Greetings!  Today I want to share with you a selection of articles I wrote this month on our sister blog- TopSchoolFundraisers.  While it’s true that the articles are written from the perspective of a school fundraiser, there are many general principles that apply to all kinds of non-profit organizations.  So, please don’ t be put off by the word “school” in the name of the blog!

For a few of the articles, below, I have included a couple of paragraphs to “tease” you into reading them.  I hope it works!

Thanks again for reading with us all this month, and stay tuned for another great month in October. – Jim Berigan

Are You a Fundraising Bully?











I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I think and write about fundraising most every day, but I really am bothered when I personally encounter fundraising attempts that are just downright inconsiderate and poorly thought out.


I had two such incidents occur just this morning in my own home with my own kids.


First, one of my sons asked me for $5 on his way out the door to school. Ok, that’s not usually a big deal, but I asked him what he needed it for anyway. “I need it to pay for a pink t-shirt for my (sports) team.”  Then he leaned in toward me and whispered, “You know what pink t-shirts are for, right, dad?” (more…)

School Halloween Carnival Game Ideas

Schools Coming Up with Unusual Fundraisers!

Free & Easy Volunteer Sign-Up Sheets

Ideas on How to Raise Money in Low-Income Schools

7 Tips on How to Think Like a Board Member



Today’s post is directed primarily at the people who are responsible for leading private school fundraisers. In a public school setting, fundraising events are usually funneled through the building principal, who is accountable to the superintendent, who, in turn, answers to the overarching school board. In most situations, your grassroots level efforts probably won’t rise all the way to the top.


However, in the case of a private school, the board of directors is very much involved in fundraising. In fact, some people would argue that the board’s most important function is that of ensuring the school stays well-funded. Remember, that in a non-profit organization, the board is the supreme authority.  The principal and all other employees are accountable to the board members. By the textbook definition, what the board says, goes. Therefore, it is wise to keep them happy and well-informed.


The goal of this article is to help a school employee or parent volunteer to think like a board member in order to move your plans forward with total buy-in and cooperation. (more…)

A Very Popular and Profitable Product Sale for Your School


Today, I’d like to share a very practical piece of fundraising advice.  Sometimes, a product sale can be just the right fit for your school’s needs.  Of course, you want the product to be high-quality and a proven seller.  You also want it to be good for the people buying it, because you know how important it is to keep a relationship built on trust with your fundraising audience.


It can be tough to find an item to sell for your school that meets all of these criteria.  However,FastTrack Fundraising has an excellent solution.  It’s the Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Fundraiser.  Read on to find out how this fundraiser works, what kind of money you can raise in your school, and even read reviews of how this fundraiser has worked in other schools.  I think you’ll be very impressed! (more…)

What’s Wrong with this Picture?



I won’t reveal where I took this picture, in order to protect the reputation of this non-profit, but I did take it on September 15, 2011. I just happened to be passing through this building and was so surprised by what I saw, I had to take this picture.


I will admit, it was taken here in Michigan, where I live. Bottle drives are very popular here, because there is a ten cent deposit paid on every single carbonated beverage bottle or can. Non-profits and schools can really rack up a tidy profit if they’ve got a bunch of students and supporters bringing in big trash bags full of returnables.


However, there are several things that disturbed me about this organization’s effort at fundraising. Let me list a few. (more…)

If You Could Only Tell Your Fundraising Audience Five Things, What Would They Be?



Yesterday, I wrote about how using a numbered list format for your fundraising letters could help you get more people reading them and acting upon them. I gave an example of “The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Help Your Child’s School”. I argued that these kinds of numbered list articles or letters have a greater impact than traditional letters with just one paragraph just stacked up on another.


Today, I’d like to talk about using this strategy of a numbered list and applying it to a very specific kind of letter.


Since we know everyone’s time is at a premium, if you had to narrow down your entire year’s fundraising info into just five bullet points, what would those points be? (more…)

The Number One Way to Get Parents to Read Your Fundraising Letters

School Raffle in 2011-2012? Read This First!

Should a School Only Have One Fundraising Goal All Year Long?

Do Your School Families Know Why You are Raising Money?



Posted on 30 September 2011

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