FUN-raising: Brainstorming Ideas

March 7, 2011

YIPPEE!!! ANOTHER FUNDRAISER!!!  I know what you are thinking, “You must be nuts”.  Many organizations agonize over fundraising, but it doesn’t have to be grueling, it can and should be FUN!  Funding is becoming harder to obtain, which makes Fundraising more important.  Below I have listed some effective, easy and fun fundraisers you can organize and conduct with a few or a large number of volunteers. 

Phone-a-thon/Pizza Party:  Pull all the board members and any volunteers you can muster up to gather at the organization’s office.  Rehearse and role-play how to ask for donations on the phone. Provide pizza, drinks, desserts and make a party of it — a little food and drink can go a long way in supporting the right atmosphere for fundraising. Have a little bell at each phone station that when someone gets a contribution they ring the bell.  Divide up the lists of members, donors, clients, patrons, neighbors, or whatever other lists you have. Make certain you have adequate phones or break into call time segments.  Start calling at 5 p.m.  Take a break every 45 minutes to swap stories or change call groups. Provide some form of prize or gift for every 10 donations (don’t place an amount on donations as the idea is to be fun and rewarding for the volunteers). This continues for 3-5 days.

 2-page solicitation letter to your members, volunteers, and donors. Explain that you are on a 30-day fundraising campaign and ask for a donation. If you can, follow up with phone Phone-a-thon/Pizza Party.

 Birthday Party! It’s (pick an animal name) Birthday and we are having a Party, or (name of an animal) is having a Dog or Equine Party, and tell people that it is a fundraiser for the organization where you volunteer or serve on the board.  In the invitation, tell them not to bring gifts, but donations would be appreciated.  Decorate, have a few games, food, etc. (it is a PARTY!).  Have a donations box at the door, on a gift table or food table and have a volunteer sit there and ask people (in a friendly way!) for contributions. You don’t have to make a “pitch” . . . just thank people for coming and making a donation to something that is important to you.

Social Media Accounts- Ask all board members and volunteers to post an appeal to their own Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn networks, saying something like: “I’m a volunteer for this organization, and we’re on a 30 day blitz to raise funds for       I have a goal of $       to help            .  Please help me meet my goal by giving a contribution to ____.”

Garage Sale– Ask your Board and volunteers (maybe even place an article in the local paper announcing you are collecting things for a garage sale to benefit your organization).  Get a huge amount of items together; sell it on both days of a weekend. Ask some volunteers to prepare and sell food at a food stand at the event.  Announce the Garage Sale in the local paper and invite the community to bring their pets!  Set-up a few tables for people to relax and eat and have poles in ground to tie off dogs.  Who can resist the lure of the one dollar item bin at a garage sale or a one dollar hot dog?

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