•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
•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
•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.