10 Fundraising ideas you haven't thought of
Leave the carwash posters, silent auction items, and community discount cards at home. It's time to take your fundraising to the next level!
1) Get social with your support "letter"
"Letter" is in quotations because your letter needs to be more than just a physical letter that you stamp and send. Email, Facebook, and Twitter (and whatever else you use) can become a tool to raise awareness and support for your mission. A letter is a good way to start, but if your support raising starts and stops with just one mailed letter, you're going to have a discouraging fundraising experience. It's time to get social!
2) Make a "Pick a Number"
A "Pick a Number" is a large board (or whatever else you decide to use) with a bunch of numbers on it. The numbers include every number from 1-70, and they can be on the board in order or all mixed up (get creative!). The idea is that friends and family can "Pick a Number" to donate.
Once they pick a number, that number is taken off the board (or X'ed out). This board could be set up at school, church, or work. And check this out - If all 70 numbers are taken, you'll raise $2,485. If only half of the numbers are taken, you'll still raise over a thousand dollars! And no single person had to give more than $70.
Note: You don't have to have exactly 70 numbers. Adjust up or down depending on the funds you need to raise!
3) Partner with a restaurant
Many restaurants are willing to partner with you in organizing a fundraising event at their restaurant. It's a win-win because you bring the restaurant a lot of business and they give you a portion of the food sales for your trip! Local restaurants (like Chickfila and Moe's) and frozen yogurt shops are among the more popular places for these events.
4) Host a house party
No, not that kind of house party. Throw a party and invite your friends, church group, or co-workers. Get some chips, dip, pizza, and put the popular game of the week on the TV. This kind of event is easy to pull off and something that everyone will enjoy. You could charge a "cover" or simply call it a "fundraising party." By having a house party you're inviting people to support you in a tangible and personal way that blows a generic support letter out of the water.
You could even set it up as a Facebook event, which leads to...
5) Setup a Facebook group
When you send a support letter, that's often times the one and only time they hear about your trip. The letter sits on the kitchen counter for about a week, and then eventually finds its way into the trash can. Bummer. But, if you setup a Facebook group and invite friends and family to join, you've now got a way to communicate and invite people to join your journey in a way that can't accidentally find it's way to the trash bin. A Facebook group that is consistently updated about your progress is consistently being presented to your friends and family. This beats the pants off of one letter sent one time.
6) Seek local business sponsors
A lot of times local and regional businesses are willing to support what their community members are up to. Sometimes they even have community donations built into their budgets. If you're brave enough, contact some of your favorite local businesses and ask if you could talk to someone about the opportunity to support your trip!
Tip: Focus on local and regional businesses. Trying to get in touch with nationwide corporations might be more of a hassle than it's worth.
7) Sell stuff on eBay
Before there was eBay, there were garage sales. However, garage sales are stressful, time consuming to plan, and require advertising. Instead of a garage sale, try selling your old or unused stuff on eBay. It's an easy and efficient way to get rid of stuff and raise money in a hurry. It's as easy as walking around your home, snapping pictures, and posting to eBay using their app.
8) Sell custom t-shirts
Most people wear clothes, and most people love t-shirts. If you put those two together, you've got a great fundraising idea. You can sell t-shirts at school, church, or work, and at $20-$25 a piece, you can raise some funds pretty quickly. Check out FundtheNations.com. Their process is really easy; you don't even have to know how to make cool graphics. You give them your trip info, they'll make cool t-shirts with cool graphics, and you can even pre-sell t-shirts before you get them printed so that you don't have to buy a bunch of shirts up front.
9) Start a blog
This idea is all about building community. Starting a blog now means that you can invite people into your trip experience right from the start, instead of just the 10 days you're abroad. Write about how you found the trip you're going on. Write about your fears of traveling abroad. Whatever your write about, you're sure to build community (and support) by inviting people to walk with you throughout your entire journey.
Tip: In the sidebar of your blog, put a link to your...
10) Use a fundraising website
A fundraising website can make donating to your trip much easier for people. Most people don't carry around checks anymore, and giving cash is usually a tax deduction headache. Online donations are easy to keep track of and means that you don't have keep track of a bunch of donation paperwork. It's also a great way for people to follow your fundraising progress and see what you need to meet your goal. You want to make giving to your trip as easy as possible for people, and for most people these days online is the easiest. A couple of popular fundraising sites are GoFundMe.com and YouCaring.com.
Putting it all together
There's no silver bullet when it comes to fundraising, but picking a couple of ideas and giving it your best shot can usually take you pretty far. Have fun, don't be intimidated by the process, and remember that God knows exactly what you need.
Written by CJ