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How to Raise Money for Any Cause
No matter who you work for, or what groups you are part of, funding will always be an issue at some point. You might realize your office doesn't have the funds for the annual holiday party or your school needs money to put together its spring musical.
At first, the idea of raising money might seem challenging, but there are tons of ways to get people involved. The best way to raise money for any group is to think of something fun people will want to join. If more people have fun, the more likely they'll be willing to give.
Check out these ideas that will help you raise money for any cause. Match the activity with your intended audience or group of volunteers to find something everyone can get excited about. With a bit of planning, you'll raise the money you need and more.
1. Host an Online Design Challenge
You might want to build a relationship with your group's audience while raising money for your cause. To do that, people have to feel personally invested in what you're doing. An easy way to make that happen is to host an online design challenge.
Think of merch you'd like to sell someday. Coffee mugs and key chains are easy to order in bulk, as long as you have a design in mind. Ask people to submit drawings of your logo, activity or other element related to your group. Once they pay a small submission fee, you'll find donations pouring in along with marketing images.
List a couple of winners and feature them on your merch for a limited time so everyone feels like they participated in building a brand or group they love.
2. Partner with a Local Restaurant
Local businesses are always looking for ways to support each other and a good cause. Call around to speak with a few managers and discuss a short-term partnership to raise money for your cause. A portion of the profits from certain meals or nights will go to your cause. It's an easy win for both parties. You benefit from the restaurant's already-established customer base and they get the notoriety of helping people in need.
3. Make Creative T-Shirts
Making t-shirts is much easier than most people realize. For a small price, you can order t-shirts you design on your own through a free website. You can figure out a way to sell them based on who lives in your area or what you do. If you have the funds to purchase even one order, you can price the shirts at a cost where you make your money back and more.
4. Create a Pledge Challenge
Many fundraising efforts that fight to find a cure for cancer or other diseases create a pledge challenge for participants to join. For example, a pledge to bike a certain number of miles during a group's event and then ask people to pledge donations to help them complete the cause. It's a different way to reach people because every participant is helping both fundraise and market for your cause.
5. Hold a Benefit Auction
Auctions are always a good idea for raising money if your members have enough items to auction off. Before you get your group a gavel and a fast-talking host, read about silent and live auctions to figure out which is best for your cause. One may cost you more money to market and host in a physical location, while the other will be online and require bids to come in differently.
6. Write Fundraising Letters
Any organization that already has a group of donors ready from past fundraisers can write fundraising letters as the next campaign. Create a list of past donors and get their addresses together. Handwritten letters are an easy and personalized way to reconnect with people who supported your cause and ask for their assistance again. It's friendlier than sending an email, which may be what they're used to from other causes.
7. Walk Local Dogs
If your group is a bit smaller and lacks the funds for major marketing drives, think about how many dog owners live in your area. Most dog owners leave the house to work full-time, but their furry friends still need a chance to get outside.
Step in to fill that need by offering daily dog walks for regular donations. You can price the donation amounts by the distance walked. High school and college-age students will have fun with this activity, rather than age-old practices like cold calling residents for money.
8. Sell Used Books
Talk with the people in your organization to discuss if you have anything you could sell. Most people have old books lying around their homes that they haven't read in years.
Get everyone to bring their used books to your organization's space and sell them. You might invite locals to come and peruse the books in person or take pictures of them to sell online, depending on what you must work with.
9. Organize a Community Pot Luck
Nothing brings people to an event like good food, so why not organize a community pot luck and encourage people to donate to your cause? Once you have a big enough space and the supplies you'll need for the meal, choose a date and send out invites. Anyone who wants to cook, bake or eat can RSVP with a donation. Make it even more exciting by creating a first-place prize for the best dish.
10. Encourage a Give It Up Challenge
Small groups with only a few members may not have enough reach in the community to do something big, which is when a Give It Up challenge comes in handy.
Talk with your members to decide which habits you share and give up things like unhealthy eating or expensive coffee for a certain length of time. Save the money you would have spent on those things to raise the money you need.
Think About Your Strengths
The right fundraising campaign will play to your group's strengths. Do you have a history of donors? Are you a group of young people living in a dog-friendly community? Use what your group already has to strengthen your fundraising efforts and not end up spending more money than you raise. Options like these make fundraising possible for any size group.
About the Author
Kayla Matthews is a productivity writer and self-improvement blogger. You can find her work on The Huffington Post, MakeUseOf, Tiny Buddha and The Muse. To read more posts by Kayla, subscribe to her newsletter.