Do you struggle with creative fundraising ideas? Stuck in the rut of finding the right gifts to sell or avoiding the same fundraiser that everyone has done for the past 20, 30, 40 years?
Finding creative ways to ask for donations can be difficult. For years, schools and organizations across the country have relied on commerce style fundraising as a means to reach their fundraising goals. From cookie dough, to fruit baskets, to gift wrapping, to any number of other catalog style sales, we’ve all seen, sold, and purchased our fair share of these items. While these have worked and are great opportunities, they can eventually lead to fatigue and burnout, not just for the donors, but for those raising the funds and selling as well.
Another struggle with this commerce style fundraising is that the donations received are not tax-deductible because there is an exchange of goods for money. This can sometimes be a hindrance to your efforts.
Be encouraged! There are many ways to create fun effective and meaningful engagement with potential and current donors while meeting your fundraising goals!
Here are some unique ways you can fundraise and involve your donors in more than an exchange of goods.
- Walk-A-Thon – This allows donors to choose how much per mile, step, lap, etc. they want to donate. After the student has walked or run that amount, the donor can utilize the online platform to give. The online platform allows the student to post updates of their current progress in terms of the distance they have completed and how much more is needed to reach their goal.
- Serve-A-Thon – Similar to the one above, but instead of walking or running a distance, it would be hours of service. From helping out around the school/church/organization to serving at a local shelter or food bank. This gives your organization the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community around you while also reaching your fundraising goals.
- Sponsorships – Sponsorships help make the needs personal. Instead of asking for donations for books in general, you can ask your donors to sponsor a specific person’s book or supplies. This also breaks down the larger task into smaller tasks which makes it more attainable for your donors and they can see the effect of their donation sooner.
- Interactive Challenges – This is where you could really have some fun and laughs along the way. With this style, if you reach your goal in the time frame requested, a person (usually a prominent administrator) does something crazy. Here are a few ideas for challenges:
- Shaving of mustache or head
- Wearing crazy socks or hats for a week
- Getting in the dunking booth at the end of year festival
- Taking a pie to the face
- Wearing a crazy costume
These are just a few of the ways in which you can be successful and meet your fundraising goals while keeping your donors engaged and not exhausting your entire community with “candy retail.” None of these have to be complicated or difficult to manage. Let’s dive into these effective approaches together so your cause and needs can receive as much support and enthusiasm as possible.