Running a successful fundraiser, regardless of your cause, requires plenty of expertise. Planning the event or activity, finding the right audience, and organizing rewards should all be part of the equation. But without the right materials, you still may not get the results you need.

Ultimately, fundraising succeeds (and fails) based on the printed materials used to encourage donations. Use the right custom-designed products, and you can create a stand-out fundraiser.

Consider these ideas and tips to get you started and help your upcoming fundraiser become a success.

  1. Find The Right Materials For Your Purpose

First, look for materials that match the fundraiser you’re about to hold. Your options for potential printed pieces and fund collections are seemingly endless, so it’s a good idea to make sure you use only materials that can actually help you raise money.

For example, merchant tickets make sense for any school, team, or organization that is looking to get their members involved in the fundraising effort. On the other hand, order cards work better when the reward is an actual product from a business with whom you partner.

There is no such thing as the best fundraising product. The benefits of the materials available depend entirely on your needs. Always assess these needs before moving to the next step.

  1. Design With Your Audience In Mind

Custom-designing fundraising products is an effective fundraising strategy. You want to get your organization’s logo on the cover, along with information and visuals specific to your team. But designing fundraising products, as is the case with any other type of graphic design, should be done with your audience in mind. In other words, you need to make sure that every visual and block of text on your materials actually works toward convincing your audience to donate.

This emphasis is similar to the eternal “features versus benefits” discussion in marketing. Rather than simply talking about yourself, talk about the cause that the fundraising will further. Try to establish a personal connection to potential donors, easing their decision about whether or not to contribute money to the cause.

  1. Keep A Consistent And Unique Look

As with any type of promotional activity, fundraising is ultimately about branding. For maximum success, you want (and need) to create an identity for your fundraiser that is easy for your audience to recognize. For your custom-designed product, that means maintaining a look for each of your printed materials that is both consistent and unique.

Consistency ensures that, over time, your audience will more easily recognize what their money is going toward and become more likely to donate as a result. Meanwhile, the uniqueness factor helps your fundraiser stand out from other organizations that engage in similar events.

Almost every school’s sports teams use some type of fundraising to sponsor trips and outings. If you’re not careful, or shy away from custom products, you risk failing to distinguish yourself from other schools in the area or even other sports teams in the same school. The more exact (and unique) your materials are, the more likely your audience will be to engage with them.

  1. Partner With Merchants & Communicate Those Partnerships

As mentioned above, most fundraisers include at least some type of partnership with merchants in the community. Whether you offer discounts to your audience in the form of a merchant ticket or help bring customers to a local business through order forms, you need these partnerships to attract your donors.

As it turns out, your custom-designed fundraising products are the perfect opportunity to communicate those partnerships. Don’t be afraid to highlight the local restaurant or fashion boutique that’s working with you to raise the funds. Among your audience, you will find plenty of potential donors who know and/or love the businesses with whom you’re partnering. Clearly featuring them on your materials tells your audience exactly what makes giving money to your cause worth it for them.

  1. Create A Sense Of Belonging Among Donors

Finally, the most effective fundraisers are the ones that allow your audience to feel like they’re part of your team. That sense of belonging is one of our basic psychological desires, and your potential donors will be much more likely to spend money on your cause if doing so can help them feel like they’re really helping their community.

Pre-donation materials, like merchant tickets and order forms, don’t necessarily communicate that sense. They’re functional above all, providing your audience with the tangible benefits of becoming a donor. To add an intangible advantage, consider a custom-designed product like a plastic gold card.

Naturally, you can use this type of material as a discount or gift card. You can also enhance it with a design that implies anyone who carries is a part of your donor group. This type of membership card, in fact, can be all the motivation your audience needs to donate again once the next round of fundraising rolls around.

Of course, for maximum success, your plastic/membership card should include the same design as the rest of your fundraising products, adding to the consistency mentioned above. If you organize and plan your fundraiser holistically, you have a greater chance of maximizing the impact that your custom-designed products can make in the process.

Fundraising is both an art and a science. Depending on your organization, your cause, and your audience, every fundraiser is unique. At the same time, a number of general practices do help in giving the planning process direction and making your event or activity successful. The above tips can help you maximize the impact of your custom-designed fundraising products, helping to raise more money and make a lasting impact on your community.