Tips for raising funds for a good cause
About 9 years ago I was working for a big consulting firm. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, the UK office sent out a corporate wide message asking who would would participate in a trek to Everest Base Camp to raise money for VSO's programme to provide edcuation to ALL Nepali children.
As Nepal had a special place in my heart from even before I ever visited the country, I like to hike in the mountains and most importantly, I feel that if the youth are educated, poverty will eventually disappear.
So I read the rules (every particpant would have to raise a minimum amount to cover for costs of the organisation of the trek (or pay for it themselves), decided I would pay for the trek myself and signed up. Then we had our first call with someone from VSO to learn more about fundraising. We got some great tips (I have included the ones I remembered in the list below) but also were told to use our imagination. While on the trek (we were with about
Step 1: Set up a fundraising page
Set up acocunts to receive payments from people (and companies) who can't (or perhaps don't want to) give you cash. As the UK office was running this initiative, they advised us to use justgiving.com as they already supported raising funds for VSO. However, there are more. Here's a short list I could come up with, but there might be local platforms for your country too. Some allow you to raise funds for organisations they have a relatoinship with, others are more flexible. Please check the individual platform for possible restrictions.
Once the page has been set up, you can point everyone to the site in case cash is not an option / undesirable.
Step 2: Action! - A list of ideas
In my country (and in many I know) you can get a tax return (probably your cause has to be on a list of organisations your country recognizes as a good cause and there's likely to be a threshold; check your tax officer!). This money you can also donate to the good cause again.
- Organize a garage sale. Allow others to provide goods too (but be sure not to become their garbage bin...)
- Give a lunchtime presentation on the topic you are raising funds for to your colleagues and bring something to collect cash.
- Most companies have a CSR policy that provides funds for supporting employees that raise funds for good causes. If you have a spouse, ask him/her to check with his/her employer too. My employer was generous and gave €500,-
- Organize a cake (or other type of meal) sale
- Participate in a run (the more challenging the better) and get sponsored for each mile/kilometer or completing the distance within a certain timeframe.
- Sell goods via eBay and mention the cause
- Wash cars for cash
- Blog and link to your fundraising page
- Hold a wine/beer/... tasting where you sell tickets and bottles of the drinks of choice at a premium after people have tasted them.
- Hold a barbecue and invite people from your neighbourhood (at a small premium). Tell everyone what you are raising funds for and ask them to donate.
- Organize a party and sell tickets. It helps if you know performers and/or the owner of a venue.
- If you have kids, talk to the school counsil as they often have a goal to raise money and donate it to a good cause towards the end of the year. Why not "your" good cause?
- Pledge to donate everything you win in the lottery to the good cause. It might not help, but from the moment I did this, I won. Every. Single. Time. Until I said I would stop (as the fundraising had ended). Then my winning streak also ended...
- Go door to door to sell snacks (cookies, cake, fudge, ...)
- Ask friends and family (but I bet you already came up with that one)