Need some inspiration?  New fundraising ideas from other successful fundraisers?  Here’s a list of great fundraising success stories and case studies.  These range from huge formal balls to small house parties and one-on-one donation requests.

I challenge you to find at least one strategy from these stories that can make a big impact for your group, and put it into action.definition of success

1. April Fools Extravaganza, hosted by the nonprofit Clowns Without Borders. Great idea for a “minor holiday” celebration and costume party

2. Children’s Hospital Benefit a Great Success lessons learned from first-time event planner Helen Johnson

3. A Mover and a Shaker of Money Trees New York Times article profiles Billy Starr and his 7 secrets to making the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge charity bikeathon a success

4. Phantom Gourmet Cooks-Up Cause Marketing Success Boston Medical partners with existing community event for mutual benefit using pin-ups (AKA point of sale cards) at 342 retail stores, resulting in over $114,000 raised.

5. A Chocolate Lovers Brunch provided a fun event with a  delicious menu to raise funds for VON Hamilton Foundation

6. Chicago’s Top Galas million dollar black tie affairs still alive and well in 2009

7. Music to Their Ears—How a Symphony’s Campaign Reached Crescendo from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

8 . Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan exceeded its $150 million fundraising goal.  The article explores how they accomplished this.  The college is the winner of a 2009 fundraising award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

9. Charity: Water third annual ball celebrates 2008, a year of new partnerships and fundraising.

10. Just three months after Charity: Water’s ball, $250,000 was raised from a grassroots movement of Twitter  users worldwide called Twestival.

11. A case study featuring Doctors Without Borders USA/Medecins Sans Frontieres explores the strategy used to convert one-time, emergency donors into repeat givers

12. Wine Tasting Party – Like a Fine Wine, Fundraising Should be Savored Lisa Krueger describes this home based event that helped her raise funds

13. A Tea Party Fundraiser is another creative event that can be hosted in a home

14. A fund raising success story: Adopt-a-Computer from the Essex Public Library in Tappahannock, VA

15. Annual Pool Tournament Fundraiser a Success one pool table, thousands of dollars raised

16. A Fundraising Success Story: Lessons Learned from efforts to grow the annual fund drive for a preschool, which was up to $100,000 annually within six years

17. A traditional Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser raises funds for a young child with cancer

18. 10 Steps to a Successful Celebrity Waiter Event from the experiences of Soroptimist International of Santa Cruz, CA.

19. BPW Trivia Night a Success report of the first annual trivia night (it’s been so successful, there have been three since then!) A great small event for a group of friends

20. A Collaboration/Fund Raising Case Study of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds.

21. How to Set Up a Successful Online Fundraising Page – Two Case Studies: Nonprofit Organization and Individual, from

Posted on 10 August 2009

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