Who are your Fundraising Stakeholders?

When you start to think about your group needing some funds… who will be affected? It's always good to identify your "stakeholders" before you get started choosing a fundraiser.

Just so we are on the same page, a couple of the definitions for “stakeholder” from Merriam-Webster.com are:

  • one that has a stake in an enterprise

  • one who is involved in or affected by a course of action

Other terms for stakeholder are: Investor, Backer, Sponsor, Participant, Patron, Interested party…So a stakeholder is someone who is either invested in or affected by your organization.

In that case, when we talk about fundraisers for your organization, the list starts to get very long of who would be affected by it.

I will list some of the folks that you should consider every time you are choosing a fundraiser.


These are the heads of the programs. It could be a paid position like School Band Director, Soccer League Coach, or a Church Youth Pastor, or it could be a volunteer position like Scout Committee Chair, Swim Team President, or School Group Sponsor. No matter if it is paid or volunteer, this position is the person, or board of people, responsible for the running of the organization. When a fundraiser comes along they are responsible for making sure it happens, getting a fundraising coordinator. They may end up being the coordinator, but it is better if they are not.


These are the fundraising coordinators. Usually a volunteer position and it may be someone in charge of fundraisers for the year or could be someone just coordinating a single fundraiser. Either way they are the one that are administratively responsible for the fundraiser.

Students/Youth Members:

These are involved in 2 ways. If you are a youth organization, they will get the most benefit from the fund raising. I mean, who are you raising the money for??? The other thing is that they are your major labor force… if they are not motivated to work on the fundraiser, or at least motivated to bring home the flyer, the effort cannot move forward.


The parents of your youth are the lifeblood of your volunteers. You may get lucky and have an adult volunteer that sticks around after their child ages out of your organization. This is great for you, with their history and knowledge, but unfortunately in this day and age, that has to be explained well to all the other parents. Parents are wary of adults hanging around, “volunteering” for youth programs. Also, these are the folks that will benefit the most financially! If you don’t raise the money for the activities planned, guess who will end up paying for it. So they have a lot of What’s In It For Me (WIIFM), “skin in the game”!


These are the folks that you hope will give you money! These are your target audience and that will be so important later in your marketing, but for now just know that they are your target for giving you money. This could be in direct contributions or in exchange for a product or service. Unfortunately, we don’t usually find those “customers” that just want to write a check for $5,000, $10,000, or $100,000 to completely fund our organizations. I consider always look at this as Quantity vs Quantity. Most of us have to have many small contributions (direct contributions or through sales) to fund our programs. If you find that person that wants to give you $100,000… stop reading now and enjoy!

Over time we will go into why these stakeholders have a love/hate relationship with fundraising… for now, it’s good to identify them. Check out our #IHateFundraising series for some of why they hate it… and over time we will discuss how you can help them love the fundraisers.

Did I miss any? Let me know!
Contact me on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a comment below!