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Pros & Cons of a Public-Facing Fundraising Goal Banner

The Pros & Cons of Public-Facing Fundraising Goals

Did you know that Americans gave $471 billion to charities in 2020? This large number shows the sheer volume of people that wish to do good. Many people like to find a cause to donate to that is impactful to their personal life—hopefully, that’s your cause!

One fundraising strategy you can employ is to state a public-facing fundraising goal, where potential donors can see how much money you are raising. There are several pros and cons you should consider when deciding to use a public-facing goal as part of your fundraising strategy. Read on to find out if this is the right option for your organization!

Pro: Fundraising Goals motivate Donors to give more

People love collaboration, and feeling like they are working together to make something big happen for your organization can be a great motivator. When donors see the progress you are making towards your goal, they have a visual of how much more needs to be given. This incentivizes them to do their part, so they know they made a difference.

A great example of this is a building being built. Let’s say the goal is to raise $250,000. Donors know that each contribution they make will go toward that building. Being able to eventually see the result of the funds they contributed—the finished building—can be of great help.

Con: Donors may question what the Funds will be used for

When you publicly state your fundraising goal, donors have the opportunity to question what that money will be used for. Without knowing the specifics of your foundation’s operations, they may reason away that the amount of money stated as your goal is not needed.

Many people do not realize that successful nonprofits also have operating costs. For example, spending money marketing a fundraiser will make the campaign likely to bring in more money. Paying executives more than average may bring in stronger talent that can lead to a better fundraiser with a higher donation rate.

When your financial goal is displayed for the public to see, it is also open to the public’s opinions. People not well versed in nonprofit operations can easily decide not to donate to your fundraiser because of their incorrect perceptions of how the funds will be used.

Pro: If your Goal is not met, you can extend your Fundraiser

Fundraising campaigns often run for a range of dates. Once that time has elapsed, your campaign comes to a close, and the time to welcome standard donations begins. However, setting a public-facing fundraising goal can allow your organization to push the event beyond its planned timeline.

Having a set dollar figure as your goal is a great reason to extend your fundraising campaign for longer. Your organization can clearly state how much more needs to be earned, and incentivize donors to finish the goal together.

Con: Fundraising Goals may cause big Donors to scale back their Donations

There are five main types of donors: loved ones, casual givers, cause contributors, community crusaders, and big fish. The big fish category makes up big foundations and corporations that often contribute the largest dollar figures to your fundraising campaigns.

Let’s say Company Blue wants to donate $25,000 to the local animal shelter in 2022. If the animal shelter sets a fundraising goal of $20,000, Company Blue may scale back its contribution. Setting a public-facing fundraising goal may make donors think that amount is ALL your organization needs.

Pro: Public-Facing Fundraising Goals create buzz within your target Group

Having a public-facing fundraising goal is a great way to create buzz about your fundraising campaign! Keeping the public apprised of your progress towards your goal will make them feel like part of your process.

This can be a great tool to use in social media campaigns as well! Interactive posts can allow your donors to see the contribution they make as they give. Creating a buzz around your fundraising campaign keeps people talking about it, and motivates people involved to work together and reach your desired goal.

Con: Once your Goal is met, Donors may not be motivated to give more

With a public-facing fundraising goal, there is often a lot of hype and collaboration in reaching that magic number. However, after your goal is met, donor support quickly drops off.

If you are part of a nonprofit organization, you know that the goal is to raise as much as possible for the cause you care about. Though a fundraising goal is met, you want to see generous donations continue to flow in to support your cause.

With a goal amount set, potential donors that see the amount being met may choose not to give. They could easily decide that your cause is taken care of and that their finances are better given to a cause that needs the funds more.

Happy Fundraising

We hope this article helped you understand the pros and cons of a public-facing fundraising goal! There is no right or wrong way of running your fundraising campaign. It simply depends on your organization’s needs and financial goals.

As you develop a fundraising goal for your organization in 2022, reach out to the team at Auction Frogs for support! We offer amazing guidance on online auctions, event fundraising, mobile bidding, donation campaigns, and so much more. Contact us today to learn about how we can help your team this year.

About the author

Auction Frogs
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Auction Frogs streamlines your fundraising process by giving live and silent auctions a digital backbone. Reduce hassles, save valuable volunteer time, and increase your revenue raised. We deliver unique technology to simplify the experience of hosting a successful fundraiser.

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