Raising money for equipment, research, programs or events is vital for many charities and not-for-profits across the country. For many, this is their only source of income in the absence of any grants or government funding. But raising money and negotiating sponsorships and partnerships has become increasingly difficult. Many groups are pounding the pavement, asking businesses to support their cause, either through cash or in-kind (product/service) support. This has put pressure on many businesses that are simply unable to support every great cause that makes contact with them.
So we’ve put together our top 10, simple ways of raising money for your cause.
1. Fundraising barbeque
Many hardware and furniture stores run fundraising barbeques over the weekends, which are their busiest days. They usually provide all of the equipment including the barbeque, gas bottle, tables, cloths, utensils etc. and you just need to bring your own food, drinks, sauces and money tin. You can approach your local shop or butcher to help with the cost of these to maximise the amount you make. All you need to do is write a letter on your charity or group’s letterhead advising that you would like to hold a barbeque and send it to your local Bunnings, Masters, Harvey Norman etc. Be prepared for a wait though, there is sometimes up to six or 12 months wait!
2. Run or walk
There are so many Fun Runs and running events now you’ll have trouble deciding which one to do. Pick your event – 2km, 5km, 10km, half marathon or marathon and then approach people to sponsor you to complete the challenge. Keep an eye out for events in your area or check out www.runningcalendar.com.au for a full list of running events across Australia. There are some great websites such as www.everydayhero.com and www.gofundraise.com.au that do all the hard work for you, you just need to create your profile page and include details of what event you are doing and your fundraising target.
Don’t forget to share that link through Facebook, email and anything else you can think of so your family, friends and workmates know how to sponsor you.
3. Cause of the month
You shop locally all the time, right? Get your bread and milk fro the local store? Buy your coffee mostly from the same place each day? Why not ask them to nominate your cause for a month and help you raise some money? It’s very simple. Work with the store to decide what they will donate e.g. 20 cents from every coffee or 50 cents for every muffin sold during that month. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up for things we all buy daily like coffee and snacks. Whip up a sign to display at their counter if you can with a donations tin. This will raise awareness of your cause, give the business a plug for their support and often people are happy to pop any loose change in a donation tin, while they wait.
4. Put your skills to good use
Is there something you are really good at, like painting, craft, cooking, knitting, card making? Use your skill to help your cause by painting some canvases, cooking up a storm, getting crafty, knitting some beanies or making some cards and take them to your local market to sell. If you can’t make something you think will sell, why not ask a friend who is great at something to help you out? Chances are they will love to help and it could be great fun hanging out at the markets with them.
5. Run a raffle
It’s an oldie but a goodie! Talk to local businesses you frequent regularly and ask them to donate an item to include in the raffle. It could be anything from meal vouchers, to groceries, a barbeque, a massage or even a car! Once you have your prize list, decide how much you will sell the tickets for and create a couple of posters that lists the prizes, cost of the tickets and when the raffle will be drawn. Buy some raffle ticket books from your local newsagent and then start selling tickets. You can attend events, set up a space in a busy area or put them in your workplace.
Don’t forget to check with the event organiser, local council or your workplace to get their approval before you start selling. And of course check out the licensing for raffles for your state. The guidelines differ in each state so check with your licensing department to make sure you follow the rules.
6. Sell chocolates
This is another oldie but a goodie! Who hasn’t been tempted by that box of chocolates sitting in the workplace to fill the 3pm cravings? You can order the chocolates through Cadbury, all details are on their website www.fundraising.com.au and its really easy to organise especially if you have others helping to sell the chocolates. If chocolates aren’t your thing there are other organisations that use the same concept to sell bulk movie tickets, books, household items, plants or bulbs.
7. Workplace event
How about asking your workplace to support your cause? Away from our family, most of us spend the most amount of time at work. With the approval of your workplace, organise a morning tea and ask colleagues to bring a plate of something along and charge a gold coin donation, or have a casual clothes day with a gold coin donation. These types of events are a great way to get colleagues together and have some fun. Similarly, you might hold a workplace barbeque or fun day on a weekend to raise some dollars for your cause.
8. Garage sale
These have been around for a long time but are still an incredibly popular way to grab a bargain. Ask family, friends, workmates, other families that support or are affected by the same cause or any other acquaintances you have, to dig out anything old they no longer use and hold a garage sale. Place a notice in your local newspaper and grab some balloons and signs to place around your neighbourhood to direct people to your garage sale. Then the bargaining fun (and money making) begins!
9. Movie night
Get a group of friends, family or workmates together (or all of the above) and raise some money by charging a premium on the tickets. Contact your local cinema, most will sell you tickets below the retail price: you can set the price and any profit in between will go to your cause. To make this event a little more special you might like to contact a local caterer and/or winery to donate some food and beverages to have prior to the movie. This will add extra value to those attending and may mean you can charge a little more for the tickets. Get in touch with your local cinema to find out what movies they have coming up, what they can offer, how much notice you need to give etc.
10. Major fundraiser
Holding a major fundraiser can be a lot of work, but can also raise a lot of money for your charity or group. With any major fundraiser you will need six to 12 months to plan and organise the event. Gala Balls are very popular and usually include a silent and live auction, raffles, balloon sales, donations and some events create unique fundraising concepts just for their event.
Another idea is to hold a night at the races. Get dressed up, hit the track and raise money for your charity or group. You can hire a marquee or room at the races, cater it with food and beverages, hold a silent auction, have live performances and enjoy a night (or day) of fun and punting. We would suggest you get a group of people together to organise an event like these, divide up the tasks and get busy – there will be lots to do, but the result is very worthwhile!