A Basic Guide to Fundraising

How to raise Funds for communities & causes

Whether you're hosting your first fundraiser event or just need a step-by-step checklist to show to your colleagues or team, we've got the tool for you. Sunset Hill Stoneware's guide to fundraising shows a basic overview of everything you need to do to prepare for your event and make your fundraiser successful.

1. Know Your Organization's Objectives

Does your organization need to raise funds in order to stay active, purchase an important new piece of equipment or another necessity for your business? Make sure that’s clear from the start—along with how much money you’ll need to get the job done.

Along with this, assess whether this fundraising event has any additional goals. This could include good publicity, connecting with your audience or establishing good relations with your community.

Parts and labor for your event should not be an afterthought. Determine your final fundraising goal after expenses are deducted.

2. Choose Your Method

Some fundraiser formats are more successful than others. Here are just a few that tend to have high participation or profit margins:

  • Charity runs
  • Tournaments
  • Athletic contests
  • Spirit wear sales
  • Silent auctions
  • Loud auctions
  • Chili cookoffs
  • Bake sales
  • Spaghetti dinners

3. Event Setup

Get together with your team and coordinate the five W’s and H of your event. 

  • Who will the fundraiser benefit? Who participates? 
  • What is the itinerary? This includes other factors like catering, schedules and more. 
  • When is the event? 
  • Where is the venue?
  • Why are you hosting this fundraiser? This is a good time to review your objectives.
  • How do you and your team plan to meet your overall goal and smaller, step-by-step goals? 

4. Market Your Event

Whether it’s through Facebook, emails or bulletins in your organization’s newsletters, there are ways to make the public aware of your fundraising event.

Develop a detailed marketing plan. This might include fliers, mail invitations, social media ads, word of mouth and more.

Remember who your  target audience is when you’re developing your fundraiser’s marketing strategy. You’ll market to local businesses differently than you would to parents or the general public.

5. Coordinate Sales

Your event might involve selling tickets, direct donations, contribution levels or other methods to bring money into the fundraiser.

Have a designated individual to coordinate these efforts, and work with them to decide whether there is a flat rate for participation, pricing for different items or different tiers of incentives for your donors.

6. Rehearse the Event

Preparing for the big event might not require a full rehearsal, but it’s important to debrief everyone involved and make sure they know what to expect.

Keep your team informed of what their responsibilities are during the event, along with where they should be. Make sure everyone knows when they’re needed and where. If necessary, test equipment ahead of the big event to reduce the risk of something not working during the fundraiser.

7. Show Gratitude

All staff, including volunteers, should be prepared to thank your participants at the event whenever appropriate. That goes along with showing courtesy in general—nobody likes rude staff, especially since they’re the face of your organization at the event. A “thank you” and a polite smile goes a long way.

After the event is over, send thank-you notes to everyone who made your event possible. You may want to send a note or small gift to:

  • Contributors
  • Staff
  • Volunteers
  • Vendors

To download the guide for yourself, submit your email in the form on the right. To find out how we've helped police departments, fire departments, religious groups and more with fundraising, check out our blog.

To order custom beer mugs or coffee mugs for your organization's fundraiser, get a free proof of what your artwork would look like on a mug or call 800-509-4662 to speak with a member of our customer care team.