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17. Fundraising - Tips For Choosing A Fundraising Idea

As you begin to adapt ideas for your non-profit group, you will want to ask yourself some questions to make sure that you choose the fundraising ideas that are most likely to succeed for your group:

Problems? Naturally, you want to be optimistic about your fundraiser, but you do need to consider what problems could arise. If there are risks that your group cannot manage, then you may want to choose another idea. If your fundraising method will get you into debt before you make any profit, you may want to reconsider. If your idea involves food, you will want to make sure that there is no risk of food poisoning that could result in a law suit.

Requirements? You may need a special license to host a lottery or bingo night. Even a movie night is ruled by copyright laws. Consult with a lawyer to make sure that you have all the legal requirements of a fundraising idea taken care of.

Costs? Add up costs of supplies, services, rentals, and space. If the costs are too high, you may need to start with simpler and less expensive fundraising ideas and gradually work your way up.

Time? Consider not just the time of the event, but also all the preparatory work for the fundraising, all the paperwork, all the organization, and the work that needs to be done after an event (including cleanup).

Hire help? Some projects are more complicated and may need to have a professional touch to appeal to people. This can be very expensive, although for groups that can raise a lot of money; this expense can be worth it.

Trouble? If your non-profit supports a controversial subject (gay rights, for example) you need to decide whether a particular fundraising effort will get you in trouble. Even non-profit groups with very neutral causes that are widely supported can get into trouble if a volunteer is injured or of someone gets hurt through a fundraising venture. Consider all the risks of every fundraising idea you consider.

Competition? Most non-profits are trying to make the world a better place, and it is not great to consider them "competition," but competition they are. If the Girl Guides are selling their cookies and you are considering a fundraising idea that involves selling cookies, the competition may ensure that you get little money for your efforts. Choose an idea that no one else is currently trying and one that will not overlap too much with another group's own fundraising efforts.

Variety, quality, and something new? This is the secret combination that will ensure higher fundraising earnings because it will ensure that customers or donors will want to contribute. Those who buy your products in fundraising or offer money through donations want a quality product or service. They want something new and varied - if many groups in your area are selling chocolates, donors are less likely to give to your campaign because they are bored by the idea. Try to offer your donors a choice and offer them something that is not run-of-the-mill and they will reward you with donations.

Long term idea or one-shot deal? Not every idea needs to raise money in the long run, but if all your fundraising ideas seem to offer short-term money in exchange for a lot of work, you need to consider how you are going to get the money to run your group on a day-to-day basis.

Corporate help? Ideas that at least have a chance of getting support form local businesses are more likely to bring in more money.

How much? You may not want to think about dollars and cents, but you need to. You need to know how much money you need to raise before you start your efforts. That way, you you can switch to a new idea before using up precious time and resources on an unsuitable fundraiser that will not provide the financial results that your group needs.

Who? You need to decide whether your fundraising ideas will appeal to a wide enough range of people to be money-making ventures. If you live in a bedroom community full of seniors, a skate-board-a-thon may simply not draw the support of as many people as a fair or a retro dance.

Timing? If your fundraising ideas are holiday-related, you need to start planning well ahead of the holiday. Everyone gets so busy around holiday time that they are less likely to be able to volunteer. By starting early, people can plan around your event.

Responses? Anticipating the possible reactions your event will have (both the positive and negative reactions) will make it easier for you to handle the various reactions that fundraising efforts generally elicit.

Essentials? Make a large list of everything that needs to be done in order to make the fundraising a success. Are you able to do these things? If not, you may need to choose a more suitable idea or find ways to accomplish all the tasks on your list.

Next page: 18. Fundraising: Your Plan

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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