There are hundreds of different strategies to raise money for charitable causes. What’s appropriate for one group might not be for another. Consider the organization’s mission, your current supporters and audience as you plan your fundraising strategy. You may find that special events work better for you, or perhaps grant writing is where it’s at.
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Here are the top 10 fundraisers that have worked for a wide variety of groups.
1. Fundraising Products
Selling products like candy, chocolate bars, cookie dough, or magazines are tried-and-true fundraising ideas. They work best when you have a dedicated group that can commit to selling x number of items each. > Find out more: fundraising product ideas
2. Big events like a gala or 5K run
Galas, festivals, and walk-a-thons are just a few of the “big” events that can raise big bucks for your cause. They can also be an opportunity to connect with community members in a fun, social environment. Help your fundraiser be more successful by adding auctions, corporate sponsors and/or raffles.
> Find out more: Special event fundraisers
3. Small events like a trivia night
A Trivia Night fundraiser is a fun way to raise money or awareness for your cause. Most Trivia Nights are held at a restaurant or pub so they are great for a group of 10 to 50. It’s very scalable so it can be an even larger event too. Other small events like a gourmet dinner party can also be quite fun and profitable.
> Find out more: Trivia Night Fundraiser
4. Live and silent auctions
Auctions are often featured at fundraising events such as dinners and galas. They are great ways to increase your revenue at these events. They can also be quite popular with attendees, especially when there are great auction items.
> Find out more: Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
5. Fundraising by direct mail
The success of letter campaigns may vary widely depending on the organization, audience and focus of the letter. Campaign planners should consider every aspect of the campaign before placing any stamps on the envelopes.
> Find out more: 7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail and articles about letters
Many organizations apply for grants in hopes of being funded. National foundations, corporations and community and family foundations are all organizations that provide grants. Often a strong relationship with a grant maker can propel the charity toward success in other areas as well.
> Find out more about grants: Grant links and informative articles about grants
7. Save money to raise money
How about discount card fundraisers or coupon books that offer great discounts from local and national merchants. These can be a great fundraising source since your supporters can save money while supporting your cause at the same time. These are easy to transport & sell, have high profit margins and offer a great value to your supporters.
> Find out more: about custom discount cards, the Entertainment Books or the new Restaurant.com gift card fundraiser
8. Online fundraising
Accepting donations online has become a standard that many people expect to see when they arrive at a charity’s website. Hosting an online auction for a short period of time for a big fundraiser. Year round fundraising can also be done with online sales such as a magazine mall.
> Find out more: online donations, online auctions and online magazine fundraisers
Raffles raise funds through the sales of tickets, or chances, to win a particular prize. They can be a great fundraiser because of the low cost and high profit potential. Legal restrictions about raffles vary by location so research applicable state and local laws thoroughly.
> Find out more: How to Organize a Raffle Fundraiser and other articles about raffles
10. Golf tournaments
Many special event planners have a love/hate relationship with golf events. They are a traditional fundraiser that can be a great money maker or on the flipside can be a big money and time drain.The trick is in the planning and execution of the event. First time golf tourneys should start small and build depending on what works best for your audience, organization and location.
> Find out more: golf tournament articles
Finally, just ask!
Get to know people who are as passionate about your cause as you are. They are the ones most likely to simply make a donation to your organization. They may even eventually become monthly donors or some of your biggest major givers. Marc Pitman shares strategies for making new contacts, the formula for knowing if someone is a good prospect, how to turn a one time gift into an annual pledge and other insightful topics.
> Find out more: Get R.E.A.L. About Raising Funds for Your Non Profit