For many groups, raising funds to accomplish your mission can be challenging. Many nonprofits focus on antiquated methods, such as telephone fundraising or direct mail. Some charities get involved in co-branding agreements with popular products. No matter what you’re raising money for, you’ll need to be creative. These ten ideas may be a great starting point for your fundraising efforts.
10. Go extreme! Shave your head!
This has been very successful for cancer charities, and accomplishes two goals. Volunteers agree to shave their heads if a certain dollar amount has been raised by a deadline. This not only raises money for your cause, but it shows solidarity with cancer patients; chemotherapy can cause hair loss. This is an all around win-win.
9. Host a Summer Car Wash
Gather your volunteers somewhere convenient, and have them offer to wash people’s cars for a donation. People like this because they get something in return for their generosity. Plus, a hand wash is way better on their cars than a drive through.
8. Eating Contest
Based on the popularity of television shows like Man vs. Food, you could host a hot dog, pie, or taco eating contest. Participants could raise money for their entry, and you could ask local restaurants or caterers to donate the food and venue. Who doesn’t like to see someone eat massive amounts of food?
Ask each member of your group to submit a recipe, then compile a cookbook to sell to raise funds. This is a fun way for people to share recipes for a good cause.
6. Rubber Bracelets
Popularized in the early 2000’s, brightly colored rubber bracelets can draw attention to your cause, and raise funds in the process. When bought in bulk, these bracelets can cost a few pennies a piece, and can be sold for a couple of dollars.
5. Twitter Fundraising
Ask businesses and individuals to donate a certain amount based on the number of times a Twitter hash tag is used. This can add up extremely quickly.
4. Hold an Auction
Ask local businesses and artists to donate prizes from their inventory. Then hold an auction where the public bids on these items, with the proceeds going to the cause.
3. Fifty-Fifty Raffle
You see these everywhere, with good reason – they work. Members sell tickets at a busy event. At a predetermined time, the winning ticket is drawn, with half of the money going to the charity, the other half going to the winning ticket holder.
Made popular by Clark Cobb of the Christian Businessman Association, the walkathon is a popular fundraising tool. Members raise money by asking friends and family for donations, based on the distance that they’re willing to walk. These small amounts can add up!
1. Get out of Jail
These can be quite fun. Contact your local prison and ask if they’d be willing to “lock up” members until they were able to post “bail.” Your members will spend the evening in a jail cell (in a safe part of the prison, of course), and their friends, family, and the public can donate until a goal is reached, releasing them.