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8. Fundraising - Ideas

When you initially think of fundraising, you may think it's going to be so easy. You just need get together a group of co-workers or co-volunteers, have a brainstorming session, and you will likely get a list of ideas ranging from jumble sales to door-to-door selling to a direct mail campaign, right, and type in "fundraising ideas" into any Internet search engine and you are likely to get thousands of hits, ranging from bake sale ideas to companies offering fundraising opportunities. 

This is true, but it is not simply a matter of choosing an idea. To be successful at fundraising, you need to carefully consider which ideas will work well for your group of volunteers. Choosing the wrong ideas can be disastrous: you will waste time, money, and effort to get little or no financial return and the failure to raise funds may well ruin the morale and motivation of your group. Getting out of the financial hole left by a bad fundraising campaign can also be quite difficult, especially for small non-profits.

There are a few things you need to make sure of first before you start your fundraising, namely that:

  • the cost of starting this fundraiser is what you can afford to spend 
  • you will be able to put to use the resources and talents of your volunteers 
  • you have enough people power - or can get enough for this fundraiser 
  • it has a theme-appropriate idea for your group 
  • it is appropriate for the size and age of your group 
  • it does not require expensive resources you do not have 
  • it is likely to appeal to donors 
  • it gives added value to your donors - your donors will feel that they are getting something from the experience 
  • it will bring in the required money. 

Consider these requirements against every idea you consider to make sure that you are choosing a fundraising idea with some potential. However, to save time, you may want to find fundraising ideas by considering the following list rather than starting from scratch. So, on a piece of paper, note the following:

  • The purpose of your organization 
  • How much money you are willing to invest in this fundraising 
  • What resources you have - even resources such as someone's car can be a big help when fundraising for your group 
  • How much money you need - and when you need it by. Be sure to note whether you need money only for a specific project or whether you need to raise money on a regular basis. 
  • How much time you are willing to expend on fundraising 
  • Who you expect to donate the money 
  • What sort of time frame you have for the fundraising. Is there a specific thing you need money for? Do you need a specific amount by a specific time? 
  • What is the money for? 

Based on this simple inventory, you can eliminate potentially poor ideas for your group and can start focusing on the real possibilities right away. With your fundraising goals in mind (and these goals are what you are determining by answering the above questions), you can easily tell which ideas can contribute to your goals and which are unlikely to be helpful.

The next few chapters deal with the many ways that your organization might want to consider to raise some funds. YTake a good look to see what best fits your organization.

 Next page: 9. Fundraising - Donated Products

Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents

  1. Fundraising - The Basics  
  2. Fundraising - Terminology 
  3. Fundraising - Money 
  4. Fundraising - Where to Find Donors and How to Reach Them 
  5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors 
  6. Fundraising - Research 
  7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs 
  8. Fundraising - Ideas 
  9. Fundraising - Donated Products 
  10. Fundraising - Bought Products 
  11. Fundraising - Marathons 
  12. Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles and more 
  13. Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and Bazaars 
  14. Fundraising - Fun Events 
  15. Fundraising - Drives 
  16. Fundraising - Services 
  17. Fundraising - Tips for Choosing a Fundraising Idea 
  18. Fundraising - Your Plan 
  19. Fundraising - Your Team 
  20. Fundraising - Staying Organized 
  21. Fundraising - Communicating With Your Donors 
  22. Fundraising - Advertising 
  23. Fundraising - Letters 
  24. Fundraising - Emails and more 
  25. Fundraising - Person to Person 
  26. Fundraising - Thank You Notes 
  27. Fundraising - Grant Proposals 
  28. Fundraising - Press Releases 
  29. Fundraising - With Computers 
  30. Fundraising - Secrets to Success 
  31. Fundraising - Problems 
  32. Fundraising - Conclusions 


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