How-To’s

If you’ve ever organized a fundraiser, you’ll know that resources are sometimes hard to come by. Fortunately, the Internet has opened a whole new world of information, tools and networking opportunities!

To help save time, we’ve collected a list of some useful How-To’s to use when planning your next great event!

The majority of content was collected from eHow


How to Make a YouTube Video

  1. Record a video using a digital camera, web cam or cell phone. You can edit your movie using programs like Mac’s iMovie or Windows’ MovieMaker to add titles, effects, etc.
  2. Create a YouTube account in order to upload your file. You can find the link to upload in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. With a highspeed connection, it should generally take a few minutes to completely upload your file. Keep in mind, there’s a 100MB and 10 minute length limit.
  3. Resize the video so it looks best in YouTube. The site accepts QuickTime, .MOV, Windows, .AVI or .MPG files at 340×240 resolution.
  4. Create a title, description, tags, category and set language. The more information you add, the easier you’re making your video for other people to find! Of course, be sure to share through other medium online – like Google Video, blogs, Facebook and Twitter!
  5. Remember, don’t post anything that’s copyrighted or libelous. Check the Terms of Service.

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How to Add a Video to Facebook

  1. Login to your Facebook account (if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create an one!). You will see the “What’s on your mind” status bar on your HOME page and PROFILE page. Click within the status bar to see the options to attach either a picture, video, event or link.
  2. Select the video camera icon to attach your video. Choose whether you’d like to record a video from a webcam or upload one from your hard drive. Keep in mind it may take awhile to upload your video depending on the quality and length.
  3. If you see a video on someone else’s profile you’d like to add, simply click on the video to see the different options to share. You can either post the video to your profile or send it to friends in your address book.
  4. You can also add YouTube videos to your Facebook page. Simply find the video you’d like to add and choose the appropriate sharing option listed below the video. Clicking on the Facebook icon will allow you to post the video to your profile or send it to your Facebook friends.
  5. Many other sites (Google Videos, Yahoo Videos, Flickr, etc) also offer sharing options that will allow you to upload to Facebook in much the same way!

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How to Create an Event on Facebook

  1. Login to your Facebook account (if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create one!). Select ‘Events’ from the navigation menu to the left of your HOME page. You will be taken to a page with a list of any event you’re currently planning to attend or have been invited to attend.
  2. Click on “Create an Event”
  3. Fill in all the details about your event. Although you can always edit the details later, try to include as much detail as possible.
  4. Choose a level of access for your event. If the event is ‘open’ – anyone can see the details and add themselves to the guest list. If the event is ‘closed’ – only the time and description will show to uninvited guests. Anyone not already invited would need to send a request in order to see the complete event information. A ‘secret’ event will not appear in search results and will only be viewable to the people you invite.
  5. Click ‘Create Event’ to complete your details.
  6. Upload a photo from your computer hard drive that will best represent your event.
  7. Invite guests! Select friends on Facebook and other users to attend your event. You can also send emails to people not on Facebook to encourage them to join.
  8. Be sure to continue visiting your event page to manage replies, post updated information, send reminders and more!

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How to Write a Successful Press Release

  1. To help identify your release, use your organizational or campaign logo at the top of the page as part of a banner.
  2. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE should be the first lines of your press release. This lets journalists know the news can be printed on the day it is received.
  3. Write the headline. It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. News release headlines should have a “grabber” to attract readers. It may describe the latest achievement of an organization, a recent newsworthy event, a new product or service. Headlines are written in bold and are typically larger than the press release text.
  4. Write the press release body copy. The press release should be written as you want it to appear in a news story. Start with the date and city in which the press release is originated. The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening. The next 1-2 sentences then expand upon the lead. The press release body copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and over use of fancy language and jargon. Remember the four C’s: Clear, Concise, Correct, Complete.
  5. Communicate the five Ws and the H. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. Now from the points gathered, try to construct paragraphs and assemble them sequentially: The headline > the summary or introduction of the news > event or achievements > product > people > again the concluding summary > the company. The more newsworthy you make the press release copy, the better the chances of it being selected by a journalist or reporting.
  6. Include information about the company. When a journalist picks up your press release for a story, he/she would logically have to mention the company in the news article. Journalists can then get the company information from this section, which should be titled – About XYZ_COMPANY.
  7. After the title, use a paragraph or two to describe your company with 5/6 lines each. The text must describe your company, its core business and the business policy. Be sure to include a url to your website.
  8. Add contact information. If your press release is really newsworthy, journalists would surely like more information or would like to interview key people associated with it.
  9. Signal the end of the press release with three # symbols, centered directly underneath the last line of the release. This is a journalistic standard and lets the reader know they have received the entire release.

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How to Write a Motivational Speech

  1. Start by thinking about what it is you’re trying to tell your audience. Ask yourself “What is my message?” Creating a list of key points will help you structure the content of your speech.
  2. Determine your audience. Will you be speaking to adults, children, both? Knowing who you’ll be speaking to will help you communicate your messages more effectively.
  3. Consider the length of your speech. Knowing how long you have to talk will help you decide how long you can spend on each topic.
  4. Create an outline for your speech. Most speeches will look something like this:
    – Introduction
    – Point 1
    – Point 2
    – Point 3

    (the number of points you can make will depend on the length of your speech)
    – Conclusion
    (where you recap the main points of your speech. Remember, you want to leave your audience feeling energized!)
  5. Use key ‘action’ words throughout your speech: initiate, generate, inspire, accomplish, challenge, achieve, strive, compel, focus, etc. Be sure to tie these words into your key messages as you write your speech.
  6. Be sure to tell personal stories! People will relate to your journey – your challenges and achievements. Remember, this is your speech – so be sure to help others relate to what you’re saying by making a personal appeal.
  7. Proofread your speech! Practicing it out loud will help you find any awkward sentences, grammar or spelling errors and help you gauge the overall flow.
  8. Have someone else read the speech and practice in front of a test audience. This will help you practice your timing, where best to insert small pauses for effect – and see the impact of your messages.

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How to Write a Fundraising Letter

  1. Before you start your letter, be sure you have a clear idea of what you’re asking for (donations, services, support, etc).
  2. Look at who you’ll be sending your letter to – knowing your audience will help you communicate your messages more effectively.
  3. Begin your letter by telling your story. Sincerely answer “who” “what” “where and “why.”
  4. Communicate the need for support through stories, experiences or positive outcomes. Illustrating the benefits of continued support will help demonstrate the importance of continued giving.
  5. Be sure to include details about what the money (or services, support, etc) will be used for. This will help donors understand how their contributions will benefit your cause.
  6. Include information about any benefits to the donor – what do they get in return? Showing potential donors what they stand to gain may help entice them to give.
  7. Don’t forget to include your thanks! If you’re looking for support, remember to thank those who have helped you – or may help you in the future.
  8. Like any letter you write, make sure you proofread! Spellcheck, look for any grammatical errors and share it with others so they can do the same.

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How to Write a Public Service Announcement (PSA)

  1. Public Service Announcements are advertisements that announce community events, charity events or support not-for-profit organizations. They are similar to press releases, but not as detailed. Public radio an television stations are required to donate a certain amount of time to running PSAs.
  2. The type of PSA you create will depend on whether you’re writing a radio script or creating a PSA to be aired on television. Be sure you have a good idea about the length of your PSA, the audience where it will be aired and what you’re hoping to achieve. This will help you communicate your messages more effectively.
  3. Capture the attention of your audience by making the ad relevant to them at the beginning of the annoucement. Ask questions or make brief points that will help your audience identify with the cause or event.
  4. List the essential information listeners or viewers need to know. Think about who should attend or get involved, what it’s about, where it’s happening, when and why. Give directions or a clear point of reference for an event location. For example, “located next to Wal-Mart on the strip.”
  5. Use emotion to encourage your audience to get involved. Choose words that describe how the audience, or those benefiting from the support, will feel as a result of their participation.
  6. Call the audience to action. Do you what them to make a monetary contribution, attend an event or volunteer their time? Make it clear what you expect the audience to do after listening to your message.
  7. Include contact information, such as a name and phone number or a website address where people can get more information. Repeat information that may be difficult to remember, such as the phone number or web address.
  8. Read your script out loud and have someone time you. Some stations only air 10-second PSAs, while others will air 30- or 60-second messages. Adjust your script accordingly.

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How to Design a Poster

  1. Start by jotting down a few ideas about what you’d like your poster to look like. What colours or images will you use? What information do you need to include, etc. Be sure the “theme” of your poster reflects your event or cause. You want the two to be easily identifyable.
  2. Decide on the focus of your poster. Are you announcing an event? A sale? Are you just trying to create awareness? Pick one thing to make your poster about. Too many ideas and promotions on one poster will just cause confusion. You want to clearly define your call to action so your audience knows what’s expected of them.
  3. Pick a poster size! The size you choose will depend on where you plan to hang it – you’ll want to choose a size that will make it clearly visible to help catch people’s attention. Keep in mind, many places have rules about the size of poster you can display, be sure to check before you post!
  4. Choose a great graphic or photo for your poster. Posters are meant to be seen, not read. Posters filled with too many words aren’t as appealing as those with a great photo to draw people in. Choose a photo to dominate the background of the poster and place your text around it accordingly.
  5. Another option would be to create a collage of photos. If you’re going to use more than one photo, be sure to pick the best one to be the overall focus. Eyes need cues as to what to look at first. Size is usually one of the best indicators, so you can make that particular image slightly larger than the rest.
  6. Remember these four key elements of design:
    Contrast: If you want a particular portion of your poster to stand out – make it very different from the rest.
    Repitition: Be sure the overall style of the poster is consistent throughout the entire page. Too many different elements will leave it looking messy and confusing.
    Alignment: Everything on the page needs to be visually connected to something else. Nothing should be out of place or distinct from all other design elements.
    Proximity: Proximity creates related meaning. Elements that are related should be grouped together, whereas separate design elements should have enough space between them to communicate they are different.
  7. Don’t forget to look online! The Internet is full of fantastic (and free!) resources, templates, design tips and more!

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How to Budget a Fundraising Event

  1. Lay out your fundraising event itinerary. Create a solid plan for the event time line, location and attendance expectation. If a meal is involved, know how much the venue is charging, how many people you’ll be feeding and if any gratuity is expected. The more details you include in your itinerary, the clearer picture you’ll have of costs to be covered.
  2. List your incidentals. Things like decorations, door prizes and snacks can add up – so make sure you know what is essential and what you could cut back on to keep your costs as low as possible.
  3. Outline your publicity needs. Successful fundraisers include a lot of pre-event publicity – flyers, mailing, posters and advertising. You could spend a lot of money on publicity, so make a list of everything you need beforehand.
  4. Appeal to local TV, newspaper and radio stations. By sharing your story and your cause, you may catch the attention of someone willing to share your story. Try writing a PSA – some radio and television stations must run a certain amount of public service programming each week.
  5. Don’t forget the Internet – social media has made it even easier to build networks, connect with people and share news in real-time. Try sites like Facebook and Twitter or even start your own blog!
  6. Solicit donations or services. Take a look at your list and pick out anything you think you can get for free or at a reduced rate. Local businesses may also be willing to donate their services. This could include discounts on printing costs, food or equipment rentals.
  7. Contact corporate sponsors. Be sure to solicit corporate sponsors well in advance of your event. Send a letter to the company explaining your fundraiser, outlining how they can get involved and the benefits of their sponsorship. Follow up with phone calls. Outline various sponsorship options and amounts to appeal to a wide variety of companies.
  8. Be sure to keep a close watch on any money coming in – as well as your expenses. Don’t spend more money than you expect to make and be sure to cut back on your expenditures as much as possible!

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How to Organize Volunteers

  1. Define your mission. From your mission, create a list of key areas of focus to complete your task or objective. Knowing these areas of support will help you recruit volunteers who are passionate about the work.
  2. Once you have a list of volunteers for each area, set up officers. Define each officer who will run each main functional area – social, service, membership, etc. Your officers should be dedicated to the task at hand and help you manage any additional volunteers assisting with each area.
  3. Define your events. Create a timeline and list of tasks to be completed by each area. Officers can help delegate tasks amongst volunteers, as well as ensure tasks are being completed by their pre-determined deadlines. Task lists and outlines of responsibilities will be invaluable to help keep track of items that need to be completed and to ensure the members of your team understand what is expected of them. Be sure to update these items and review them with your volunteers regularly.
  4. Hold regular meetings. It’s important to calendar, say, every third Tuesday of the month as a regular time to meet. Not everyone will be able to come each time, but creating a regular date will help ensure the best attendance. Use meetings as an opportunity to connect with your volunteers – and your volunteers to socialize with the rest of the team. People tend to work best together when they know each other well.
  5. Communicate about ongoing events, changes to plans, news about other areas or other bits of information. Use email or social media to update members to help keep them engaged and informed.
  6. Be sure to thank your volunteers regularly. A card, a party, a tribute in a newsletter – it’s important that your volunteers feel appreciated for their work. A little gratitude will go a long way!

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How to Track your Goals

  1. If you haven’t already, make a list of your goals. Putting them on paper will help make them clear and concrete.
  2. Evaluate your goals. Make sure they are personal and attainable. Ask yourself if the goal is something you really desire or only something you want to please others. Be sure to keep in mind how attainable your goals are. If your goals are ambitious, be sure you make a list of the steps you can take to help you get there. It’s always very easy to talk ourselves out of something that may seem “hard” at the time – creating a plan will help provide extra motivation for your success!
  3. Find someone who will hold you accountable for your success or failure. Be sure to pick someone (or a team) who will offer plenty of positive encouragement. Knowing you have someone to answer to may help keep you motivated on your less enthusiastic days. Having extra people who support you can also help you see a different perspective or new solutions to problems you may face.
  4. Break your goals into manageable, actionable steps. A person who wants to find a new job might decide to create a polish a resume then send it out to a certain number of companies per week. What’s important is that you have a concrete path to follow toward your ultimate goal. Set these actionable steps to a timeline. Creating deadlines will help you organize your time and mark your progress.
  5. Continue to schedule your results. Pick a timeframe for when you want to accomplish each step toward your goal and mark it on a calendar. Stick to your deadlines and check things off as they’re completed.
  6. Reward yourself whenever you accomplish one of the steps to your goal. A little celebrating will help keep you motivated!

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