FUNDRAISING TIPS www ASK EVERYONE Ask for donations from all the people you have supported for various charitable events in the past. In addition to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, seek out restaurants, hair dressers, other businesses you visit, your doctor, dentist, etc. for donations. Asking for specific amounts works better than a vague request for "a contribution". Gauge your audience ... even those who have less to give will give something if it sounds reasonable. Give tangible examples for how much your donors are giving. For example, ask a donor to "Give up one nice dinner out on the town and donate $20" or "Give up going out to see one movie, donate $10". BARTER Offer to barter weekend errands in exchange for contributions from friends. PROVIDE FOOD Provide donuts, bagels, brownies, cookies, etc. at your place of work and sell each for a $2 donation. SPONSOR YOURSELF Get your own name on the donor honor roll! Don't forget to sponsor yourself! MAKE IT CLEAR! Make it clear why you are raising money. The more you understand about where the money goes, the more excited and proud you'll sound, and the more positive responses you will get! Remind everyone about the tax-deductible nature of their donation (100% tax deductible). MATCHING GIFTS PROGRAM Ask if their company has a corporate matching program. If so, this is a wonderful way to double your money. Your $50 donation could turn into $100 SEND REMINDERS Enclose stamped envelopes with any letters you may send out to make it even easier to send payment. Return all calls from those you have solicited promptly. Respond to friends and family using e-mail, a quick and easy service to stay in touch!! THANK EVERYONE Send thank-you notes or make thank-you calls after the event, letting your sponsors know how helpful their contribution was to the program and how much you appreciated their support. Showing appreciation is one of the biggest motivators for encouraging repeat behavior -and your sponsors have several charities asking for contributions all year long, so make sure they know how much their choosing YOUR charity means to you! 61 WAYS TO RAISE $500 – or at least your $50 paddler fee. Almost all of these strategies involve asking for money and giving money your self. These are the basic premises of fundraising – you must ask, you must give. Everything after that involves creativity, imagination and a sense of fun. 1. Give it yourself. This is the easiest way for those who are able, although if you are able to give that much money you should be helping raise much more than $500. 2. Ask a business to sponsor your team. You can hang the business‟s banner at you tent in Athlete‟s Village and/or add their name to your team T-shirt. Or ask two, three, four etc. businesses to sponsor your team. 3. Create a take-off on the “adopt-a-highway” techniques by naming paddlers from your group as available for adoption. You can add the adopter to your team T-shirt with their name of “This paddler generously adopted by …….” 4. List all your friends who are interested in your organization/team or a similar organization. Decide how much each one should give. Write to them including a brochure from the organization and a return envelope. Phone those people who don‟t respond in two weeks. Some people will need 10 friends to give $50 and some people need 50 friends to give $10. Most people will need a combination such as 2-3 @$50, 4-5 @$25, 15 @ $10. 5. Give part of the $500. Then ask your friends to join you in giving $25, $50, or whatever your gift is. This is most effective because you are not asking them to do anything you haven‟t done. 6. Set up a challenge campaign. Challenge gifts can be quite small. Tell people you‟ll give $5 for every $25 they give or will match every $10 gift up to ten gifts. For added suspense, make this challenge during a fundraising event. You or the host can announce “We now have the „Dave Buckstretch‟ Challenge for the next five minutes. Dave will give $5 for every……” 7. Use several grassroots fundraising strategies: Sell $100 raffle tickets for $10 Bring 10 people to an event that cost $10 to raise $100 Get 15 friends to donate @$15 each to raise $25 8. Hold a phon-a-thon. Bring the names of people you think would like to donate and call until you have raised $500. Or trade names with someone on the team and call their friends until you have reached $500. This is particularly effective for people who are shy about asking their own friends and family for money, but not afraid to ask people they don‟t know. 9. Acquire mailing lists. If you belong to another group, perhaps you can set up an exchange or perhaps you have access to a list of members of some other group. You can ask all your friends to give you the names of 10 to 15 people they think would like to donate. You would need to recruit about 25 people at an average gift of $15. Depending on how “hot” your list is, you might need as few as 200 names (to do a bulk mailing) or as many as 1500-3000 (if you expect a 1-2% response.) You would have to have a greater response if you wanted the mailing to pay for itself and also generate $500. 10. Pledge $25 a month starting in January until the team entry deadline in April and get four other people to do likewise. 11. Teach a seminar on a topic you know: fundraising, knitting, organic gardening, organizing, proposal writing, environmental impact reports, gourmet cooking, dog grooming, staring your own business. Charge $20-50 per person with of goal of 20-30 people. Absorb the cost of promotion or have enough participants to cover it. 12. Have a yard sale making sure that you have $500 worth of things to sell and then help sell it all. 13. With 4 or 5 friends, have a spaghetti dinner or fish fry at a church or union hall or other big room with a large kitchen. Charge $10 per person and feed more than 50 people. You can charge extra for wine, salads, garlic bread or for dessert. 14. Have a fancy dinner at your home or a regular dinner at someone‟s fancy home. Serve unusual or gourmet food or have special entertainment. Charge $25 or more per person and have 20 or more guests. 15. Get 3 friends to help you have a progressive dinner. Start at one person‟s home for cocktails and hors d‟oeuvres, progress to the next person‟s house for soup or salad, the next person‟s for the main course and the last person‟s for dessert. Either charge by course or for the whole package. To make it extra special (and much more expensive) get a limousine for the evening that carries guests from house to house. 16. Host a wine and cheese party. Do not charge admission and invite as many people as you can. During the party, give a short talk about your organization/team and ask everyone to consider a gift of $25, $50 or $100 or more (depending on the crowd). Either pass out envelopes and ask people to give then or after the party contact everyone individually who came and ask for a major gift. Indicate that you have given, if appropriate, how much you have given. 17. Get your gambling friends together. Charge a $5 entrance fee and have a poker evening, asking that every “pot” be split with the organization. Individuals win and so does the organization/team. You can charge extra for refreshments or include one or two glasses of something with the price of admission. (Watch the laws in our community on this one. In some communities it is illegal to gamble even in your own home.) 18. Do one fundraising event every month from January to the team entry deadline in April that nets at least $125. This might look like: Poker party raises $100 Fancy dinner (8 people @ $25) raises $200 Sell 50 raffle tickets @ $1 raises $50 Book sale raises $50 Yard Sale raises $200 19. Solicit small businesses, churches, synagogues or service clubs for $500. If you are active in a church or own your own business and are involved in business organizations or service clubs this can be very effective. You can often raise $200-$500 with a simple proposal and presentation. 20. Take a part time job in addition to your present work and give everything you earn up to $500. 21. Ask 5-10 people to save all their change for the months leading up to the event. You save yours. Count it out at the end of the prescribed time and use one of the other methods to raise the rest. (You may not have to.) 22. Ask 2-5 friends to help with a bake sale, book sale or yard sale. You and your friends bake the goods or get the books or other stuff required for the sale, staff it and help clean up afterwards. This is an excellent way to get people involved in fundraising without ever actually asking them for money. 23. For the fairly rich: give your organization/team $5,000 as an interest-free loan for a year. They invest it, earn 8-10% and at the end of the year, they give you your $5,000 back. 24. Sell your organization/team‟s materials, buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers or whatever else they have for sale. Also, help distribute these to bookstores or novelty shops. 25. The Farming Out Method: Entice 5 friends to sell 100 raffle tickets each or to raise $100 however they like. Share this list of suggestions with them. Give them a nice dinner at the successful end of their efforts (or a bottle of good wine or a weekend away). 26. Get a famous or popular person to do a special event. Watch the costs on this or you may lose money. 27. Invite people to our birthday party and ask that in lieu of gifts they give you money to your team/organization. 28. Conduct a volunteer canvass. For one evening, you and a group of friends take literature to all the neighborhoods around you asking for donations at the door. Be sure to comply with city and county ordinances. 29. Lead or get someone to lead a nature walk, and architectural tour, a historic tour, a sailing trip, a kayak trip or a horseback ride. Charge $15-$25 per person or charge $35 and provide lunch. Advertise the event in the newspaper to draw in people from outside your organization. 30. Start a pyramid dinner or a chain dinner. Invite 12 people and charge $12 each. Get two people of the twelve you invited to invite 12 people each at $12 and two people from each of those two dinners to invite 12 people at $12 and so on. Here‟s the income: Your dinner: 12 x $12 = $144 From your dinner: 12 x (12+12) = $288 From those dinners: 12 x (12+12+12+12) = $576 12 is used in this example because it worked very well for the Nuclear Freeze Campaign in California which was Proposition 12. 31. Sell your frequent flyer miles to friends or donate them to the organization for a raffle. Watch the rules of the airlines on this but most airlines let you give miles away and you may be able to sell your miles as long as you don‟t go through a mileage broker. 32. If you live in a nice house or own a getaway cottage in a beautiful place or in an expensive city, rent it out for a week or a weekend two or three times during the year and give the proceeds to your organization. Or rent a room in your home for much less than the cost of a hotel room to people needing a place to stay. You may even make a new friend in the process. 33. If you own a valuable dog and you breed it, donate the proceeds from one or two puppies. (I know some animal lovers will join me in feeling mixed about bringing more animals into the world when so many need homes; this suggestion is for people who were already planning to breed their dog. It is not intended as an incentive.) 34. Organize a service raffle. Get 4 people (one can be you) to donate a simple but valuable service that many people could use and sell raffle tickets for $3 to $5 each. Keep the price a little high so you don‟t have to sell so many and so that the buyers have a higher chance of winning. Services can include: Child care for a weekend or for any two weekend nights One day of housecleaning Yard work House painting Car washing Pet sitting Bird cage cleaning Dog walking Students: help a teacher clean classroom, grade papers, etc. Sell the tickets to neighbors, co-workers, board members. Encourage people to buy several by offering discounts for multiple purchases such as one for $5; 3 for $12; 5 for $15. If you are really bold or live in a more affluent area or have few friends, sell tickets for $20 each. A ful sl day of housecleaning for $20 is a bargain and buyers have a high chance of winning with fewer tickets sold. 35. Offer to do something your friends and/or family has been nagging you to do anyway and attach a price to it. For example, quit smoking on the condition that your friends donate to your team/organization or get your friends to pay a certain amount for every day you don‟t smoke up to 30 days. Agree to match their gifts at the end of thirty days if you didn‟t smoke. Give them their money back if you did. (This method could be applied to other healthy behaviors such as exercising or not eating sugar, etc.) 36. If you belong to a church, research whether your church or theirs has a discretionary fund. Many churches have small pools of money available to groups through a women‟s fellowship or pastor‟s discretionary fund or various seldom used endowments. Grants are often in the $50-$500 range and so go largely untouched by fundraisers. Sometimes simply writing a letter will free up this money and it tends to be renewable if someone is willing to ask the church yearly. 37. Ask friends who belong to service clubs, fraternities, sororities, antique collecting groups, support groups, book clubs, bridge clubs, etc. to discuss your organization in their group and pass the hat for donations. A once-a-year sweep of event small groups can yield $100 from each. 38. For the church going: ask if your organization/team can be a “second collection”. The church passes the plate for its own collection and then you or someone from your organization gives a brief talk (or sometimes the whole sermon) about your group and the plate is passed again; the proceeds go to your group. 39. A variation on the above is to organize a “second collection Sunday” and get as many churches as you can to take up a second collection for your organization. Someone from your group/team will need to be at each service and give a brief talk. Second Collection Sundays can be very lucrative as witnessed by the Catholic Campaign fro Human Development, which collects $8 million on one Sunday in all the participating Catholic churches in the United States. 40. If, as a child, you collected something avidly that you now store away, consider selling it. Coins and stamps are particularly valuable and have usually increased in value over the years. But your collection of seashells, beach glass, rocks, toy ships, rockets, arrowheads or dolls can also be valuable. When you donate the income from the sale, you can deduct the amount from your taxes – an added bonus of this strategy, since you probably paid little or nothing for the items in the collection. 41. Have a sidewalk sale or yard sale for your whole neighborhood or building. Go around to your neighbors and tell them you will take their stuff outside and sit with it all day to sell it if they will donate half or all of the proceeds to your team/group. Since this is stuff people want to rid of anyway, it is a good deal for them. In one apartment building with ten units participating in donating stuff and organization netted $3,000 in one day. Three people from the organization helped with the selling. With a few high ticket items, such as a washer/dryer or some nice lamps, you can make good money. 42. If you have an artistic side, offer to design greeting cards to specification for organizations or individuals for a fee. If you are good at calligraphy, sell your skills to schools for graduation announcements, friends for classy but low-cost wedding invitations or just fun certificates such as “World‟s Greatest Dad” for Father‟s Day or “Outstanding Friend”. Create unique Halloween or Fantasy Fest masks. Donate the proceeds from your artistry. 43. Get permission to place a large container in stores or even at the airport. Have a sign that asks people (in several languages) to throw in any coins or paper money they have not exchanged. Many times people leaving don‟t have time to exchange all their money or cannot exchange their loose change. Multiply this times hundreds of foreign tourists and you can make a lot of money. UNICEF does this in many European airports. 44. Hold an “I‟m Not Afraid” Auction. You do this with a few friends or hundreds of people if you have enough items to auction. You survey a few people (and use your own common sense) about what things need to be done in their home, office or classroom that they are afraid of or would really rather not do. This is different from a service auction – there has to be an element of dread in the activity. For example, some people cannot wash their windows because they are too high and they suffer from vertigo. If you are not afraid of heights you can sell your window washing service. This goes fro drain cleaning, minor roof repairs, hurricane shutters, etc. Or, if you are unafraid of cockroaches, waterbugs or spiders, you can offer to clean out that dark corner of a garage or shed for a small fee. Snakes can be found in gardens and sheds but maybe that doesn‟t bother you. The problem doesn‟t need to be a serious as a phobia. How about allergies to dust, pollen, weeds? If you don‟t have them, you can mow, sweep and clean for a fee. By marketing it as an “I‟m Not Afraid” auction you also have the option for people to name something they need done to a group of volunteers and then have a volunteer say, “I‟m not afraid to do that”. In that case, you need a set fee for service. 45. Similar to the suggestion above is the “Details Auction”. This is for all your friends whose desks are overflowing with papers or who can‟t get their receipts in order to give to the tax preparer or who complain they can never find anything. If you are well organized, offer to clean up their desk, get their rolodex in order, file their papers, etc. If you like to shop, sell that to people who don‟t and do all their shopping for them or buy birthday, baby shower or niece/nephew presents for them. Anything that people feel they cannot control is the organized person‟s fundraising dream come true. 46. Find out which of your friends (perhaps its true for you also) work in corporations with matching gift programs. Then ask them to donate and get their gift matched and ask them to ask their co-workers to donate and get their gifts matched. 47. Topless car or boat wash. Got your attention, huh? This is run just like a regular fundraising car wash. Advertise that it‟s a “Topless” car wash and set up the car washing area behind a business where it can't be seen from the street. People will flock to it out of pure curiosity! Designated hunks and "hunketts" lure people to the car wash. When the driver pulls into the wash area they find that a "Topless" car wash means the bottom of the car is washed free but a donation of $3.00 is required if they want the top washed. Folks are generally pretty good natured and appreciate the ingenuity 48. Include a silent auction during a fundraiser or as a stand-alone event. 49. Organize a talent show and charge an admission. 50. Have adoptable animals from the local rescue facility create paintings. The paintings can be done on canvas and professionally matted and framed. These paintings are then given names reminiscent of great works of art and described as one would describe a work created by a master such as Monet, Rembrandt, Kandinsky or PAW-casso. Cite examples of shadowing, chiaroscuro, the artist's sense of playing with light, the interesting uses of color, and the detailed 'paw-strokes' used. Provide a bio of the animal artist and a photo of the animal in a smaller frame to accompany the artwork when sold. The paw paintings can be sold for $100 or more during the auction time or sold individually as part of an art show. If you have an art school or studio nearby, ask them to be a sponsor of the event and assist you in framing your artwork or donating canvases and supplies. Animals can also paint original works of art on t- shirts, aprons, sweatshirts, tote bags and other items. 51. This is a great fundraiser for high school and junior high teams but could be used with other groups. Have a competition within the different classes in the school (senior, junior, sophomore, freshmen) to see who has the most school spirit. Each class has two colors that their paper chain consists of. Sell each strip of paper for 25 or 50 cents. Keep the chains hidden and then at an assembly have class representatives bring out the huge paper chains that have accumulated over time. Whichever class‟ chain is the longest receives bragging rights for the rest of the school year. This is a great activity to do right before homecoming or other school functions when school spirit is high. The only thing you have to pay for is the paper and staples/glue/tape. 52. Have a crock-pot cook-off. Have 20 people make dishes in 4 categories. (chili, stew, chowder and soup). All food was brought to a central location in a crock-pot. The general public paid admission to the cook off and became the judges. The cost was $5 for adults and $2.50 for kids. They were then able to go around the room and sample everyone's creations and judge. They received voting tickets for each category and were able to vote for one dish in each category. You can also offer free bottled water and bread and corn bread to cleanse the pallet and give relief from the heat of some of the chilis. Give out prizes for first place in each category (e.g. a new crock pot cookbook.) Include a bake sale and a raffle for a new fancy crock-pot. Add more categories such as desserts and a miscellaneous category. You can't beat a $5 lunch and all the samples you can eat for a fundraiser. 53. Pajama Day/Funny Hat Day/Grunge Day. Students pay $.50 to $1.00 on a designated day and get to wear their pajamas to school. All you need is someone to go to the classrooms and collect the money. Even teachers participate. Consider having a contest for the ugliest, weirdest, etc. pajamas. 54. Scrabble tournament. Scrabble is all about being fluent in the language and coming up with words that might be worth a lot of points. People have fun coming up with strange and exotic words no one else has thought of. Teams of four, six, or eight gather at different tables, each with a Scrabble board and all the letters available. Each team starts with the same opening word, and has 20 minutes to fill the board with high-scoring words. A judge sits at each table. Individuals pay $35 to participate. Players can sneak a peek at a dictionary for an additional $10 donation. Make extra fundraising money selling refreshments, raffle, auction, etc. Additional details and ideas available from the National Scrabble Association. 55. Sticky Fly is a great way to involve the students and faculty in a fun and engaging activity, and to raise awareness for your cause at the same time. Find a popular teacher or the principal who is willing to participate. You‟ll need lots of duct tape (ask a hardware store or Home Depot to donate) Post flyers around the school a week ahead of time advertising your fundraiser. On the appointed day, during lunch hours, find a spot where students and faculty pass by regularly. Set a chair up against a wall so that the side of the chair (NOT the back or front, otherwise it won't work right) is firmly against the wall. Place a couple of gym mats or cushions in front of the chair as a precaution. Have the teacher stand up on the chair with his/her back against the wall. For fifty cents per yard of duct tape, students and faculty can tape the teacher to the wall. When the teacher is firmly taped to the wall, stop selling tape. Announce that you will now remove the chair to see just how long the "fly" can stick to the wall. If you want to, before removing the chair, take bets on how long the teacher will remain on the wall. It makes the game even more interesting for everyone. More: A Bloomington High School principal had a great view of a basketball game halftime festivities after agreeing to participate in a fundraiser for the BHS Poms squad, and found him self affixed to the gymnasium wall. Raising money for a trip to a national competition, the BHS Poms sold tape at one dollar per foot. Enough sticky stuff was purchased and swiftly applied to securely hold the principal to the wall. Local businesses also donated money to the effort. 56. Squeegee Day. Get permission from a local drive thru to ask people to donate money to have their windshields washed as a donation to your organization/team. Have one person at the beginning of the drive thru asking the person if they would like their windshield washed. If they say yes, the volunteer places a pamphlet under their windshield wiper. Once they get to the front of the drive thru and they have a pamphlet under their wiper, a team of two washes their windshield and thanks them for their donation. Have all the squeegees donated as well as the windshield washer fluid (mix it 1:1 with water). Two locations from 8am-noon can generally make between $800 and $1000 dollars. There‟s very little setup (your pail and pamphlets) and it takes a very small amount of people to pull it off - have 5 people at each. One person to ask for the donations and two teams of two so you don‟t slow the drive thru lane down if we get multiple cars in a row. You can either have a stated donation amount or leave it up to the generosity of the driver. 57. Partner with a local establishment to host a Karaoke night. Admission is $5 per person and you supply the refreshments for the evening. Hold a competition or just a free for all. 58. School principal picks as many teachers as he/she feels will willingly participate. The principal also has to play (to be fair of course). The principal then selects an "appropriate" activity that each teacher has to do such as: kiss a pig, color hair a wild color, dress outrageously, roller skate, etc. Be creative! Have fun! Teachers vote on what the principal has to do. Get a large jar for each teacher and the principal. Write the name of the each teacher and the principal and their "assigned activity" on their individual jars. Put the jars in a secure area - preferably in a high traffic area. Students, teachers, parents, and other school employees "vote" by depositing money into the jar(s). At the end of the fundraising event, the three teachers who have the most money in their jar, have to do their assigned activity. Have the "winners" perform their activity at a pep rally or other regular assembly, or hold a special assembly just for the fundraiser. 59. A guessing game is so simple than many groups never think of it and is appropriate fundraising for school groups, sports teams, civic clubs, work places - just about anywhere. Participants are given the opportunity to guess something and they pay for each guess. The simplest version is a large jar filled with virtually any item as long as it takes a lot of them to fill the jar. If you use candy, you could vary it by the season - red hots for Valentines Day, candy corn at Thanksgiving, multi-colored Hershey kisses at Christmas. Once the game is over, everyone gets to eat the contents. You could also use pennies, dried beans, screws, soft drink tabs, paper clips. Try to think of something that would be the most intriguing to your participants. Unless the items are donated or loaned, keep them very cheap for obvious reasons. Now that your jar is filled, you need to place it in a conspicuous place such as a display case at a school or break area at a business so everyone can see it. Place a sign next to the jar (and in all other areas you can think of) challenging participants to guess the number of "what evers" in the jar. Your specific organization and target participants will dictate how much to charge per guess and how to collect for the guesses. Make sure your signage explains what the proceeds will be spent for. There are many fundraising variations that can be considered. Have a guessing game jar at each of your monthly meetings with the proceeds going to a specific program or activity. Eliminate the jar contents and have the guess relate to an event - the closest time to a member's baby being born, the first snow fall of the year, the first day the Dow will close at exactly xxx, etc. Let your imagination run wild! 60. Many organizations rent a movie and hold movie night fundraising events. This works especially well if you have a large room and projection/large screen TV. Make money by charging a single price for the refreshments; or charge nothing and just ask for donations. Make sure you select a movie that will be of special interest to your group. Allow plenty of time for socialization before and after the movie. Some groups have held all-nighters where movie goers bring their sleeping bags and blankets and have a movie marathon. 61. Check with a grocery store to allow you to go into their stores and bag and carry groceries for tips. Have them give some basic bagging lessons beforehand...no bread on the bottom, etc. Make a flyer to hand shoppers at the door when they walk in explaining you are there to bag and carry groceries free of charge and if they choose to make a donation, please feel free to drop money in the decorated coffee cans provided at each register. You and your friends bag the groceries and load them into the cart after the cashier has rung them up and offer assistance to load them into the customers‟ vehicle.