Tight Budget? Clinic Fundraising Works!
What’s on your wish list? Do you want to purchase new equipment or add more services or staff members, beyond what the budget allows? Typical budget cycles in hospitals and universities involve a long process, and the chance to get approval for your request usually only comes around once per year. Not to mention that even once the budget is approved, it might not include what you want.
You can get your clinic goals fully funded without wrestling with the budget cycle. Venturing outside traditional funding means that your staff can get everything they need to deliver the service you envision. It can also mean that all the bills are paid. You can start growing a fund for future projects to grow and differentiate your clinic.
Have you considered that you just might have a community of donors that you haven’t tapped into yet? You could have a new stream of funding that you hadn’t considered.
Host an event
Here are a few events that put the fun in clinic fundraising:
- Ask local businesses or people in your network to donate items or services, and highlight them as donors.
- 5K walk/run. Use this guide to host your own running event and get sponsors.
- School alumni events, like networking, happy hour, tailgate, watch party, etc.
- Bake sale
- Car wash
- See these great examples of walkathons raising money.
- Golf tournament
- Giving day. Auburn University recently hosted Tiger Giving Day to purchase a BTE Eccentron for rehabilitating athletes from lower extremity injuries using negative resistance. So far, they have exceeded their goal by more than 40%!
Some events allow for additional fundraising opportunities, such as raffles or coupon books. Raffles can be 50/50 splits, in which the winner gets half of the ticket money raised and your organization gets the other half. For a fun carnival twist, a balloon raffle gives away the raffle ticket inside a balloon, and participants pop their balloon to find out if they won. You can keep costs down by getting local businesses or supporters to donate raffle prizes.
Selling coupon books is another great way to raise funds while offering something of value to your supporters. They’re easy to do, and low maintenance for you.
These are just a few of the most common examples for productive fundraising. And the best news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are many experienced fundraising companies that are easy to access and willing to help.
Crowdfunding for non-profits
Crowdfunding has skyrocketed in the last few years. With campaigns from Kickstarter and GoFundMe, it’s easier than ever to fundraise online. Crowdfunding online is inexpensive, requires minimal set up, and can boost your social media presence at the same time. A few crowdfunding websites for non-profits are Fundly, Donorsearch, Classy, Crowdride, and Rally.
Encourage supporters to share your campaign with their network online to reach exponentially more people.
Whether you’re hosting a big event or doing a simple crowdfund, you want to follow a few key principles of fundraising. Make your fundraising campaign successful by telling your organization’s story, asking for support, thanking your donors, and building donor relationships.
Tell your story
Telling your story engages your audience, and educates them at the same time. At a live event, start with a powerful, short speech – a 30-second version of who your organization is and what you do. Focus on how you’re changing lives in simple terms. Be prepared to share a story about a specific person your organization has helped. Remember that the best stories are short and interesting, so don’t overload on details.
Ask for support
No matter how wonderful your cause is, you must askfor the support or donation. Consider asking several times throughout an event and using a variety of tactics. Follow up with letters, emails, and face-to-face asks. Tie the ask to something tangible, as in, “Your gift of $1.81 will provide a homeless person with a hot meal.”
Thank the donor
You must get this piece right! Send out a thank-you letter to each donor within 2 days of their donation if possible. Add a hand-written note or a phone call, and you deepen the impact of that follow up. A timely, warm thank-you note serves many purposes. First, it lets the donor know you got their check. Second, it builds trust and respect in the relationship, which brings us to the next point.
You must build relationships with donors if you want to engage them again in the future. Engage your donors as partners in your work and treat them with respect. One key to building relationships is to maintain regular communication. Create a plan for how and when you will communicate with your donors.
The key is to think carefully about each component in the fundraising campaign to make sure you are doing the best job you can. And when you do that, you’re on your way to raising the money needed to meet your goals.
As you consider some options for fundraising, there are a few things you need to consider in order to be as successful as possible. You must have:
- Strong leadership. Your organization must have a strong director. Without strong leaders, fundraising will be difficult.
- Compelling mission. YOU must believe your fundraising objective is worthwhile and deserves attention, and you must be able to communicate it to others.
- Passion for the cause.You must be passionate for your fundraising’s cause. If you don’t care deeply, how do you expect others to care and to donate?
- The right mindset. Your attitude must be positive, and you must believe that the support you are looking for is out there.
- Donor-centered fundraising. Your fundraising must be focused on your potential donors, and your activities must seek to build relationships with them.
In short, successful fundraising campaigns tell a story that resonates, have a simple and organized collection process, and utilize networks to maximize reach. There are many fundraising methods to choose fromandplenty of professional help to get started. You don’t have to go it alone.
Stop waiting for budget approvals, and take clinic funding into your own hands!
Director of Provider and Product Management