Non-profit organizations frequently face money shortages. A well-planned fundraising activity has the potential to bring in much needed cash. So, where to begin? Try brainstorming. Hold a staff meeting to discuss possibilities. See below for some ideas to get you started. Once a fundraiser theme is chosen, select a venue, date and time for the event. Also pick a rain date and alternate location should Mother Nature provide inclement weather. Then inquire about possible permit requirements to hold your event. Also make sure you have enough volunteers available to allow for shift work. Delegate responsibility for various duties among staff, such as money handling, music, food, speakers, games and other activities. Then, advertise! Run ads in local newspapers and on-line, do radio spots, hang posters and spread the news by word of mouth.
Coin drops are probably the easiest way to raise money. Contact managers of local businesses to ask permission to place a canister in a prominent location within their establishments. Put a label on the containers clearly stating you cause. Be sure to empty the canisters regularly.
Can and Bottle Drive
Can and bottle drives involve placing a receptacle in an easily accessible location where people can drop off donations at their convenience. Other drives include cell phones and clothing. Contact the local redemption center to ask how to go about organizing a drive, including what items they accept, delivery options, and receptacle use. Ask local business owners for permission to place bins in their parking lots.
These sales can be set up at churches, schools and other community organizations to raise money for needed equipment, utility costs, educational trips or books, for example. Recruit parents, members and coworkers to create a variety of items to sell at the fundraiser.
Booth at the County Fair
Booth ideas are seemingly endless. You can sell used books, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, memorabilia–almost anything. Place a stack of brochures and other informative literature explaining your group’s services and activities in a convenient location at your booth. You can offer drawings, free pens and candy as well.
Community Rummage Sale
Rummage sales can be held in one place, such as a park or community center, or individually at the homes of group members. If you choose the latter, design a map with directions, contact information and locations of the sales and place them in businesses around town. Proceeds from the event can go into an account for a local citizen in need or toward your group’s operating expenses.
Car shows are more involved than some other fundraising options, but if you plan right you stand to make significant amounts of money for your organization. Arrange for the show to be incorporated into a local celebration such as an Independence Day, Memorial Day or harvest festival. Charge car owners to enter the show and find sponsors willing to donate small items for give-a-ways. You might even be lucky enough to secure a grand prize from a generous local car dealer.
Art auctions provide local and regional artists with a way to showcase their talents to the general public while benefiting a non-profit organization. Artists donate their work for auction and the proceeds go to the organization hosting the event. There can be awards for people’s choice and artist’s choice, featured artists, and art-related raffle prizes.
Fundsraiser Cyberzine, accessed 9/25/2010.
Fundraising Ideas Center, “Recycling Fundraising Programs,” accessed 9/27/2010.