Many organizations need money for a variety of projects. It could be a new building, a new program, or ongoing support for services to the community. Raising money may seem like a daunting task, but the right idea can bring in money and allow those donating to have fun at the same time.
Whether it’s organizing a street art show or a brick engraving fundraiser, there are plenty of ways to raise money for your project.
Here are four tried and true fundraising ideas that work:
1. Host a gala
This is typically a large event and tends to be over-the-top to encourage those with resources for giving to be generous. It should include a well-decorated space with nice linens, centerpieces, table settings, and other décor. It should also have really good food, including both appetizers and a meal. It must have a cash bar. Fundraisers with bars tend to raise more money than non-alcoholic events.
Galas like this tend to revolve around a theme. The theme could be the mission or project that is the center of the fundraiser or it could be a holiday or other theme. Popular themes are Christmas, Fiesta, Kentucky Derby, Tuscany, and tropical/Hawaiian.
The level of formality is up to you. Most keep these galas more formal, allowing for dressing up. There could be some fun elements included, like a skit or best hat contest.
2. Have a silent auction
These should be included in any fundraiser or gala you coordinate. Silent auctions consist of items donated by the community and guests list their bids on a sheet below the item. It works like a traditional auction. People can outbid each other on the sheet and the highest bid at the end of the night wins the gift. Be sure to have nice items to auction, like art, spa days, and electronics.
The toughest part of organizing a silent auction is getting the donations. This will take some leg work and many phone calls. However, most businesses are willing to donate an item if they think they will get publicity in their target demographic. Include a gift certificate from the business in their donation item. Also, mention the name of the business and its address during your opening or closing comments and put their name and information on the program.
You may want to combine the silent auction with a raffle. That provides more ways for people to participate. The raffle should have a number of smaller items and one big item to win. Offering more chances to win will encourage people to buy more raffle tickets.
3. Organize an art event
Everyone loves art and an art event can be either a casual street fundraiser or a formal invite only event. Be sure to include a cash-only bar and appetizers for people to wander around. Besides the ticket sales, you can ask artists to donate one piece for sale with the proceeds going to your cause.
4. Sell engraved bricks
This type of fundraiser should be used in conjunction with building or remodeling a building, sidewalk or road. The funds can go to any cause, but the end result must be the construction of something that displays the bricks.
Some organizations using brick engraving as a fundraiser are schools, churches, and downtown renovation projects. Discounts can be earned with the more bricks bought and that helps reach fundraising goals more quickly.
This works well for several reasons. They are something a person can do in tribute to another individual. Engraved bricks last forever, so the donor can feel a sense of permanence in their donation. Finally, bricks are practical. They can be used to put in sidewalks or as the decorative wall of a building. The engraved names makes the sidewalk or wall an art piece.
The modern age has offered other types of fundraisers that include social media options and influencers. Millennials are best at using these.
Choosing the right fundraiser for your organization is the first big choice. It depends on your project and your outreach to the community. Planning is just as important as publicizing it, so spend some time working out the details. Your fundraiser will stand a better chance at success if you plan well.