Fundraising isn’t always straightforward or easy; however, with these twelve tips, you can be ensured that your fundraising efforts are a success.

Tip One: Start early.

The sooner you begin asking for money, the more you will raise, the greater chance you have of meeting your goal. Start raising money for spring sports in the winter, fall sports early in the year, and winter sports in the spring. This will ensure that you have plenty of time and a greater opportunity for success.

Tip Two: Set an attainable, yet challenging, goal.

You should have some idea of how much you think you can raise in how much time. Do some research in advance and then set a goal that is a bit of a stretch, but possible. If you notice that you are getting too close to your goal, or reaching it too quickly, consider raising it so people will still feel inspired to donate.

Tip Three: Reach out to everyone.

Contact everyone you know to ask for a donation. Begin with your address book, then turn to your email account address book, then turn to social media. You’d be surprised not only by how many people you know, but also by how many people are willing to donate to a cause in which a friend is involved.

Tip Four: Customize your emails.

Access the signature line of your email to include a link to your fundraiser. Or do one better by utilizing an email template to create a personal story about your fundraising situation. Why are you raising money? Why is it important to you? Where does the money go? What is your goal?

Tip Five: Send regular emails.

Create an email schedule and follow it. First send out an introductory email announcing your fundraising project. Secondly, send an email asking for donations. Send a third email with an update on your progress. And finally, send a last chance email for final donations.

Tip Six: Ask and then ask again.

Ask and continue asking for donations. If someone requests that you remind them, be sure to do it! In fact, many people will forget unless you take it upon yourself to remind them of your fundraiser and ask again (and again!) if they are willing or able to donate to your cause.

Tip Seven: Customize your web site.

Create and customize a personal fundraising web page. Sites are free or inexpensive to create and host online, and well worth the publicity they can offer. Post photos, videos, and other content to draw people into your personal story and fundraising issue. Be sure to share your site!

Tip Eight: Utilize social media.

Post updates on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn account to update family, friends, and coworkers about your fundraising efforts.  Provide a direct link to your web site where they can provide a donation if they choose.

Tip Nine: Get creative.

Be creative in your fundraising efforts. Pass out pencils, magnets, or other low-cost items in an attempt to bring people to your fundraising site and draw attention to your issue or cause. Hold a movie night, a formal gala, or seasonal event to raise awareness.

Tip Ten: Get help.

No one can do it alone. Get help from volunteers, friends, or others with an interest in your cause. There is power in numbers.

Tip Eleven: Stay focused.

While it may feel overwhelming at times and you may think you’ll never reach your goal, remind yourself why you started this journey. And don’t forget all of the people that you will help with your fundraising efforts.

Tip Twelve: Say thank you.

Whether you do it after each donation or at the end of your fundraising event, it is important to take the time to personally say “thank you” to everyone who donated and helped out. Consider sending personalized cards or making phone calls to your supporters. Don’t forget, you may need their help again next year!