Effective Fundraising Ideas to Benefit Your Cause
by Ginny McCabe
If you plan to raise money for your project, cause or event, there are plenty of creative ways to generate awareness and collect funds. Read on as MTL offers several innovative ways to fundraise for your next endeavor. From crowdfunding and online fund drives to 5K runs and bake sales, there are countless ways to increase donations.
First, tell your story. Writing a description of your fundraiser and sharing your goals with stakeholders will help you communicate and get others on board. Telling your story can include shorter descriptions to longer fundraising letters.
Second, involve donors and make them feel like they are helping to make a difference. Reward them with a small gift or incentive for being involved.
Here are a few of the popular ways to increase awareness and gain donations for your cause:
Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is one of the top ways to raise money online. Platforms like GoFundMe and YouCaring are donation-based. Kickstarter and Indiegogo focus on rewards-based fundraising. One of the best things about crowdfunding is you can raise money for just about anything—from charities, clubs and organizations to schools and sports teams.
Mobile Fundraising. This newer option allows donors to make donations from their mobile devices. Donors can give to a cause in an immediate and simple manner. These campaigns often involve text-message marketing. Tithe.ly is one app churches and ministries are using. Txt2Give has text and online giving options for nonprofits, schools and universities.
Activity Fundraising. A 5K race, a cycling event or a golf tournament are great health and wellness-related ways to raise money. These can be competitive or non-competitive events. Organizers can tie them together with a holiday, costumes or a theme and conclude the event with a community block party or a picnic, which further adds to the appeal. Locations like parks, community trails and other outdoor venues lend themselves to these types of events. Participants can raise money through sponsorships or donations, which are often caused-based, such as finding a cure for cancer or autism awareness.
Community Fundraising. Other ideas to involve the community can be activity-based, such as a game night or a silent auction. These fundraisers allow participants to meet new friends or to have a fun night out. A fashion show fundraiser is another entertaining way to pull off raising funds for your organization or cause. You can work with local businesses and others to expand the idea. If you have a local jewelry store in town, model some of their newest accessories. A shoe store might want to show off their latest inventory. You will not only raise money but promote the businesses in the community, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Creative Fundraising. Creative fundraisers can range from art and dance events to concerts. These artsy fundraisers can shine the spotlight on local talent. What a great way to involve a local dance studio or an art gallery. Eventbrite can help manage your event, including ticketing and registration. Talent competitions or photo exhibitions can also lend themselves to valuable fundraising opportunities. Invite local celebrities to serve as judges or emcees, they love giving back to the community too.
Traditional Fundraising. Community-wide garage sales and car washes never go out of style. Put a fresh spin on these timeless fundraisers by hosting a dog grooming/bath or a basement sale. The proceeds will benefit your charity. Volunteers from your group can help organize these functions.
Food Fundraising. Food-events have a big draw when it comes to fundraising. Pie-tasting contests, chili cook-offs and bake sales are a few of the favorites for foodies. Also, invite your supporters to participate in an all-you-can-eat-pancake breakfast.
Product Fundraising. Another alternative to fundraising is a product-based sale, like T-shirts and tote bags with a logo or message advertising your cause. They also create a greater awareness about your charity when everyone in town is wearing your shirt.
Newsletters, e-mail campaigns and targeted mailings can help to promote your fundraiser. They are another tool to help you tell your story, organize the details and bring people together. Advertise fundraisers on your website and social media channels. These are easy and cost-effective ways to get the word out.
With so many effective fundraising options available, you are sure to raise awareness, engage donors and have a successful fundraiser.
We’d like to hear from you. Please share your comments below or like us on your Facebook page. Be sure to check back each month for more articles and products available at your local Christian bookstore.