Fundraising is one of the most important aspects of managing a non-profit — if not the most important aspect. Nevertheless, donors can become fatigued, especially if they are constantly being solicited. Creating unique, fun, and friendly fundraising ideas is the best way to keep your community engaged so the money keeps coming in and your services can continue to be provided. Here are just a few unique fundraising ideas — don’t be afraid to get creative!
1. Create a Multi-Level Fundraiser
Multi-level marketing is nearly always a terrible idea, but a multi-level fundraiser isn’t. Encourage your volunteers and employees to “recruit” others under them and reward them appropriately for the money that they raise. Turn it into a contest: the person who is able to make the most money for the non-profit and get the most people underneath them can win a prize. Multi-level fundraisers encourage everyone to participate, even though they may not be able to donate much, as they may be able to win simply by signing others up for the program rather than having to donate themselves.
2. Have Volunteers Sell a Service
Send your volunteers out to mow lawns, wash cars, or perform other services in the name of your non-profit. This is a great way to invigorate the community, do something memorable, and raise money — especially for specific projects. Try to tie in your services to the project that you’re fund raising for; for instance, you might do laundry in order to help get clothes for kids. You can even involve local businesses if you need equipment or space.
3. Get Involved With Social Media
Many non-profits today are building up their donations through YouTube channels and other social media accounts. Connect with your community by building up media that is directly related to the social work that your organization does and its results. Not only will this cause engagement, but you may actually be able to fund raise through these social media channels themselves. Social media platforms such as YouTube let you monetize your channels, so you make money every time your videos are viewed.
4. Offer Your Community a Paid Experience
Need more volunteers? Instead of simply putting a call out for volunteers, ask donors to pay for the experience of working with your non-profit. Of course, everyone will know that it’s really a donation; but there are certain things that people truly never do experience, such as working with shelter animals or cleaning up a river. Many people would love to pay for a unique experience that they can also then write off as a charitable donation.
5. Host a Low Rent Event
Is your non-profit constantly hosting gala after gala? Take the fundraising down a notch by hosting a decidedly informal and affordable event. Your gimmick is saving money — purchase paper plates, get the cups on sale, and serve only the cheapest of the cheap. This will show your donors your commitment to cutting the budget while also giving them something unique to talk about.
Still stumped? Consider asking your community for help with ideas — they know themselves better than anyone and may be able to give you some interesting new suggestions that appeal to them. Fundraising is both an art and a science and requires a lot of creativity and innovation to be effective.