Fundraising is the life blood of every non-profit organization. It is important for non-profits to keep coming up with new and creative ideas to raise money that they can put toward the cause, to further their objective.
The drawback is that people aren’t very keen on parting with their money, even if it is for a good cause. Non-profits are therefore faced with the unique challenge of raising money in a way that is fun and interesting.
There are many different ways to raise funds, each requiring varying levels of resources and time. So what if you need to raise some funds for your non-profit in a bind? Whether you’ve procrastinated on this season’s fundraiser or you’ve come into need for some money to aid a particular facet of your non-profit, here are some quick fundraising ideas we’ve had the experience of using.
Collection at Your Local Grocer
What: Ask your local grocer if they’ll allow you to set up shop out front for a few hours on a Saturday. Have a couple of collection buckets and plenty of information on hand for patrons wanting to know about your cause. Be sure to lament that any amount helps.
Resources Needed: someone to contact the supermarket for permission and details, a table, and 1 to 3 people to man the booth and ask for donations.
What: Online fundraising tools like Facebook Causes or Ammado allow you to tap into a wide network of donors with the click of a mouse. The beauty of social media is the ability to connect with likeminded individuals who care about your cause at very little expense to yourorganization.
Resources Needed: Somebody savvy enough to navigate the platform and set it up, and then a team full of people to share it with their networks.
What: Going back to an oldie but goodie, bake sales are always a great way to help raise funds. The reason they’ve stuck around so long as a preferred method of raising funds is because cupcakes never go out of style. People always love buying homemade baked goods and the non-profit doesn’t need to invest much when setting it up.
Resources Needed: Spread the baking duties between members, procure a location to hold the sale, get some cash for change, and 1 to 2 person to man the bake sale.
Text Message Campaign
What: Mobile has come a long way since its early days and it has now become an extension to people lives. Since cell phones are constantly attached to their owners, text campaigns are a sure-fire way of reaching them. The best part of text campaigns is that they enable your non-profit to collect micro-donations and sometimes less is more. The only downside of the text campaign is that fees vary based on which service you use. Such companies include mGive, GiveByCell, TextToPledge, MobileCause, and Connect2Give.
Resources Needed: Somebody with some tech savvy should research the best giving platform, ensure it aligns with your goals, and set it up. Then all you need to do is get the word out.
What: Another traditional fundraising method that has stuck around for a reason. Nothing encourages healthy competition like a raffle. People love betting on their luck and the chance to win something. Selling raffle tickets is an interesting and exciting way of raising funds and is another one of the conventional fundraising ideas that gets it right every time.
Resources Needed: Procure a prize, hopefully a donated one. Then buy some tickets and set up shop at a popular event like a festival or sporting event.
Sell your Merchandise
What: This is the oldest lay in the book. If you have official organization merchandise, then go ahead and sell it. While previously this was not a very profitable way of raising funds for the organization; the internet has made things much easier. Not only can these items be made at a lower cost, problems such as overproduction, unsold items and lesser sales have been rectified by online sales. Production can now be limited to the number of sales made.
Resources Needed: This does require some upfront money to design and purchase your merchandise. Beyond that, it’s a matter of spreading the word online and at live events.
What: An annual calendar is not only a good way of raising money but also something that will keep your organization in the minds of your customers throughout the year. The calendar can have images that showcase the work that you do or the good that you’ve done so far.
Resources Needed: Again, this may take some funds to get started, but with so many calendaring software and resources out there, you should be able to find one that suits your budget. Create your calendar and get selling.
Close Friends and Family
What: As much as you may hate to do so, asking your employees and those close to your organization to request donations from their friends and family is simply low hanging fruit. Somebody is much more likely to part with their money when there is a personal relationship involved.
Resources Needed: Get the members of your organization involved and ask them to get on the horn, email, social media, or even reaching out in-person to ask for donations.
Put a Price on What You Need
What: Let us explain. Instead of generically raising money and accepting donations in any amount, set a price for the items you actually need. For example, if you’re a youth sports league, you could sell soccer socks for one child at $10, a new complete uniform kit for one child at $60, a new complete uniform for 3 children at $180, etc. This gives people an idea of exactly how much good their money can do, and it may push them to give more than they would have.
Resources Needed: Get somebody to pool together the categories of items you’re looking for help with, and then spread that message far and wide at fundraisers and events.
Established Local Fundraising Programs
Companies like Whole Foods and Auntie Annie’s have established fundraising programs where a portion of their profits for a day will go toward your cause. The beauty of these campaigns is that, while it might take some time at the beginning to establish the relationship and work out the details, once the campaign is up and running, it’s quick money.
Resources: Establish and foster good personal relationships with the fundraising personnel at these companies to ensure your organization is selected for their charity days.
Fundraisers can be extremely tricky to pull off, but that doesn’t mean that quick fundraising is always the best. Well though out campaigns do tend to do better. But if you’re in a pinch, it’s good to know that it’s still possible to raise the money necessary to keep your organization afloat. Always make sure to keep your primary objective in mind and project it in all the efforts that you make. Believe in and convince others that their contributions are going toward a good cause, and you will succeed at fundraising every time.