I'm scared because I've never fundraised before; what's your best advice for someone who is just starting out, or what would you do if you were in this situation?

1. Own it.

I think the first thing you need to do is realize the reason you're fundraising is good and it's worth it. Just like, if I had demonstrated demand for something I made and I decided to start a business around it, the first people I'd tell is my family and close friends. Then I wouldn't be shy at all about sharing how my product can help people who need it.

And I definitely wouldn't present my new business as a necessary evil, or something you'd probably want to avoid. It's a generous thing to share an opportunity for others to give and create positive change in someone else's life.

2. Plan it.

I would sit down and sketch out how this might go, even if it's in total ignorance. Just thinking through the order of what I need to do and when I need to do it is acutely beneficial.

As best as I could, I would try to plan fundraising through to the end - reaching my goal and even sustaining that goal. I would have no real basis for my expectations, so it would be critical to set some kind of benchmarks along the way in order to make the right adjustments throughout the process.

3. Share it.

The older I get, the more I've realized success in almost anything depends almost singularly on involving the people who have been there and know what to do. I would absolutely have as many conversations as possible with those who are more knowledgable about fundraising and who ideally have done it successfully. I'd show them my plans and ask them to give me some advice on what seems unrealistic or what's missing from my current plan.

Realize the reason you're fundraising is good and it's worth it.

Don't be afraid of the fundraising process. Show excitement and purpose behind your mission, this allows others to become a significant part of the ministry you'll continue for the next few years, or longer. 

 

Kiley Hawkins, Co-Founder

On the weekends, when I’m not cheering on the Liverpool Football Club, you’ll find me working outside on my farm. At Tailored, I get most excited about helping organizations achieve alignment around their mission. It's a privilege to be a part of other organizations by thinking strategically and creatively to connect funding and impact.


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