Fundraisers That Work #1-4
The one challenge facing every organization, past or present, is fundraising. It's not finding fundraisers that is the problem; it's finding ones that actually work. Most people fall back on selling candy in order to raise money. Now, there's nothing wrong with a candy fundraiser, but know that there are only certain situations and audiences where such an idea will be profitable.
If you are truly serious about fundraising, there are some very doable ideas to consider. As a general rule of thumb, the best fundraisers are the ones that require the least amount of manpower and the most amount of thinking.
My fraternity struggled with finding fundraisers that worked all throughout my college career. We had a lot of failures, but we also had a lot of successes. And we had even more ideas that we weren't able to implement because we didn't get the chance.
This Hub will detail four fundraisers that work really well, if done correctly.
Table of Contents
#1 - Odd Jobs
Odd jobs make great fundraisers. They are some of the most challenging and rewarding types of fundraising out there. And while they do require a great deal of work, you are guaranteed to make money because you are technically working a job. Also, you can multiply an odd job's fundraising potential by bringing along more people with you to work.
Some potential odd jobs to look into are helping tenants move in or out, hosting a car wash, or looking for one time jobs working for companies like Six Flags during either the summer or Fright Fest. I worked at Six Flags during the summer. It was a lot of work, but we did walk away with almost $400 for one day's worth of work.
#2 - Business Sponsorships
Getting a business to sponsor an organization is another potential fundraiser that most people overlook. It's a little bit of a risk because you are relying on the goodness of the corporate world, but it can be very beneficial. All you have to do is write a letter addressed to a company, asking them to sponsor you. It should be well-written, and you definitely need a good reason to convince them to help you out. Any idea that can shed positive light on the company, or that can promote them will increase your chances of success.
My fraternity was trying to throw a pageant for male and female members of Greek life on campus, but the school wouldn't allocate us the money. So what we did was go around to local companies, asking them to help sponsor our event. We used the school's refusal to allocate us funds as a selling point to help swing businesses into our corner. And it worked! We were able to get several prizes to raffle off like snowboards and gift certificates during the event, and we ended up making around $700!
Don't be afraid of corporate sponsorship!
#3 - Plasma Donation
Donating plasma was one of many fundraisers that sadly, I did not get to try. But nonetheless, it is still a great way to raise money for any organization. What it entails is traveling to a plasma donation center, and getting compensated for having plasma drawn from your blood. It's completely easy, and the more people who donate, the more profitable this fundraiser can become!
There are a few drawbacks. For one, you have to actually find a center to use. There aren't any plasma donation centers left in New Jersey, which is why my fraternity chapter didn't get the chance to try this out.
Also, you can only donate plasma every so often. In order to make this a feasible fundraiser, you need to take as many people as you can at one time. There are also safety regulations to keep in mind, so research the process before considering this fundraiser.
The payout for plasma donation is worth it, though. You can make between $10-20 per donation, so if you were to take just 10 people with you, this fundraiser could make between $100-200, for doing next to nothing! This is definitely an idea you want to consider.
#4 - Cooking
No matter where you go, what you do or who you know, cooking fundraisers will always bring in money. And I'm not just talking about just bake sales, I mean full-fledged, three-course, "just like mama used to make" cooking! People will always pay for food, and with some planning and good cooking, your organization can raise quite a bit of funds with one of these.
A fraternity at my college had a Pasta Night fundraiser where they got alumni and parents to cook traditional, home-styled lasagna, pasta and spaghetti. They charged $5 at the door, and it was an all you can eat buffet. This was one of the best fundraisers I had ever participated in, and I even got to leave with half a tray of lasagna!
This cooking fundraiser was hosted inside one of the dorms on campus, and a lot of people showed up. Not only was the food good, but it was something else to do on a night with not much going on already. Your organization could host a similar fundraiser, you just need to find a good location and time, and most importantly, serve good food!
One idea that my fraternity, Psi Sigma Phi, didn't get a chance to tryout was to cook and serve food late night and turn it into a fundraiser for our chapter. There were a set of grills in the middle of the senior dorms, and we were going to cook burgers and hot dogs, and then sell them to people that would pass by.
This would have been a great idea because the only cafeteria on campus closed at 1:00 AM, so people would have to go off campus to eat later than that. Also, since the majority of senior dorms were "wet", that meant a lot of people would catch the "drunken munchies" and be tempted to drive off-campus to get food. This fundraiser would have been convenient, easy, fun, helped prevent drinking and driving, and allowed us promote our frat at the same time.
- Fundraising Mix
Fundraising Mix is a blog that hosts creative ideas for fundraisers! Check it out!
- Fundraisers That Work II
Part II of the "Fundraisers That Work" series. 4 more fundraising ideas that work, including hosting parties, fast food restaurants, silent auctions and egg donation.
- A Small Change - Fundraiser Blog
Blog with ideas, news and other information about fundraisers.
- Do-It-Yourself Ideas for Fundraisers
Free do-it-yourself fundraising ideas to supplement your fundraising program.