Fundraising Ideas That Don't Require Getting Naked

If naked calendars aren't your thing, there are other ways to fundraise

Lemonade Stand
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Fundraising is something many organizations shy away from. One reason is that they may have trouble rallying people to form fundraising committees because fundraising often brings to mind used car sales tactics. That is, hiking up the price on an item above its real cost, or shoving something in someone's face. Or worse, having to beg someone by pleading a desperate cause—and then coming up empty. This feeling is made worse by the fact that fundraisers often sell products people would not ordinarily buy so consumers don't always feel good about their contributions.

Telemarketers

Consumers can also be somewhat wary of professional fundraisers—especially telemarketers. Consumers can be very savvy and many now know that professional fundraising companies often take more than half of one's contribution—some even take as much as 70 percent of all donations and sales profits. Also, consumers are often interrupted at home during dinner only to hear a pitch. Most will ask to be removed from the call list or, it leaves such a negative impression of the organization, they become reluctant to even make direct donations in the future.

All of this said, fundraising has been around for centuries and can be fun as well as a good way to expand your brand, make new connections, and, of course, raise money.

Choosing a Fundraiser for the Right Reasons

Choosing the right event or product to sell can be tough, especially when you are on a committee and everyone has their own tastes and beliefs. Simply looking over pretty catalogs or attractive web pages is no way to choose the products you need to sell in order to raise money. What you should do is think like a business professional and approach the project as if it were a product line you planned on launching. That means doing some market research before deciding on a fundraiser.

One of the keys to selecting the right fundraiser is to know its purpose. If you are trying to raise funds for equine rescue, you know that most of your supporters will be horse lovers so choose something they will be interested in like riding crops or hats. If you are raising funds to help children, the focus should be oriented towards children, parents, and caregivers—perhaps value packs of toys and beverage carry mugs for adults.

Community Fundraising 

The right fundraising campaign should be fun, easy, and profitable to your business or organization. If you are fortunate enough to have a posse of volunteers ready to help, your options can include community-based events in addition to selling products.

In addition to the usual car washes, your volunteers can sell products to family and friends. You can even station volunteers outside your local bank, pharmacy, and other heavily trafficked spots. Just be sure to check with your local authorities to see if you need a permit to do this.

Other Fundraising Options

If you don't have the manpower to get out and fundraise you still have options including the following:

Online Auction Services

You can also explore several online options such as the following:

  • BenefitEvents.com. This service provides custom online auction fundraising software and consulting services to nonprofit organizations. They help expand and administer traditional live gala events and produce and manage online-only events of any size, duration, or frequency.
  • Paypal Giving Fund. Here you can register your charity and anyone selling online can opt to donate a portion of their eBay sales back to your organization.
  • ActorsFund.org. Those at the top of the entertainment business make mega-salaries, but the rest of the industry struggles to make ends meet. This organization raises funds for those in the performing arts including professionals in theater, film, music, opera, television, and dance. They offer a broad spectrum of social, health, employment, and housing programs that meet critical needs.