Ideas for Do-it-Yourself Fundraising

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Whether you are trying to raise money for yourself, a nonprofit organization, a particular group or a business, raising funds is often difficult. However, there are many ways to raise money effectively. Your comfort level and creativity will determine the best fundraising ideas for you.

Simply Ask

One of the most effective ways to get funds is to ask for them. Personally asking for funds in a face-to-face conversation is difficult for many people, but it is also the toughest scenario for the potential donor to refuse, especially if he knows you. Prepare a script and practice it until you are comfortable using it to ask for money. Be prepared for objections with valid reasons to donate. Letters cost postage, but emails are free. Both may be ignored, but they are other potential ways to raise money.

Sell Items

Everyone likes to feel they are getting value for their money. Discount coupon books, cookie dough sales, and plant and bake sales have been successful for raising funds. Hanging posters to advertise the event or sending out fliers for advanced sales often helps generate more money.

Host a Fundraiser

Send out invitations well in advance, since some donors may pay without attending. Get a restaurant to donate food in exchange for advertising, or offer desserts only. Combine the fundraiser with a fashion show and ask the store providing clothes to donate a percentage of what it sells to the cause.

Have an Auction

Get donations of items and host an auction. Serve and charge for refreshments at the event. Auctions can be silent, where the seller designates a minimum bid, participants write down what they are willing to pay and the highest bidder wins, or you can act as an auctioneer. You can auction off services as well as items. Send out a list of the available items in advance and accept bids from people unable to attend the event.

Other Ideas

Obtain group discount tickets for a sports event or theater production. Sell the tickets at regular price.

Hold a bingo fundraiser. Get people to donate prizes and sell refreshments at the event. Bingo cards can be generated online, if needed.

Organize a walk or exercise class. Donors can lose calories while they pay to help your cause.

Organize a progressive dinner. Ask donors to pay for a full-course meal and get volunteers who are willing to be responsible for each course. If desired, have a cuisine theme to complement the event.

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