One of the challenges for any group or organization is finding new ways to raise funds. It seems that everyone sells candy bars or puts on a car wash. Below are some fundraising ideas that might be a nice change and help your group raise funds using something unique that isn't being done by every other group out there.
1. Silent Auction
Have various members of your group donate items and then hold a silent auction. It is easy to do this. Just set aside a table or shelf. Give each item a piece of paper that people can write their bids on. The highest bidder wins the auction.
2. Direct Sales Companies
Several of the direct sales and party plan companies also have fundraising programs. Some of these programs are quite good. What is nice about some of these plans is that your group does not have to buy any stock in advance. Everything is done using catalogs. People place their orders and the consultant orders all the items. The majority of the time the consultant will pack all the orders and separate them by seller. Usually the consultant will give some type of incentive for the highest seller to encourage more fundraiser sales. Examples of direct sales companies that have fundraiser programs are Tupperware and Avon. These companies have a good reputation and a well know brand name. This helps to encourage your sales. If you use a company that is not well know, your sales may not be as good.
3. Rummage Sale
Put on a rummage sale. Ask for donations from all groups members. Advertise your rummage sale in the yard sale section of your local newspaper. Have your group members help at the fundraiser. The easiest way to price everything is to have tables for each price group. Then make signs for each table. For example, everything on this table is $1. Making a sign for each table or even for a certain corner or box will help eliminate the extra work of pricing everything individually.
4. Host a vendor fair or Farmer's Market or Trade Show
This works well if you have a building or parking lot. Rent out booths. This can be as simple as each parking space is so much or so much per table. Those in direct sales are always looking for opportunities to set up displays so they are the first ones you should call. Contact law enforcement agencies and other informational type organizations who might be willing to set up a display. You can also rent spaces to group members who may want to sell some stuff lying around their house but don't want to put on a yard sale of their own. However, keep in mind that you don't want this to be a big rummage sale. It works best when the majority of your vendors are selling new items. If you set your rent low enough you can also request that a percentage of sales go to the group. For example, you can rent tables for $10 and then ask for 10 percent of their sales for your group.
One thing to keep in mind is that in order for people to rent a space or table they need to know that people will be attending this event. Hence, make sure all group members publicize it. Put fliers for the event everywhere you can and consider placing an ad in the newspaper. If your vendors find your event was successful for them, they will be calling you asking you to do it again. Hence, more funds for your organization.
5. A New Take on Car Washes
I mentioned car washes earlier. Several groups seem to do them. However, there is a different way to do car washes that can actually raise more money for your group. This is done by selling tickets to your car wash in advance. You will be surprised at how many people will buy a ticket. Some of them may not come to the car wash but will buy a ticket to help out your group. Some groups have actually doubled their fundraiser proceeds by selling these tickets in advance.
6. Host a luncheon or dinner
Hosting a luncheon or dinner is a nice way to raise funds. Of course, you have to host the dinner but this may not be as difficult as you might think. Many restaurants have specials rooms that they use to host conferences, etc. These rooms can be rented for a fundraiser dinner. Often, the restaurants will also provide the food. Hence, it is just a matter of determining the cost of the room and the meals and then adding so much per ticket. Sell the tickets in advance. Following are some ideas on luncheons and dinners.
a. Hold a Valentine's Day dinner. Order a nice cake, have candy hearts on the tables, balloons, flowers, etc. One time I went to such an event with my church. Our pastor actually did a vow renewal service for all of us and the night was very special.
b. Christmas lunch or dinner. Decorate the room in a Christmas theme and have some gifts set aside. Play games for the gifts. Provide a small gift for everyone who buys a dinner ticket.
c. Any type of theme will work. Make it fun and interesting so people will want to purchase tickets to your event.
Fundraising can definitely be a challenge. However, there are plenty of options out there. I only listed a few of them above, but the opportunities out there for raising funds are endless.
Fundraising Option Ideas
Donna has an MBA in Information Technology and is currently a Tupperware Director and CEO of her own company. She also teaches online Management and Business classes for a local community college as well as computer classes for a four-year university.