Contributing to Charity: A Fundraising Resource Guide
A fundraiser is an event held in order to raise funding and awareness about a particular cause. There are many groups that have fundraisers including: non-profit organizations, schools, high school teams, community groups, and students. Fundraisers are an excellent way for these groups to gather more community support, spread the word about their mission, and earn funding for their purpose. In order to hold a fundraiser there are many things to consider. It is important to know where to begin, how to market, and which type of fundraiser will be the most successful for a particular group.
Constructing a fundraiser requires a lot of careful planning and can be an overwhelming process if you don’t know exactly where to begin. It is important that before any planning occurs, the organization must first examine its specific needs. This is the first step that needs to be taken when planning any sort of fundraiser. What works for one group may not work for another. For this reason, it is imperative that realistic goal setting occurs. Determine the community support and volunteer list when selecting a type of fundraiser and consider approximately how much money the organization needs to generate. This will help in selecting the right type of fundraiser. Once these factors are determined, it will be much easier to get started!
- An article, “Fundraising: A Guide to Getting Started” written by Sandra Sims who is a Fundraising Coach.
- The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is an online resource for anyone interested in pursuing fundraisers for their organization.
- This website focuses on the key principles of fundraising.
- A great website provides information and tips on how to start a car, boat, and RV, donation fundraising program.
- Website offers resource development on fundraising topics: community fundraising, long term fundraising, team fundraising.
- This website offers how to articles on fundraising.
- This is an online resource that offers fundraising tools and tips.
Marketing and Spreading the Word
Once the fundraiser idea has been established it is imperative to spread the word and create as much of a buzz as possible. Most fundraisers are seeking money for a cause and the best way to make other people care about the cause is through passion and enthusiasm. Ensure that the spokesperson for the organization or the event is well versed on the cause and the reason for the fundraiser. Make sure to target all the common media outlets. Design and write a brochure to hand out or mail to potential donors and local businesses. Submit an article to the local newspaper or magazine, provide detailed statistics or pictures of the people that will benefit from this fundraiser. The spokesperson should also arrange to speak on the radio and discuss the organization’s mission and fundraiser. Now with the influx of social networking, design and create a website about the fundraiser and organization (if there isn’t already one). The organization can then send out a mass email to everyone on the contact list; consider using Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook to spread the word and generate a crowd for the event. Make these people care! Partner up with other organizations in the community as they can be great assets and working together on a common cause can help strengthen bonds and partnerships.
- This features an article on how to market your fundraiser.
- This is an excellent tool, it is a detailed fundraiser marketing checklist that ensures all outlets are used.
- This features an article written by Ed Lewis about the importance of marketing.
There are literally hundreds of fundraising ideas, but not all fundraisers are suitable for every organization. What works for one group might not work for another. It is crucial to take into consideration a multitude of things: the organization’s mission, the community support, possible volunteers, how much money is allotted for the event, and what kind of money is expected from the event. After examining these important issues, it’s time to decide on what kind of fundraisers you will assemble. Raffles and charity dances are two of the tried and true fundraisers. Raffle tickets are great because of their low cost and the possibility of high profits. Benefit dances can also be low cost, particularly if the organization has a huge community support with plenty of local donations. Selling fundraising products can also be successful. Schools are notorious for these types of fundraisers because they work best when large groups of people are pushing the products. All of these fundraisers have been successful and they have the potential to raise a lot of money, but ensure that these fundraisers fit the fundraising needs.
- The Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) is an organization dedicated to illustrating how fundraising is connected to community support.
- Network for Good offers online support and resources for fundraising ideas and strategies.
- This website is dedicated to promoting healthy methods of fundraising for kids.
- Fundraiser Insight is a fundraising magazine that is mostly used by event coordinators; it features fundraiser ideas.
- The American Red Cross features fundraising ideas for youth.
- The Heifer Organization features fundraising ideas that are used to end world hunger.
- A list of fundraiser ideas that were compiled by students and schools.
Fundraising tips for the non-profit or charity wanting to generate income from property donations such as no longer needed vehicles, boats, yachts, trucks, used motorhomes, and heavy construction equipment. Action Donation Services® is an ideal solution for the charity with limited resources and staff as they take care of everything for the charity and sends them a check each month.
Outside the Box Fundraising Ideas
Creative fundraising can really excite the community and bring in extra revenue. One suggestion for a creative fundraising idea would be to hold a Mystery Dinner Theater. It is a fun interactive way to get people to come support the organization. This type of event would require a lot of local support, donations, and plenty of planning. It would require a large venue, dinner, volunteers to serve as actors or waiters, a well written script, and costumes. But it also has the potential to generate a lot of funds. Another creative fundraiser would be hosting a drive-in movie. This would be a throwback to the 60s when drive-in theaters were all the rage. This event could be held outside (against a blank building wall) or indoors (gymnasium or community center) and all that is needed is a projector and sound system. The organization could charge an entry fee and also set up a concession stand to provide snacks and drinks. Another creative fundraiser idea is a holiday clean-up. This particular idea is more suitable for high school teams who are not seeking a tremendous amount of money. The group will offer to take down holiday decorations such as lights on the outside of the home, the disposal of Christmas trees, recycling wrapping papers and boxes. This event would require help from parents or local community members. This is a creative idea that would also beautify the community. No one likes to see Christmas decorations that are left up for months! Organizations and groups can be as creative as they want, but be careful to create something that works for the cause.
An article written by Beth A. DeHoff about creative fundraising.