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Make Money for Your Nonprofit!

Updated on October 9, 2016

Need Fundraising Ideas?

Ever needed a great (free) fundraising plan for your organization? While searching for some ideas for my organization, I came across a few that are relatively lucrative and cost nothing! This is the information I am sharing with you today. Enjoy!


Get paid to surf the Web!

When I was researching ideas to make a few bucks (for nothing), this one came up. It wasn't one of the top hits, and it certainly sounded too good to be true. It's not. It is too good, but it also is true! Here's how it works:

*You email them and sign up. They will build you a toolbar for your Internet browser with your organization's name on it and whatever other links you want.

*A few days later, they send you a link, which you download and add to your browser. (Firefox on Mac, and I'm not sure which ones work on PC, but I'm pretty sure IE works, and probably Chrome by now.)

*You send the link to everyone you know.

*Do your normal Internet searching and work, but now using your new, customized, search bar.

*They send you a check every month!

Whenever you do a search using this toolbar (which uses Yahoo! search engine) and click on one of the sponsored links, your organization makes 10 cents. It doesn't seem like much, but it does add up. With just my sister and I and maybe a few minor users, we make $30 per month. We do nothing but search the web like normal.

They really do send you a check every month (once you make over $20), and it really doesn't cost you a cent!

This is not for personal use. You can only do it for an organization registered with the state you reside in at least. We did not yet have our 501(c)3 when we signed up, but Washington State recognized us as a nonprofit entity.

The sponsored links are the ones at the top of your search, generally highlighted in yellow or something. Please do not click on links you do not intend to use; only click on links that you are genuinely interested in. But, if you need to refill your prescriptions at Walgreens or buy books at Barnes and Noble, you can search for that company instead of typing in the URL, and you'll make money. Rather than typing in the URL or bookmarking these sites, I search for them every time. When I'm posting books on HubPages Amazon capsules, I search for them in a different tab and copy-past the URL. Each search gives me 10 cents for my organization!

You Can Can-Can

Can't you?

I got this really silly idea one day. There are places that pay money for people to recycle pop cans. Let's do that. With the help of friends and family, plus a little creativity, we have raised over $400 from trash, essentially.

In Washington State, there doesn't seem to be much money to be made from recycling. In others, though, you can get money per can and also for glass or plastic bottles. Here, though, it is around $.50 per pound right now. It takes about 32 cans to make one pound. It takes a while to get them, but with a little thought, it can be done. (Plus, it's free to you!)

First, we told all our family and friends to save cans for us. My family consumes an amazing amount of carbonated beverages. Neighbors are great too.

Second, we asked local bars, bowling alleys, and the colleges if they would please save cans for us. This took a little legwork, and some places will keep them for you, but you have to pick them up every few days. One of the major universities was a huge donor for us. Also, some landlords or apartment managers will let you put garbage cans near the dumpsters to collect cans. Make sure you get permission!

Third, be aware of high-beverage days. Graduation parties, Fourth of July, barbeques... these all have lots of people drinking lots of pop, which leads to lots of cans.

Fourth, find other businesses that will help. Churches, office buildings, and amusement parts are great places to ask, and they are often willing to let you put a can can in their parking lot or break room.

Lastly, develop a good relationship with the recycling center you use. The place I use is AWESOME! Because I am a regular customer and they know me and my organization, they give me more than the door price for the cans.

I also keep a bin in my car for cans and make a habit of picking them up in parking lots or going on walks through my neighborhood and picking up trash and cans. Good for me; good for the community.

Capital Question

What is your favorite or best way to raise money?

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Book It!

We have made lots of money by selling stuff online. Primarily, we sell books on is a part of eBay, but it doesn't cost any money to list things. The security and everything is the same as eBay, and you can use your account for both. is only for selling media- books, music, and movies- and it it all at "buy it now" prices rather than auctions. Oftentimes, I go to the end of garage sales or shop craigslist for people who would be willing to give me books for free. Many people also donate books to me so I can list and sell them.

You can peruse my bookshelf on under the seller name siyabooks.

Amazon Smile

Who doesn't love Amazon?! For nonprofits, Amazon has something special: Amazon Smile. Registered nonprofits can go to and create an account. Then, instead of going directly to as normal, people can go to and choose who they contribute to. 3% of each purchase goes to the organization of choice, and at no extra cost to the buyer! My contribution goes to my church, and let me tell you, they got quite a bit while I was Christmas shopping last year!

Eat Out for Charity

Many restaurants will partner with organizations for fundraisers. I have only done them at Panda Express, but I know several others will do them as well.

Panda Express allows you to pick a date, and you make fliers about your fundraiser. For each person who comes in with your flier, you get 20% of the total. If you can get a lot of people to go on the same day with fliers, there is a lot of money to be made.

Papa Murphy's, Papa John's, Krispy Kreme, Wendy's, and several other restaurants do this type of fundraiser as well.

Your Ideas - Have you tried these fundraisers, or do you have other ideas?

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