Need to Fundraise? Stick With What Works!

Why re- invent the wheel?

best fundraising ideas
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It’s no secret that planning a successful fundraising event can feel like a daunting task for many people, even those working in big organizations. There are hundreds of fundraising ideas out there that various organizations use. Many require a ton of resources and yield poor results. However, there are several key fundraisers that have proven themselves consistently over time  and have helped schools and non-profits get the results they need without burning their resources at both ends.

So why re- invent the wheel, when there are already sure-fire ways of having a successful fundraising event. In this article, I will list the best and simplest fundraising ideas for 2020-2021.

1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a popular way for businesses, non-profits, and individuals to raise money by leveraging on social networks. Therefore, if your school, team, church or charity is trying to get exposure and raise funds for their projects, what better way than to get help from family and friends to spread the word online.

The use of social capital builds trust and makes strangers more willing to donate for a worthy cause. First, you need to set up a fundraising page on your organization’s website giving details of your goal and why you require the funds. It would be best if you also assured your donors of updates once you receive the funds.

Also, note that there are different ways of crowdfunding; you can request straight donations only, or create a t-shirt design representing your cause and ask people to buy one or more t-shirts. You can reach out to T-shirt fundraising platforms such as Fundly and Bonfire, which have a built-in option for fundraising.

Make use of your organization’s social media platforms to spread the word to as many people as possible.

2. Cookie dough fundraiser

Over the past decade, cookie dough fundraisers have become an easy, reliable, go-to fundraiser for schools and teams alike. It has helped finance countless proms, sports-related activities, educational trips and team supplies. Group members simply sell a selection of delicious cookie dough flavors from an order-taker, and collect their funds on the spot. The cookie dough is then delivered a few weeks later. JustFundraising, a leading fundraising company with over 22 years experience, has recently introduced virtual cookie dough fundraising. They’ll create a custom online cookie dough store for your organization, which your members will share with their friends, family and other possible supporters. Your group makes up to 50% profit on sales – not bad!

Why this is a great fundraising idea

Firstly, you get to offer your close friends and family delicious tasting cookie dough that everyone loves. Secondly, because it’s a quality product that people enjoy and because they’re gobbled up incredibly fast, you can run a cookie dough fundraiser 2 or 3 times per year, even if other groups around you are selling it. Thirdly, with social distancing being a priority, having the ability to combine it with or run just a virtual cookie dough fundraiser, is a huge benefit to schools and teams.

3. Workshops

People love learning new skills, and that is why setting up ‘how-to workshops’ is an excellent fundraising idea. The planning process and costs are favorable because you could use one of your organization’s halls to set up the event and get a few skilled staff members to conduct the workshop.

Your team may decide to teach how to paint, knit clothing or build a birdhouse. You may also choose to teach an IT-related course on online marketing, such as using search engine optimization ( SEO).

Why this is a great fundraising idea

Workshops are an excellent way of raising money by charging participants to attend the workshop. It also gives your organization a way to create a stronger tie with your community and look for new recruits. This event also provides an excellent opportunity to request additional donations for your cause.

4.  Charity Auctions

A charity auction, when done right, can be a foolproof fundraising idea. It’s all in the planning. It would be best if you first determined your target audience. For instance, as a non-profit, you should look at your list of donors and gauge their capabilities.

Afterward, you should decide the type of auction you deem fit. There are four types of charity auctions, namely: silent, online, live, and penny social. Once you have decided on the right model for you, then you can go ahead and start procuring items for the auction.

You should choose items that would highly appeal to your donors such as travel packages, golf classes, unique artwork as well as concert tickets. Start by reaching out to friends and families for donations.

If you still don’t have enough items for the auction, you could reach out to local enterprises. Most businesses are often willing to donate because it serves as an excellent opportunity to market their services and products.

You may also want to incorporate auction software such as OneCause, which has a wide range of tools to make your planning more seamless. Use mobile bidding, to expand your audience and create an opportunity for new donors to support your projects.

5.  Shoe drive fundraiser

Shoe drive fundraisers are a more straightforward and fun way of getting the community to contribute to a cause.

Unlike other fundraisers, your donors won’t need to open their wallets to make donations. This means that everyone can participate. All you need to do is reach out to community members requesting them to donate shoes that are in good condition.

You are probably wondering where all these shoes will go. If you partner with a company such as Funds2Orgs, once you’ve collected the shoes,  the Funds2Orgs logistics team will pick up these shoes and send you a cheque via mail.

Also, these shoes are later sent to third world countries to support local businesses selling second-hand shoes. This fundraiser not only helps vulnerable communities improve their incomes, but it also prolongs the life cycle of items that would have been disposed of while in good condition.

6.  Unique $1 treats

Pretzel rods and fortune cookies are the latest $1 treats to hit fundraising and people simply love them. They come sprinkled with various candy, and come packaged in carrier cases for easy selling. Of course, each fortune cookie comes with an inspirational and positive message.

Why this is a great fundraising idea

JustFundraising makes these treats available to groups of all sizes. A group can buy as little as 1 master case at time. The profit goes up to 50% profit. It’s a fresh alternative to selling candy bars.

7. Color run

Color runs are exciting outdoor events that attract a wider audience, especially young people. You may choose to either do a donation-based fundraiser or an entry-fee one. The latter is more practical, especially if it’s not a school-related event.

As part of event planning, you will have to choose a course, preferably 5K, for the color run, and you also need to procure the specific color powder that is non-toxic. Having a reliable planning committee is crucial to the success of your event. There are also companies that will plan everything for you and take a percentage of the revenues.

Why this is a great fundraising idea

Color runs appeal to a younger audience, which makes it easier to get participants. Combining color runs with a concert or festival makes it an even more exciting event. Also, the chances are that your participants will post event photos on their social media pages. This form of marketing will attract more people to your next color run fundraising event and give more exposure to your cause!

8.  Bottle drive

A bottle drive fundraiser is yet another straightforward method of raising funds for your project. What you need is a group of enthusiastic helpers willing to collect empty bottles and cans from community members’ houses.

Currently, 11 states in the US have set a requirement for retailers to give refunds to consumers who return their bottles. Now is the perfect time to conduct a bottle drive since everyone is at home self-isolating, which means that there are a lot of bottles to collect, which means more money.

Why this is a great fundraising idea

Not only is this an easy fundraising idea but also a way to promote recycling and reduce the pollution of our environment.

9.  Pie in the face

You can never go wrong with pie in the face fundraisers. These events are popular in schools, and what you need to do is decide on a cause. You may also decide to tie it in with another school or non-profit event like a summer BBQ, school fair or other. Reach out to well-known individuals in the community such as the mayor, principal or the police chief to ‘participate’ in the event.

These individuals should be willing to get a pie thrown in their faces by the people that will be donating. For instance, by donating $50 you can pie a teacher, for $100 you get to pie the principal, and for $250 you get to pie the police chief. Donors can combine their donations to reach the target.

Why this is a great fundraising idea

This event requires minimal resources because all you need is to purchase pies and disposable plates. You can use the school grounds as a venue. The event is both really fun and a guaranteed way of raising funds.

I hope these fundraising ideas have inspired you and given you some guidance for your next fundraiser. These ideas have proven themselves over the many years for groups of all types, so with the right team and with a good level of organization, you can make them a success for your group as well.


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