Jan 10, 2022

Setting Yourself Up for Success: How To Use the Route to Success Guide


Are you wondering how to run a successful fundraiser? Planning and hosting fundraising events is truly a labor of love. Planning your organization’s events and other fundraising efforts shouldn’t mean months of organizing and strategizing in anticipation for one event that you simply hope pays off in the biggest ways. Successful fundraising takes a year-round commitment. That’s where the route to success guide comes in. If you think of your fundraising strategy as a journey, then GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide is your roadmap to success. 

What Is the Route to Success Guide?  

The route to success guide is an all-encompassing road map for your fundraising and charitable giving efforts. GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide offers your organization a plethora of helpful advice centered around the best ways to manage your nonprofit fundraising strategy.

Did you know that the top reason people donate is that someone they know, who they’re close to personally or professionally, asked them to donate to their cause? This makes connecting with your donors on a personal level all the more important. Networking is the key to raising funds for your organization and reaching your donation goals. The fundraising guide offers tips, resources, and advice for networking with your donors and creating a plan that works for your organization. 

Think of the guide as your roadmap to accomplishing your mission. GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide provides inside information for fundraising across five essential areas: 

  1. Events
  2. Giving days and donation campaigns
  3. Social giving
  4. Corporate giving and sponsorships
  5. Memberships, recurring giving, and stewardship

Success in these five areas of fundraising is essential to reaching your organization’s goals. GiveSmart’s route to success guide is filled with links to helpful resources such as webinars, blogs, and articles designed to help you plan, organize and manage your organization’s fundraising campaigns. Each section offers some helpful advice complete with links to GiveSmart’s range of resources. 

How the Route to Success Guide Can Help  

GiveSmart’s route to success guide is your roadmap to planning a successful fundraising campaign or event. You’ll find that your journey goes much smoother when you have a clear plan of attack and a set of goals designed to get your charity or organization where you need to go.

Let’s break down the ways GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide offers solutions that help your organization reach its goals. 

1. Events

The guide starts by offering a few tips for successfully planning, marketing, and managing your fundraising campaign events. Many organizations utilize annual or semi-annual events such as galas or golf outings and tournaments for large fundraising sources. Learn how to successfully sell tickets, organize galas and reach your organizational goals by hosting events.    

2. Giving Days and Donation Campaigns  

Whether you’re targeting donors during national days of giving or by using an embedded website donation form, GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide is full of helpful hints that will supercharge your fundraising campaigns. Creatively exploring fundraising opportunities means finding ways to tie national appreciation events such as Teacher Appreciation Week to your organization’s mission and goals. 

3. Social Giving  

Harnessing the power of social giving includes utilizing social media as well as one-on-one outreach to fuel your nonprofit fundraising strategy. Successfully planning and launching a social giving campaign is vital to reaching your goals and your organization’s overall success. GiveSmart’s social giving resources will help you discover new ways to tie your organization’s goals to social events, reach donors on a personal level and launch successful online fundraising campaigns. Learn how to utilize powerful social tools such as peer-to-peer fundraising and Amazon Smile to help fuel your fundraising efforts with links to webinars, articles, and online tools.

4. Corporate Giving and Sponsorships  

One of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal is corporate partnerships and giving. Fundraiser success is a group effort, and local corporate sponsors need to be part of that group. GiveSmart’s resources for harnessing the power of corporate sponsorships include on-demand webinars, podcasts, and blogs designed to help you get the most out of your support from local business sponsors and other corporate partnerships. 

5. Memberships, Recurring Giving and Stewardship

This is an important and often overlooked aspect of fundraising campaigns. Your charitable organization needs a steady stream of revenue to reach its goals and fulfill its mission. Recurring donors give 42 percent more than one-time supporters, which makes them a vital aspect of your organization’s fundraising mission and yearly campaigns. Offering special membership perks and keeping your donors updated on your goals is an important aspect of engaging your supporters. GiveSmart’s Route to Success guide offers helpful ways you can implement recurring giving strategies as well as build and sustain those increasingly important relationships with your donors.  

Important Information for Your Fundraising Route to Success   

Success in the five areas outlined above is crucial to your fundraising efforts. But how do you plan to be successful in each area? Let’s look at some of the steps you’ll need to take to find your route to success.

Defining Your Fundraising Goals  

This might seem redundant, but you’ll want to define your fundraising goals before doing anything else. Does your organization need tangible goods such as coats in the winter or shoes and backpacks for back-to-school, or do you need money designated for families struggling after a natural disaster? You’ll want to clearly define your fundraising goals before asking donors for money or supplies. 

Raising Awareness  

After defining your fundraising goals, it’s time to start raising awareness for your cause. This is obviously where social media plays a big role, but you can also think of this step as the marketing and advertising aspect of your fundraising campaign. 

Your creativity will come into play here as you plan ways to reach potential donors through various incentives. For example, you might pledge to shave your head during a live stream or dye your hair a fun color if a goal is reached. 

To market your organization’s mission and fundraising cause, you should consider using a combination of traditional and digital marketing methods. Traditional marketing methods such as flyers, banners, and roadside signs combined with digital methods such as social media posts and banners on a partner or corporate sponsor website will help you supercharge awareness for your cause and spread the word to potential donors.  

Raising awareness for your organization, your cause, and your fundraising events should be a top priority year-round.   

Planning and Launching Your Fundraising Events  

The next step in your fundraising route to success is the planning and launching of actual events. Whether your events are annual or semi-annual, there is a lot of planning, organizing, and volunteer hours that go into making your events as successful as they can be. You’ll want to define the ways your organization plans to reach out to your potential donors to advertise and market your events. Be sure to clearly state the ways they can help make a difference at an event. You’ll need to convince them to attend your event and show them how it’s for a worthy cause. 

Whether it’s through galas, golf outings, public events, and sales or one-on-one donor contact, you’ll want a clear plan for any upcoming fundraising events. Selling tickets, holding silent mobile auctions, and providing your guests with a memorable giving experience are top priorities for large fundraising events. The route to success guide offers examples of events you can consider as well as links to helpful resources, blogs and other materials designed to make your fundraising events the best and most productive they can be.   

Keeping Your Donors Updated  

Staying in touch with your donors and keeping them updated on your goals is essential to your organization’s sustained success. One of the best ways to do this is by offering updates regarding milestones and whether you reached a goal or fell short. Keep your donors in the loop regarding the ways your organization used their generosity to help others and provide consistent updates to your members and corporate sponsors. Recurring donors tend to donate more than first-time donors, so offering memberships is one of the best ways to continue growing your mission and helping others. 

This is also where social media and online channels such as your organization’s website come into play. Use your digital tools to consistently update donors and potential donors on your progress toward a goal as well as your most recent achievements. Creating a blog or news section on your website is a terrific option for keeping members and donors updated with all of the latest milestones as well. GiveSmart’s route to success guide provides you with some helpful ways to stay in touch with donors and members as a way to help create stewardship.  

Benefits of Having a Route to Success Plan   

Thinking of the route to success guide as a packing list for your fundraising journey that will help you fulfill your mission. Having a route to success plan is a great way to supercharge your fundraising efforts and keep your organization on track to reaching its goals, but there’s more to having a plan than simply raising money. Here are a few of the benefits of having a route to success plan. 

A Route to Success Plan Keeps You Focused    

Having a clear plan in place is a great way to keep you and your team focused on your goal. A fundraiser strategy sets clear goals, defines roles within your organization, and answers those inevitable questions that always seem to pop up along the way. When you have a route to success plan, you’ll help your team stay focused and your organization drive toward its goals. 

A Route to Success Plan Will Help You Raise More Money  

Raising money, driving donations, and reaching your goals is the name of the game, and a route to success plan will help you do just that. When you have a clear set of goals with detailed steps for how you plan to reach those goals, your journey is much more streamlined. Developing a plan and sticking to it will raise more money and drive donations for your organization. The fundraising route to success offers ways to maximize your donations while minimizing obstacles. 

A route to success plan is also a great way to prioritize funding opportunities. In the beginning, it’s tempting to jump on every funding opportunity that comes your organization’s way, but this isn’t always the best approach and often leads to a disorganized attempt at reaching your fundraising goals. When you sit back waiting for opportunities to come your way, you’re not focusing your efforts on any one funding source. You’ll find yourself bouncing all over the place, which brings us to our next point.  

A Route to Success Plan Keeps You Proactive  

Having a route to success plan is like having a roadmap that details exactly where you’re going and exactly how you’ll get there. Instead of having a reactionary mindset, a route to success plan keeps your organization constantly moving forward with a proactive approach to reaching your goals. Fundraiser success often depends on hours of volunteer work where you hope everyone is doing what’s needed and hope it pays off in the end. 

A proactive approach to this clearly defines what is expected of you, your team, and other members of your organization such as volunteers. Developing a strong route to success plan for your organization is a great way to minimize obstacles and answer questions or address issues before they arise. 

A Route to Success Plan Helps You Build Relationships

Organizing and implementing a route to success plan will ultimately help you build better relationships with your donors and corporate sponsors. This is an understated yet incredibly important aspect of the fundraising process. As we stated earlier, repeat donors are likely to give more and spread your organization’s good word to others. This means you need to prioritize your communications and overall relationships with your donors and members. 

Having a route to success plan leads to healthier relationships with important donors and corporate sponsors by clearly identifying and targeting those businesses and individuals you’d like to partner with. As you set your fundraising goals and work to meet those goals, you’ll also be able to identify possible partnerships. A route to success plan clarifies those businesses and corporations you plan to target for a partnership and outlines steps for fostering that relationship.  

Learn More About GiveSmart Today

Are you ready to take your fundraising efforts to the next level? At GiveSmart, our mission is to help nonprofits and organizations just like yours reach their fundraising goals while providing a lasting and meaningful giving experience for their donors and partners all year round.

We provide the technology that helps organizations manage events, sell tickets and gather the data they need to create positive change in the world. GiveSmart is the best-in-class fundraising and nonprofit technology solution designed to streamline all of your organization’s fundraising efforts.

Learn more about the ways GiveSmart’s leading technology can take your organization’s mission to new heights!   


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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County