make fundraising as easy as possible.

Traditional vs. Digital Fundraising Approaches 

Let’s face it: Fundraising has been around forever, and the strategies haven’t really changed. We still see the same ideas over and over again: 

  • Donation drives
  • Collection boxes
  • Bake sales
  • Car washes
  • Auctions
  • Selling products like food or swag
  • Unconvincing Santas ringing bells outside department stores

We’re not saying these are bad ideas—or at least not if Santa can find a way to ring his bell outside the homepage. They’re tried and true methods, which is why you see them anytime your local high school sports team needs to buy new uniforms. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt modern methods.

Most modern ideas involve digital fundraising, which is convenient and easy. And that’s exactly why they’re so successful. 

When we talk about digital fundraising, we’re talking about viral cash-seeking methods like:

  • Online crowdfunding platforms: In a crowdfunding campaign, a group asks large numbers of people to contribute money to a cause. 
  • Social media campaigns: This is when your nearest and dearest hit you up for money using social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. But no, this doesn’t include when Kristine from the seventh grade tries to sign you up for her pyramid scheme.
  • Viral challenges: Remember when people did the ice bucket challenge? Seems crazy, but it totally worked! People do the challenge and donate to the cause.
  • Virtual events and webinars: With a virtual event or webinar, the entrance fee becomes the donation. A musical artist might do an online concert to support their politician of choice, for example.

Once you decide a digital fundraiser is best for you, MoneyDolly becomes your tool of choice. MoneyDolly is the digital dolly that helps you with the heavy lifting, moving your fundraiser forward successfully. Our state-of-the-art app can help you keep track of fundraising and make it easy to spread the message among your contacts. 

See what Logan had to say:

Planning Fundraising Campaigns for Success 

No matter what type of fundraiser you choose, there are vital planning steps you need to take to be successful—from the grand kickoff to the celebratory after-party. 

1. Remember the Purpose of Your Fundraiser

Identify the soul and purpose of your fundraiser to remind yourself why you are doing it. This isn’t just about money; it’s about securing funding so your group can enjoy doing what they love. Hey—is someone cutting onions?

2. Set a Clear Goal

If you set out to fundraise but don’t have a goal, you may feel like you’re aimlessly walking in circles. A goal helps you push yourself and makes the fundraising process more exciting. 

That being said, it’s essential to set a goal that’s ambitious but totally doable. If your goal is too easy, you won’t stretch yourself; if it’s unobtainable, you’ll always feel discouraged.

3. Tailor Your Strategies to Your Audience

Think about the target of your fundraiser: Who are you hoping will contribute to your cause? This could be teachers, students, parents, Elon Musk, or the entire community. You need to make sure you have a compelling message that will engage them.

Now’s the time to be a storyteller—flex those creative muscles! Drag out the emotions in people and show them your cause is worth supporting. Emotional connections will always help your fundraiser become more successful.

4. Plan How You’ll Get the Word Out

Once you have your goals and tearjerking story, make sure people hear about your fundraiser. It’s shockingly difficult to raise money if no one knows you’re doing it. 

If you’re fundraising for an event, you need people to come. If you’re selling a product, you need people willing to buy it to help some kids out. If you’re running a peer-to-peer campaign, you’ll only be successful if you get the word out to as many people as possible.

Use flyers, radio, text, email, and especially social media to spread the word. This is your opportunity to share that carefully crafted strategic message to help people learn what you’re doing and why.

Executing a Successful Fundraising Campaign (for Bringing in Big Bucks)

You want to reach your goal, and if you’re lucky (or well-prepared enough), you may even be able to surpass it. We’ve got a handful of tips and tricks to try that can take you that extra mile and make sure your fundraisers are as lucrative as possible. 

1. Engage Participants

We’ve touched on this a bit, but it’s important enough to say again and again: 


(Is that too much? We considered underlining it, too.) 

But the point is that your supporters need to find your message compelling—so much so that they want to help. Take the time to craft your interesting and heartstring- and wallet-tugging message. Enlist the creative writing club if you need to. Don’t make something up, just to make the truth pop.

Use competitions and prizes with your fundraising team to encourage them and keep the ball rolling.

2. Give Supporters Some Options

Not everyone will be interested in the same money-making scheme, so make fundraising accessible to them, too. 

For example, if you’re throwing an event or selling a product, make arrangements so people can just donate money and skip the rest. Having a variety of options appeals to a broader range of supporters—something for everyone! 

3. Make Your Fundraiser Easily Accessible

Smartphones have opened up a world of fundraising possibilities, so take advantage of that! Texting or emailing—directly from your personal and social media contacts—a link to your fundraiser page. It’ll make people instantly aware. We’re talking donations within minutes.

MoneyDolly also values the power of QR codes in fundraising campaigns. A simple QR code makes it extremely easy for anyone (even Grandma) to see your fundraiser and contribute. Yes, you’ll still have to help Grandma, but the QR code makes it a little easier on you.

4. Track Your Progress Throughout the Fundraiser

Upon reaching your goal, you’ll miss copying that Super Bowl moment when they dump the Gatorade. That is unless you constantly track your fundraiser’s progress. 

Tracking lets you see when it’s time to send out an extra push or more reminder texts. The MoneyDolly app makes it super easy to see your progress, so you never have to add things up by hand—we’ll do it for you with the magic of computers! Or the internet! Or something. Our programmers know how it works, and that’s what matters.

MoneyDolly Is the Key to Unlocking Wildly Successful Fundraisers

MoneyDolly has enough experience to coach you along your fundraising journey. We’re here to help and support you every step of the way.

We’ve given you the steps you need to succeed at fundraising. When you’re ready to start a new fundraising campaign, visit our site and see how digital fundraising works. Let’s work together to take your fundraising efforts to the next level.

Damion Smith-profile 2

Damion Smith

Founder and CEO

Prior to starting MoneyDolly, Damion spent the last 25 years helping teams, schools & organizations raise money while growing multiple companies across the country. He has served in many capacities including Sale Representative, Sales Manager, Senior VP of Sales & President.