Fundraising 101 for Canadian and US Charities!


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Money has never been so tight for so many and the need to raise funds for charities has never been so great, so what can we do? Speak to any one involved in raising funds for a charity and they'll tell you how difficult it has become. No more are you solicited for 3 or 4 charities, it seems you are solicited daily if not weekly. The amount of worth while and bogus charities has ballooned in the last decade. This coupled with rising debt for the middle class has presented a great challenge for those soliciting funds.

To day sending out a letter with a pre-addressed envelope is certainly not enough. To grab their attention your solicitation must cut through the clutter and must peak their interest and provide the contributor with something. If you do send out a solicitation letter it better have color, pictures, mention where the funds are going and it better be addressed to the end user personally. Poker charity events are popular now because people can enjoy the evening out, participating in something fun, while contributing to a great cause. Other balls or charity auctions are also fun evenings which tend to be successful.

These events are great for adults but today kids and college kids are in need of funds for everything from uniforms, books, extra curricular activities to meals. What works well for them. The usual chocolate bar or cookie sale, works but is losing it's lustre. In order to be wildly successful you must be willing to stand out and try something new. A couple of great ideas include dog tags, playing cards and apparel. You can brand your school image on the front of the dog tag and place a consecutive number or bar code on the back for a contest drawing or entrance ticket. Making something cool will have the students keep the item long after the event closes which keeps the charity in peoples eyes for a long time.

Playing cards are very popular now with kids playing all types of card games including poker. Imprinting one side of the playing card with your logo and selling add space on the other side can double your returns. First you make money from selling the cards which already have been prepaid but the advertisers.

Lastly kids are very fashion conscious. Come up with a great design for apparel and use hot clothing like American Apparel to guarantee great sales of your products. Don't limit yourself to just t-shirts and hats but try different items like under wear or socks. If you need more ideas take a look at any promotional product dealer who specializes in fundraising activities or look at for ideas for your next event. if you have any questions or need any help give me a call at 514-337-2238 or drop me an email at In fundraising you can't afford to be shy.

Steven Schneidman

Steven Schneidman had taught finance at a Canadian University, worked for a major bank and has owns a successful printing and promotional product company in Canada. He has worked with many charities in both Canada and the United States.


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