13 Great Fundraiser Ideas Ways for Your Group, Club or Organization
Fundraising is a major part of being in a group or organization such as an athletics team, a youth group or a school club. How else are you going to fund the activities and trips that your group wants to do?
However, fundraising ventures don’t have to be difficult and boring – with some creativity, good work ethic and eyes on the goal, fundraising activities can be fun and profitable!
In each of these suggestions, promotion, advertising and volunteering play an important role, so be sure to use all methods of communication available, such as social networks, phone calls, posters and of course word-of-mouth.
Break out the popcorn! Movie nights are a great way to earn some money for your organization. First, find a venue where you can set up some chairs (if it doesn’t already come with benches or seats). If your group is associated with a church or a school see if there is a large room or area that would be available for you. You might have to pay a nominal fee as rent.
Two to three movies are often shown at these events, so make sure to choose popular or recent movies in order to attract a large crowd. You can show the movie by setting up a large projector screen or pinning a large clean white sheet against a flat wall, then using a projector and laptop to play the movie on.
Charge a nominal entrance fee, then also sell snacks such as bags of potato chips, popcorn, pizza, hot dogs, and candy bars. Also sell drinks such as juice, water and sodas.
Promote the movie night a few weeks in advance so that people can make plans to come. Also, create a Facebook Event page, and have each member of the group share it to their own profiles. If possible, get members to send out text messages to their friends or send broadcasts via social networks such as Twitter, Blackberry Messenger and WhatsApp.
This is one of the most popular (and effective) ways to earn money as a group. First, find out who is available or willing to take part – the more members, the better. Then, look for places that you could have your car wash – go for commercial places that have large car parks, such as supermarkets, malls and large stores. Call the head office and ask for permission to use their facilities for your fundraiser. If they agree, they will give you a date and time. Also, check for a pipe or water tap nearby that you can use as a source of water.
Once you have a date and time set, promote the car wash. On the day of the event, arrange for everyone to get there at least one hour before it is scheduled to begin. To show that you all belong to one group, wear the same colour shirts, or if you have a team shirt, have everyone wear theirs. If possible, get a banner to put up near the entrance of the car park, advertising the group’s name, the car wash, and what the funds raised would go to.
Have two members work on one car at once – it would be more time effective. For larger vehicles such as trucks or SUVs, have three to four people. This way, your group will be able to wash more cars and earn more money.
Make sure that you get the money from the car owners! Sometimes they try to sneak off without paying for your hard labour.
As an extra way of making money during the car wash, have a small table manned by some group members. You can have a bake sale, and sell cookies, slices of cake, cupcakes and other treats. Some people might not be interested in having their car washed, but would be willing to buy something from the booth or donate a few dollars to your cause.
Book a Stall at a local market
This idea works best at flea markets or farmers’ markets. Book a stall or tent on a weekend, and have everyone in your group donate some of their possessions that they no longer want or use. Handicrafts made by the members can also be sold at the booth. Think of it as a garage sale, but on a much larger scale.(you can read this guide on how to have successful garage sales and apply it to this method) Have a few members on hand to help display the items as well as to keep an eye on the money. Also, keep the money tin hidden and away from where customers might pass.
You can sell treats at the booth to earn some extra money. Things such as sweets, cookies, banana and coconut breads would do well.
Have a few people walking around the rest of the market, asking for donations, and inviting people to the booth. Also, when potential customers are perusing the booth, tell them what you’re raising money for. Is it a trip overseas? Is it for new equipment? Is it to donate to a greater cause, such as a local charity or children’s home? Telling people what your cause is can result in donations.
Bake Sales and Fish Fries and Barbeques, oh my!
Baked treats such as cupcakes, cake, donuts and cookies can really rake in the money for your group. Buy or ask for a donation of freshly baked cookies from the local bakery or supermarket; if group members can bake some as well, even better. Also, items such as mini pizzas, mini quiches, fritters, banana bread do well at bake sales.
Set up a table by the entrance of a supermarket, store or mall (with permission of course); you can also host sales at the schools and churches associated with your group. Price everything so that you are guaranteed a profit. Also, if possible, have a few members walk around with boxes of goods to sell.
A twist on this fundraising event is having a barbeque or a fish fry. Have a barbeque or portable stove on site, and cook delicious foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fish, various meats, fries and salads. You can charge per plate. Also, you should have some Styrofoam containers on hand so that people can take the food with them. If you want to make an event of it, you can have it at a public area (such as a local park) and advertise for people to come, get a plate of food, and relax with friends.
Host a party! With good advertising, a popular venue and great music, your profit can be in the hundreds or even thousands. Start planning from weeks before. Create a list of the most popular nightclubs, call each of them and ask how much it would be to rent for one night. Compare prices. Sometimes it’s better to take a package from a nightclub, as they would provide drinks and refreshments, bartenders, and a DJ. However, if you know a DJ that would be willing to give you a great deal for their services, you can use them instead. Also, if you want to draw more people to the event, have a local celebrity as the guest of honour.
Promotion is the most important step to take if you want your party to be successful. Create a Facebook Event page for the party, and have someone design a poster with all the vital information on it (the venue, party’s name, date and time, and featured DJs and guests). Have every member share the event page and party poster to their Facebook and Twitter contacts. Invite everyone you know – the success of the party heavily depends on how many people show up. Also for further promotion, have each member post the party’s poster as their Facebook profile page. Also, send broadcasts and messages on social networks such as Twitter, Blackberry Messenger and WhatsApp.
If having it at a nightclub is not an option, look for a public area such as a beach, field or park. Ask the correct authorities for permission.
Sponsored Walks and Runs
Plan a route for a walk or a run. Of course, ask the correct authorities for permission to use the route, especially if it includes roads used normally by vehicular traffic. The local police would be able to block off the roads so that the participants would be able to use them safely during the event. The route should end in a communal area such as a park, and participants can be given healthy snacks, and some music could be played.
You can charge each person a nominal fee for participating. Ask for donations from various companies so that you can give each participant a little ‘welcome package’ – these often contain a bottle of water, a snack such as a granola bar, a washcloth or small towel, and a drawstring bag. Companies can also donate bigger items which can be given as prizes. Also, encourage participants to wear fun clothes! Have prizes for Craziest Costumes, Creative Costumes and other categories.
Aerobics and Zumba classes are all the rage now, and they have potential to earn some money for your organization. Rent out the local gym, or find a venue that is open (such as the local park, a public carpark or a beach). Hire an aerobics or Zumba instructor to come, and once again, promote the event. Also get a DJ or a sound system (sometimes the instructors bring along their own music, and would just need speakers) to blast music to keep the crowd pumped.
Charge a minimal entrance fee, and give every participant a complimentary bottle of water. You can have energy drinks and healthy snacks such as fruits on sale.
Sometimes good ol’ sponsor sheets are the best way to earn money, especially if the group is going on a trip and each member is expected to pay a certain amount of money. Design and print charts (preferably on sturdy paper) with amounts of money in each square. Also, have a small message at the top with the organization’s name, and describing what the money raised will be used for. Then use a rubber stamp with the school or church’s crest to stamp the sponsor sheet, therefore making it valid. (Unstamped sponsor sheets are often seen as being scams, so people may be hesitant to give money)
The members with the sponsor sheets can ask friends, family members, neighbours, fellow churchgoers, and schoolmates for donations, and each individual ‘sponsor’ can cross off the amount they donated on the sheet. To earn even more money, each member can ask strangers in public areas such as malls, supermarkets, recreational places and stores. However, some establishments might not like the idea of unauthorized people asking their customers for money, so it’s recommended to call ahead and ask for permission.
Ice Cream Sales
What is cold, delicious, and sells on hot summer days? Ice cream!
Buy ice creams in bulk – you can serve both scoop ice cream and frozen popsicles and lollies. Some ice cream companies give special deals to groups that are trying to fundraise – they often would lend a freezer or even a small cart, and would split the profits with your group. Call the companies in your area to see if something like this would be possible.
If you’re selling the ice cream that comes in tubs, be sure to have wafer cones, plastic bowls and spoons on hand. You can also earn more by charging extra for toppings such as nuts, cherries, chocolate chips and sprinkles.
Selling in populous areas with lots of families can really bring in the profits. Don’t forget to have a little jar labelled ‘DONATIONS’ nearby, so that people can be encouraged to drop their spare change in!
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Sell Snacks and Goods at Sport Events
Sport events and tournaments are a great place to earn a little extra money. Snacks sell very quickly here. Ask for permission first from the sports centre where the event is being held – sometimes they will even announce to the crowd that a group is trying to raise funds, which can encourage them to support you!
Buy snacks in bulk that are easily transportable – snacks such as potato chips, bagged pretzels, candy bars, chocolates, and packs of gum. Each member can carry a large tote bag with them, and use fanny packs to keep the money in. You can even have someone walking in the stands with donations tins, asking for direct contributions to your group. If the audience members are in a good mood, this can result in more donations and cash for your cause!
You can also sell little items such as whistles, scarves and pom poms in the different teams’ colours.
Have a Talent Show
Talent shows are profitable. People from the organization can participate in the show, and you can also open it to others at the school or church. Participants can display a variety of talents: stand up comedy, singing, dancing, drama, reading a poem that they wrote themselves, playing an instrument – anything! Have participants invite their families, friends and neighbours, and make a Facebook Event page to further promote it. Charge an entrance fee, and also have refreshments on sale to the audience.
Make sure to have a venue that has a stage or raised area, and ask everyone to meet there a few hours before the show to help set up.
'Half the Pot' Money Raffle!
This is a very easy yet effective way to quickly earn some cash for your cause! The idea is pretty simple: have a large container, and tickets printed with numbers on them. Walk around at a sports event, a fair, or another fundraiser that your group is hosting (such as a barbeque), and ask for donations. Describe your cause, and tell everyone that it’s a raffle – by putting money in and taking a numbered ticket, they stand the chance of winning the raffle, and the prize is half the money collected in the tin! For example, if $500 was collected in the pot, $250 of it would go to the raffle winner, and the other half would go towards the group. People are always looking for ways to get a little extra money, and would definitely be encouraged to take part in this unique kind of raffle!
Later on in the event, you can use the microphone to announce the raffle winner.
Have companies donate prizes such as furniture, electronics, vouchers for services, gift certificates, or even vehicles! If the raffle is held at a school, have appropriate prizes such as a large pizza, cell phones, gift certificates from book and gaming stores - things that the kids would love to win!
Sell raffle tickets, and collect the names, numbers and addresses of each ticket buyer. Then have a publicized raffle ticket pull!