In this ongoing series on creative fundraising ideas, we have discussed some pretty wacky ideas. From pet parties to merchandise campaigns, we’ve explored how to put a little planning and elbow grease into conjuring up some funds. But what about the classics? The traditional fundraisers that don’t require a lot of unusual effort? In this post, I’ll give you some ideas for the simplest, most obvious ways of raising some capital that you might not have thought about.
Group rummage sale:
Gather a collection of friends and colleagues and ask them to clear out their closets. Pool together your unwanted (but still in good condition!) items and plan a rummage sale. The great part about this is that you don’t need a special venue. You can hold this sale in someone’s driveway or garage. While you’re at it, mix in a section of original art available for purchase. At the end of the day, divide the proceeds evenly or allow each participant their own table where they can collect their own cash for the items they sell.
This old chestnut can easily go hand in hand with your rummage sale or it can stand on its own depending on how much baking you and your collaborators are willing to do. Be organized in your planning so that everyone brings something different to the table–you don’t want 10 batches of chocolate chip cookies, after all. Play up your baking strengths. Be careful about the time of year. A bake sale near the holidays can be lucrative if you offer up the sort of treats that people want to share at their holiday feasts. If there are perfect pie makers among your ranks, why not bake off a bunch of pies just in time for Thanksgiving. If you have some serious cooking chops and want to take things to the next level, use your social media channels to accept orders for baked treats to be delivered in time for the holidays. A bake sale can be as simple or complex as your abilities allow.
The tricky part about a raffle is coming up with a desirable prize. If there are some among you who own local businesses, maybe they could offer a good or service. Of course, a piece of beautiful art is always a wonderful prize. When holding a raffle it is important to get the word out. Unlike a rummage sale, a raffle isn’t going to be apparent to passersby. Use social media and local outlets to promote your fundraiser. Ask local businesses if you can set up a table outside and sell tickets for an afternoon. Consider your price scheme. Maybe you want to incentivize people to buy more than one ticket by offering bulk discounts–$2/ticket or five for $8–just a little deal so that folks might be inclined to spend a little more and improve their chances.
This one requires a third party, but it can be a great way to raise funds for your own purposes while also helping out a great organization. Best suited to art collective or nonprofit, a clothing drive is easily organized with the help of Big Brothers Big Sisters who will do most of the work for you! All you do is get the word out and collect as much clothing as you can in your allotted time. Once your clothing drive is through, BBBS will pay your per pound of clothing collected.
This one does require a little more effort and probably a venue, but often a local church with a kitchen will allow organizations to come in and hold events. Pancakes are as easy as can be to make, and very economical, too. Plan a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings and get the word out. Sweeten the event with games and door prizes–you could even rent or borrow some character costumes to delight the younger crowd. If you plan near a holiday, consider having the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus make an appearance. Be sure to advertise this as it will draw in crowds of parents eager to make special memories for their little ones.
Once again you will need a venue for this, but just like with the pancake breakfast, a church can be a useful resource. You can also consider approaching local bars and pubs to see whether one might like to team up to offer a fun trivia night to their patrons. Decide up front how any profits will be divided. Once you have a basic idea for your event, you’ll need to come up with some good questions. Having more than one round will make this event last and give people time to really settle in and challenge their intellect. Common wisdom suggests that five rounds of 10 questions each plus a double or nothing bonus question in the final round makes for a great trivia night. Don’t foget to publicize.
There are so many ways you can raise some money and have fun while you do it. As I’ve said before, the possibilities are limited only by your own imagination.