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High Profits for Non-Profits! Five Top Fundraising Ideas

Updated on July 16, 2012
Need money? Check out these five ideas for lucrative fundraisers.
Need money? Check out these five ideas for lucrative fundraisers. | Source
Honduran Joe coffee offers 100% profit to fundraisers.
Honduran Joe coffee offers 100% profit to fundraisers. | Source
Tapas and other food donated by restaurants might attract more money than your typical bake sale cookies.
Tapas and other food donated by restaurants might attract more money than your typical bake sale cookies. | Source
Small used printer cartridges can get you $3 each at Staples and Office Max. You might be paid even more for larger office toner cartridges.
Small used printer cartridges can get you $3 each at Staples and Office Max. You might be paid even more for larger office toner cartridges. | Source
Host a regular or silent auction to raise money for your non-profit. Include both practical and fun items.
Host a regular or silent auction to raise money for your non-profit. Include both practical and fun items. | Source
Sell the $20 Chinook Book to fundraise. Your customers will get $3000 worth of local coupons.
Sell the $20 Chinook Book to fundraise. Your customers will get $3000 worth of local coupons. | Source

Get lucrative fundraising ideas for schools, churches, sports teams and other non-profit organizations. The five fundraisers showcased here are Earth-friendly, people-friendly, ethical and free!

1. Fundraise with Coffee – Your Own Brand for Free!

Honduran Joe organic coffee roasters provide 100% profits on their bags of coffee. Use their logo of the mythical Quetzalcoatl or have your group logo printed onto every coffee bag sold. Be proud to promote this brand: It’s fair share. With other coffee roasters, the farmers can’t even afford their own brew.

This coffee fundraiser is free. HonduranJoe.com sends free samples of coffee and promotional materials. Like a Girl Scout, you'll collect orders and money. Then simply enter your order online at HonduranJoe.com. Coffee is shipped to you for free.

Besides getting 100% profit during your big fundraising campaign, you can keep earning money with Honduran Joe year-round. Your customers will get coupon codes to order coffee online. You’ll get 25% of what they spend!

2. Go beyond the Regular Bake Sale

Traditional bake sales tend to draw a crowd, but I wonder how efficient they are in terms of moneymaking? A mom (it’s usually a mom) spends money on the cookie or cake ingredients, plus she spends about two or three hours of valuable time buying the ingredients, baking, and schlepping items to the bake sale. Besides that there’s the whole childhood obesity issue…

Instead, sell food donated by the best local restaurants and bakeries. Let them spend the time on food preparation! Their donations to your non-profit fundraiser can be tax write-offs.

You’ll probably get larger donations with gourmet lunches, dinners or appetizers than with cookies. You might even take the opportunity to highlight a specific cuisine or healthy food choices.

What should you do while the restaurants prepare? Spend time advertising your unique food fundraiser online and offline. Then write thank you notes to participants.

3. Recycle ink cartridges

In the US alone, approximately 140 printers go through 400 ink or toner cartridges annually. Most of the depleted cartridges go to landfills after one use – but ink companies will pay for those containers. Raise money and keep plastic out of landfills by recycling printer cartridges.

Funding Factory and other fundraising companies provide collection boxes, promotional materials and free shipping for your collected cartridges. HOWEVER, these companies usually provide little return. Here’s an example: Funding Factory offers 40 cents for an empty HP 51604A. That’s not much at all. It almost qualifies as a fundraising scam!

Here’s a better fundraising option: Talk with your local Office Max, Staples, Cartridge World or another major ink cartridge retailer. They should offer a much sweeter deal of at least $3 per cartridge. If you get lots of big local businesses to participate, along with all the families at your school or other fundraising organization, then the funds could add up handsomely.

4. Host an Auction

Host a fundraising auction featuring donated goods and services. Members of your organization and local businesses could donate these and other items:

· Gift certificates
· Electronics
· Fire fighter’s hat
· Studio recording time
· Tutoring
· Landscaping
· Snow shoveling
· Music lessons
· A personal message on a marquee
· Wine

To help generate hype, be sure to have a few extra-special auction items. Something funny or experiential might be best. These items could be highlighted in your press release and other advertising.

5. Sell the Chinook Book of Coupons

The Chinook Book, formerly EcoMetro Guide is like the Entertainment Book for people who are especially eco-minded. Your customers will get coupons to more than 300 businesses in categories such as organic food and dining, gardening and travel. Books for the following cities are available: Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Twin Cities.

The $20 Chinook Book is easy to market because people realize that it pays for itself. Altogether the coupons are valued at more than $3000! ChinookBook.net provides fundraising groups with sample books and everything else they need at no charge. Unfortunately, you won't find what you need by going to their website's homepage. Search for "ChinookBook.net" in Google to get links to the various city websites.

More Fundraising Ideas?

Do you have additional lucrative fundraising ideas? Please share them in the comments section below.

Like this article? Please share or vote it up!

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    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      6 years ago from Tennesee

      Good ideas!

    working

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