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There are so many worthwhile causes to donate to, it can be tough to solicit money from people who may feel tapped out from all of the fundraising they encounter. Don’t let this discourage you from working for a cause you believe in. Simply think outside of the box.
When simple donation requests through letters, emails and websites won’t generate the money you want to raise, consider more creative methods. Car washes and bake sales are perennial favorites for school and youth organizations. Bring those ideas to your fundraising. Sell cookies and brownies at work. Enlist family and friends to help with a neighborhood car wash on the weekend.
Like playing cards? Host a poker night at your home where all of the “ante” money is donated. The winner of the night gets a prize. If your birthday or anniversary is coming up, throw yourself a party and ask the guests to donate to your charity in lieu of giving gifts.
Use a special talent, such as knitting or sewing, to create items for friends and family to buy as gifts for others or themselves. Host or attend a craft fair and sell items you made yourself. By promoting your wares in conjunction with your charity, people may be more inclined to purchase from you than another vendor.
Host a yard or garage sale. Not only will you get rid of unwanted clutter, you’ll make money for your cause. Post signs that the proceeds are going to charity and you may get less haggling on prices. Or, if you have time, sell your items on eBay. Take your recycling – and your neighbors if they let you – to a center that pays for it, rather than setting it out for collection.
Contact local restaurants. Many chains and some privately-owned eateries will donate a percentage of dinner or lunch profits on a given day if you help promote the event.
If you are fundraising around the Christmas holiday, set up a gift wrapping station at your home and advertise it like a yard sale. Paper and supplies can be purchased at discount and dollar stores.
Don’t let the idea of asking people for money deter you from raising funds for a good cause. By offering people a tangible reward for their donation – even if it’s just an evening of fun – you may find that you can bring in even more money than by simply holding out your hand.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|