If you care about good causes, you know that they are often in need of cash and resources to keep operating and providing help to those who need a hand up. While some of us are OK soliciting donations, it can be really tough for those of us who are a bit shy on that front. We’ve developed a list of 20 ideas so that you can go with the ones that you feel comfortable with.
Remember that it is important to check the fundraising regulations in your location as you plan activities. For example, if you want to hold a “Casino Night” it is important to ensure that you are not ruling afoul of gambling laws. Raising money the right way is crucial, so it might be worth sitting down with the charity to pick 7 – 10 money making options that will work for them and that they know you could successfully accomplish or provide support on.
1 – Help with grant writing. Writing a grant takes a lot of skill and charities often need help drafting, reviewing and editing details. Are they meeting the requirements of the application? Does the request seems strong enough? Maybe you can even help find a professional copywriter.
2 – Find and develop grant list. The charity you work with may not even have a list of fundraising ideas to begin with. Take some time to help develop a list of resources that they might be able to contact for financial support. This might include grants, coporate sponsorships or government funds.
3 – Hold a charity concert. Do you know some local choir groups? The high school glee club? Get them together for a local charity concert. Sell tickets, popcorn, hold a raffle during the variety show to raise additional funds.
4 – Join the funding committee. Maybe you are not great at raising money or asking for donations, but by joining the funding committee, you can help where needed. This might include coming up with ideas and supporting a good cause in the background. You might also play a role in considering cost savings.
5 – Invite friends and colleagues to fundraisers. Is your charity holding an amazing fundraising dinner or party? Has one of your colleges been looking for a great holiday gift that is being sold by your charity during a raffle? Tell people!
6 – Have friends over for a swap party. Friends can bring over unused or slightly used clothing for a clothing and jewellery swap. Have some champagne and collect donations. You might want to consider a kids clothing swap if there are lots of families in your group of friends or colleagues.
Craft fairs, clothing swaps, fundraisers – you can make raising money fun and social at the same time.
7 – Hold a wine and cheese cocktail party. If clothing swaps are not your thing, hold a charity wine tasting party in your home. Ask your local grocer or wine shop to see if they can recommend a sommelier to join your party. Raffle off a couple bottles of wine – maybe you can get these donated.
8 – Draft a charity appeal letter. Help create some marketing materials, including a charity appeal letter. This can help the charity save money and solicit donations from others because you will help give them a professional look and feel. Save a template so that the charity can update it the following year.
9 – Hold a booth at a local street fair. Lots of local communities have street parties, local fairs or other events. Consider hosting a booth with games and prizes that visitors can buy or purchase a raffle ticket for. Lots of fun and potential donors at the same time.
10 – Solicit corporations for funds. Many big corporations have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan. Find out what the biggest companies in the city are and check in to find out what their plan is and how to apply.
11 – Put donation boxes in local shops. You have probably seen charity coin jars in stores. Design some cool boxes for customers to put their loose change into. Some stores do this digitally with apps that allow patrons to donate at purchase – ensure your charity is signed up.
12 – Offer to write the volunteer newsletter for a year. Keeping in touch with volunteers and donors is key. This will help secure support – financially and in terms of workload.
13 – Volunteer at charity events. Is there an event coming up that needs your help? Show up and bring along a few friends who might also be keen to help. This is a great way to meet people and means that the charity can save on staff costs.
14 – Create a charity calendar. If you’re a great photographer, take photos at the events during the year and turn them into a charity calendar for sale. There are lots of websites like Shutterfly or Vistaprint that make this simple and easy,
15 – Hold a cocktail/networking party for generous professionals. Everyone loves singles night! Find groups of people in the same age range who are looking for that someone special. Maybe hold an event for single people in their 50s and 60s. They’re probably established and empty nests might mean they also have time to volunteer.
16 – Hold a craft fair. Are you and the individuals in your circle very handy? If so, this could be a great way to bring in some additional money. Put out an advert for people who make craft items. Between the entry fee and sales by the charity, you should be able to raise a pretty penny!
17 – Help set up a payment plan. Make it easy for donors so that they can have small amounts taken from their bank account each month. Develop a few brochures to make it clear to donors how simple and easy the programme is.
18 – Write and sell a charity cookbook. Enlist local restaurants to share a secret recipe. Maybe some of the wealthier patons of the charity have a private chef who could spill some kitechen secrets?
“Hold an event for single people in ther 50s and 60s”
19 – Organise a yard sale or car boot sale. Find a local space such as a church hall or parking lot that might be willing to lend a venue for a day. Charge people for spaces to sell their wares. Don’t forget to have a booth for the charity (raffle, game, watch kids while parents shop) and to have a stand for food and drink with proceeds going back to the charity.
20 – Ask local companies for raffle items. Are there local shops that might be willing to donate goods or services? Maybe a gift card, free meal or massage? You may even want to consider setting the items up on Ebay so that more people can see the items and join the auction.
21 – Line up some card readers. Lots of people don’t carry cash anymore. Make it easier for givers to make donations on their own terms, and in the moment. It is awkward when you want to give but can’t. Companies like iZettle make this process cheap and easy.