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Fundraising Ideas DuringTough Economic Times (Part 3)

Updated on August 30, 2016
Fundraising during tough economic times.
Fundraising during tough economic times. | Source

The key is to follow basic principles.

A I stated in my earlier hub, Fundraising During Tough Economic Times, the key to successful fundraising is to follow these basic principles:

Tell people WHO you are representing, WHAT does your fundraiser consist of, and WHY you are raising funds. During these times of economic struggles, that are affecting just about everyone in your community, ask the question, “How can we provide something they need, while raising the funds our organization needs?”


Listed below are fundraisers that are tried and true. Listed by the amount of initial financial outlay. And we all know a good fundraiser means minimal outlay with maximum return. These are fundraisers that will “give back” while helping you reach your goal.


Fundraisers of $1.00 or Less

Lollipop Sales:

I can say from experience that these lollipops are great sellers! They are top quality and adults like them as much as the kids do. The initial outlay is under $150.00 for 480 lollipops that are sold for as little as $ .75 each, but they would easily sell for $1.00. At $ .75 each your profit would be over $200.00 and sales of $1.00 each would net you over $300.00. At these prices you will be ordering more than the initial 480 lollipops. (See links below)

Chocolate is always a great fundraiser:

Again, speaking from experience, this company offers something for everyone. From novelty items to simple chocolate bars that are bought for $ .50 each and sold for $1.00. Initial outlay is $25.00 per case of 50 candy bars (minimum cases to an order is 8) You simply double your money. They have fundraising programs with products from $1.00 - $15.00; many can be personalized with your organization's information. (See link below)

Meat Sticks:

Ok, I was a real skeptic with this one, but honestly these things sold out almost as fast as we got them in. Cash outlay is $85 for a case of 155 assorted flavors, I’m sure there is a minimum number of cases you must order. They sell for $1.00 each and I don’t know anyone who bought just one. Your profit is 85% of your cash outlay. (See links below)

Tried and true fundraisers

Lollipop Sales Meat Sticks
Lollipop Sales Meat Sticks | Source
Chocolate is always a good fundraiser.
Chocolate is always a good fundraiser. | Source
Yummy Bake Sales
Yummy Bake Sales | Source
Split the pot.
Split the pot. | Source

No initial cash outlay

$1.00 Bake Sale – Yep, I said a $1.00 bake sale.

Your initial outlay is simply donations from your youth group, girl’s cub, Relay team etc. Have each member bake some kind of baked good that will easily fit into a zip-lock sandwich bag. The best ones that have worked for our group were, cookies (any kind are good, but be sure to label them if they contain peanuts or peanut butter, and it’s best if each person baking cookies, bakes 3 – 5 dozen).

Any kind of muffins, again labeled if they contain peanuts or peanut butter . Rice Crispy Treats, Brownies, individual sized quick breads and virtually anything considered a “baked finger food.” Each person will need to bake a generous amount of each item. Depending on what climate you are in, you may want to avoid iced cupcakes as these tend to melt in the heat and don’t look too appetizing. Place 4 – 6 cookies, depending on their size, in a zip-lock bag, 2-3 muffins, again depending on their size, 2 brownies, 2 Rice Crispy Treats and so on. Sell each bag for $1.00. A girl’s club held two of these bake sales in front of the local Wal-Mart and made $400.00 in a 4-hour period at each bake sale.

Gas card raffle: No initial cash outlay.

Everyone can use gas and anyone with a computer can make some raffle tickets. Just remember to put the, who, what and why on the tickets, as well as, how much gas they can win and the date of the drawing. (Our group raffled off a $100.00 gas card) Sell the tickets for $1.00 each. Who wouldn’t spend $1.00 on the chance of getting $100.00 worth of gas? As a matter of fact, very few people only bought one ticket; it was not unusual for someone to buy $5.00 worth. You can even add an incentive such as $1.00 each or 6-tickets for $5.00. Your profits will add up fast! Now if you have a very persuasive person in your group who can talk a local gas station into donating the gas card, then you will have no cash outlay. If this is not possible, your costs will be the price of the gas card, $100.00. Depending on the number of people selling and the advertising your group does, this can easily be a $1,000.00 fundraiser.

Split the pot: No initial cash outlay.

Who couldn’t use some extra cash? The most important part of this fundraiser is in the advertising. Give people the opportunity to “Split a Cash Pot” by simply donating $1.00 each time they put their name in the pot. Have a form similar to a raffle ticket with all of your organizations information given, as well as, a place for all of theirs. Each donation of $1.00 increases their chance to win and increases the amount they could win. Believe me, they’ll be getting their family and friends to join in just to get the pot larger and larger. Possible amount of this fundraiser is limitless.


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    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you Tiffany. Stop back and let me know which fundraiser you used and how it went.

    • Tiffany Latte profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Neat ideas.

    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Yes, I remember the band-mom days. I have 3 children and all of them were in the band. Fundraising was a way of life for those 12 years. You would think I would have happily retired after they all graduated, but now I'm involved with Relay for Life.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Good ideas and very thoughtful given these hard times. Fundraising seems to be endless when your expenses are closing in on your budget. Fundraising is important as we just raised money for our marching band. You tips are helpful and considerate of everyone. Thanks


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