What would be a good idea for a fundraiser? And how do you start one?

My church read about Katie's Helping Hand and everybody thought is was pretty neat how somebody so young started such a successful fundraiser. I need to know how to start one we are thinking of ideas but nobody really had any.

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There are lots of things you could do.  A simple bake-sale, a raffle, a bingo night, a flea market,  a walkathon/marathon, door to door chocolates, or all kinds of other things.  Look at what others do, and do something that you think would go over well in your town.

I can't assume anything about your location, church, or cause from your post so I can only give you general advice.  Whatever you do, check with the law in your area before attempting a fundraiser.  Some things, like bingo or raffles may require a permit to operate (where I live, bingo requires a permit from our region's lottery operator, whether it's 100% charitable or not).  Other things like bake sales may require special handling of the foods and door-to-door fund-raising usually has to be done within certain hours of the day and may also require a permit.

I've seen everything from a furniture auction for cancer (how are they connected?), to a Christian Car Wash for a school trip (I haven't figured out what made it Christian, specifically).  You don't have to be extremely imaginative, just remember to check the law and try not to step on someone else's territory.  I.e. if another church does a bake sale regularly, it's pretty rude to do one on the same day.

More ideas?
Try doing a facebook or twitter post about who needs the money and why.   It'll help if you already have a circle of friends there, and it'll be even more helpful if you can find some creative way to make it interesting.   Someone recently has had some success with a breast cancer fundraiser.  That person noticed that people were posting the color of their bras, and then they challenged ladies everywhere to do it, but this time to show that they care about breast cancer and encouraged them to donate money towards the cure.  That's quite brilliant I think, she turned around a weird facebook trend and made it into something really good!


Just one last thing to keep in mind.  Remember the target audience.  You want to come up with something that appeals to the people who care about your cause.  If you're fundraising for your church, for example, it wouldn't make sense to throw a rave.  Two reasons: It attracts the wrong audience and it repels the right audience.  If you're raising money for Haiti or cancer, you could probably do anything mundane or totally crazy and still get donations, because everyone is interested in those things right now.  See what I mean?  Think about the kind of people who care, and serve them.

Anyway, best of luck!
Kiteman7 years ago
Our Cub group has great success with back-packing.

Arranged with our local supermarket, two or three Cubs are stationed at each till to help folk pack their shopping bags and carry them out to cars.

Happy customers donate whatever they want for the service.

In a typical 3-4 hour session, we collect £200-£400 (we do better in worse weather, because folk are more grateful for a lift to the car in bad weather, and tend to feel sorry for soggy Cubs).

Nice note on psychology there too... ;)
The first step is actually doing it.  Just start off small, forget what others tell you, and do it.  You'll get a swing of things, attract attention, and grow from there.

A relatively easy one would be starting an organic garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks and soup kitchens.  Fresh foods are difficult to come by and expensive to purchase.  You would need to learn a bit about organic gardening, find a plot of land to grow in, gather materials and tools, obtain a water source, and recruit volunteers to check on the plot daily.

You can also grow plants and flowers for cemeteries such as military cemeteries.  Plants and flowers need to be refreshed, and you can easily take the burden off of others and show a sense of responsibility and care for those who've passed away.

You can start a club of volunteers who go to nursing homes and entertain residents.  It could be a comedy troupe, dance troupe, choir, band/orchestra, etc.

You can start a volunteer neighborhood/city beautification project where you clean, weed, create sculpture, and plant.  Contact your city first unless you want to go guerrilla with it.

Raise money for a favorite charity through stuff you can do.  Bake sale, plant sale, craft sale, theater productions, whatever.  Make posters and go out on the streets.  Contact the charity before doing so and get their permission first.

There are lots of things you can do, but keep it small and keep it simple.  It'll build off of that.
 
+1
Good answer re volunteerism generally.
Sandisk1duo7 years ago
Collect some money for Haiti!
orksecurity7 years ago
There are thousands of fundraising ideas floating around. Whatever-a-thons. Bake sales, book sales, and so on. Community yard sales with income going to the charity (beware of people dumping unsellable junk on you).  Any kind of service that you have the volunteer manpower to offer. Donation boxes at local businesses. Some sort of humorous contest where people vote for the winner at "a penny a vote, ballot stuffing encouraged, bribes taken at face value". A raffle -- but be very careful about local laws and tax implications on that one; it may be considered gambling unless structured carefully.

Hazards: 

(1) Watch out for professional fundraising organizations. Many try to skim a huge percentage of the income.

(2) Also, of course, talk to every other charitable organization in your area to find out what they're doing as fundraisers. Try not to step on them -- do something different, or at a least at a different time of year from their campaign. They may have suggestions -- things they've done in the past that worked, things that didn't, interesting things they've heard about.

(3) Don't be rude about it. Door-to-door solicitation, for example, risks annoying more people than it encourages, at least if the solicitors are any older than 15. Phone solicitation is equally unwelcome for many of us -- charitable organizations aren't _required_ to honor the do-not-call list, but you should probably screen your calling list against a copy anyway since that's a strong indication that these individuals don't want strangers calling them.

(4) In some ways, this isn't very different from running a small business. If your area has something like the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE), they can be a good resource for how to organize things.