Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fundraising Methods


Here are suggestions for ways to help you raise funds for your next charity fundraising event. Do you have different and unique methods of fundraising that have been successful for you? Add a comment at the end of this blog post to share your fundraising hints, tips and suggestions.

1. Set up a fundraising website. Most charity organizations, whether it is the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or American Diabetes Association, have a way for their fundraising members to set up a fundraising website to keep track of donations made in their name.

2. Letter writing campaign, see my previous post for an example of an effective fund raising letter. Print out the letter on the charity organizations letterhead if possible, for a more professional look. Copies of the letter should be sent to:

  • family
  • friends
  • high school classmates
  • college classmates
  • people that have donated to you in the past
3. E-mail campaign. Compose an email, which can simply be a copy of your fundraising letter. Email the letter to friends, family, high school classmates, co-workers, etc... I only send out emails to people that I know, otherwise a mass email could be considered spam. You can start out by sending out your fundraising letter, then a few weeks later send a follow-up email if you haven't started to receive donations.

4. Donation box. Attach a picture of yourself participating in a past fundraising event to the donation box. I attach a photo of my husband and I in our team jersey's which has been taken at one of the charity century rides we have participated in. I found a large, clear plastic container with a screw-on lid which my husband took in to work. The container is placed near his desk. He encourages co-workers to deposit their pocket change and dollar bills into the box. A copy of our fundraising letter is attached on the wall next to the donation box.

5. Business cards. Print out business cards with your fundraising website listed on them. The business cards can be handed out while you are in line at the post office, grocery store, bank, doctors office, etc... I also include a copy of the business card whenever I send someone a fundraising letter. The business cards are small enough to fit into your pocket, wallet or purse. Encourage friends to hand out copies of your fundraising business card to their friends, family and co-workers.

6. Newsletter. Put together a newsletter, of your fundraising efforts, that you can hand out to everyone in your neighborhood. Bribe your children or one of your neighbors children to hand these out to everyone in the neighborhood. Don't put the newsletters in or on anyone's mail boxes. Either knock on your neighbor's door and give it to them directly, or place it near their front door.

7. Lawn Sign. Place a sign in your front yard for all your neighbors to see anytime they drive past your house. The sign can include a copy of the logo for the charity organization you are raising funds for and the url to your fundraising website. The sign should be laminated so it will survive outdoors.

8. Fundraising Event. Host a fundraising event at your house or at a friends house. We have gotten very creative over the past few years with our fundraising events. Our two most successful fundraising events were a Halloween Costume Birthday Party and a Girl's Club Tea Party. Print out invitations with a suggested donation of $20 per adult and $10 per child. Limit attendance to 20-30 guests. I'll be adding more details on these events in a future post.

9. Highway Holdup. The idea is to put on your team jersey's, hats, etc.... and take over a street corner or two. You need to have at least one donation box, for each location, for people to place their money in. This works best if you have teams of 2 at each location. I've seen our local fire department, high school sports clubs and street bums do this type of fundraising with great success. This method of fundraising doesn't require a lot of planning, costs nothing to setup and only requires a few hours of your time. Check with local authorities, in s. Florida you need to obtain a permit to legally hold a highway holdup.

10. Business Donation. Get your boss, or local business, to donate a percentage of sales on a certain day towards your fundraising campaign. For example, a local sub shop recently donated 25% of their Sunday sales to a friends family, who's daughter has a brain tumor.

11. ASK-ASK-ASK! Ask everyone you see for a donation. You aren't asking them to donate money to you, you are asking them to donate money towards a worthy charity. Tell them how the charity you are raising money for uses the money - towards cancer research, patient care, etc...

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