Whether you need money for a long-term idea or an emergency, fundraising helps a lot. While loans are another option, they’re not feasible in all situations and must be paid back.
On the contrary, fundraising ideas work more smoothly in the raiser’s favor, considering there’s no need to return the money, and little to no paperwork is involved.
We’ve covered different types of fundraising ideas in this guide, including personal, creative, social media, and big money fundraising.
Keep reading, and you’ll find the fundraising strategy for your particular cause.
Personal Fundraising Strategy
Recently, personal fundraising has surfaced on the online community, thanks to the plethora of crowdfunding sites. In individual fundraising events, people collect money for personal projects. These could include but are not limited to:
- Financing a personal creative project
- Raising money for an entrepreneurial venture
- Supporting a cause one is personally affected by
Keeping everything in consideration, it’s safe to say that personal fundraising works best through online channels. You can make your campaign as big as possible with the right kind of marketing, advertising, and automation tools.
What it’s for: Personal entrepreneurial and creative projects
Tip: Look for a platform with low fees
If you have an idea that you want to shape into reality but lack the capital to do so, crowdfunding is your best bet. You can start a campaign on popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise money for your idea.
For this fundraising strategy, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to do. That’s because every platform will require you to express your concept textually and in video format.
Luckily, crowdfunding has become very easy and popular these days. A fraction of this success can be attributed to automation tools.
An incredible tool in this regard is JustEarlyBird – a reward automation tool that refreshes every 60 seconds. In personal fundraising through crowdfunding, you have to give something to the backers in return for their pledge.
Mostly, it’s general rewards like a shoutout, t-shirt, or a customized mug. Once your campaign becomes bigger, managing the rewards manually will consume most of your time. However, JustEarlyBird takes the task off your mind and hands, automatically managing rewards.
2. Bake Sale
What it’s for: Personal causes
Tip: Curate your invitation list thoughtfully
The good old bake sale still works like a charm when it comes to raising funds for a cause. However, you can’t use it to raise money for personal creative projects.
Instead, a bake sale is organized to collect money for a local cause affecting the neighborhood. For instance, if the local postman needs money for surgery, you can hold a bake sale to collect funds.
If you need a larger amount, crank the bake sale up a notch to ‘supper club’ events. These can be held in community spaces, such as the local school’s gym. Keep a donation minimum for entry and use all this money for the personal cause.
Basically, such a fundraising event is suitable for instances where a problem affects the community as a whole. You can ignite your inner creative spark with this fundraising idea. No one wants to miss a night of community gossip, fun, and good food, do they?
3. Fundraising Emails
What it’s for: Bigger and more impactful causes
Tip: Target the wealthier audience
Despite being slightly unconventional, this fundraising strategy works well if used correctly. Reach out to the potential donors through email, explaining why you’re collecting funds.
For example, if you’re collecting money to buy furniture for a local school, add statistics and research-based facts. You can write about the lack of furniture having a negative impact on the students’ learning abilities. Similarly, include the list of things you’re planning to buy.
Lastly, attach a link to your website or page where people can donate online.
Lay out your email nicely, and you’ll be surprised at the number of responses you get. With this fundraising idea, you have to be a little smart. Don’t email people who you know won’t even bother to open it.
Instead, target philanthropists or the more affluent audience with a history of donating generously in previous events. Alternatively, you can email organizations and people who’re already working for the same cause.
Even if they can’t provide monetary aid, they’ll help spread the word about your project.
Creative Fundraising Ideas
Just because you’re asking people for money doesn’t mean it has to be formal! You can have some fun with the fundraising idea by making it more exciting for the donors too.
Mostly, you’ll notice how a fun fundraiser works better than a charity event where no one’s allowed to make a peep.
4. Hold a Craft Fair
What it’s for: Personal projects and community causes
Tip: Organize your event on a weekend as most people are off from work
Nowadays, there’s a huge potential for art events. For holding a craft or art fair, all you need is space and marketing tools. You can save the cost of space rental by organizing the fundraising event in a community hall or local park.
The next step is to invite artists. Charge them a fee to set up their stalls at the craft fair. Or, you can take a 10% share of their sales for the day as part of your fundraising campaign.
When done correctly, this idea does not cost a lot of money, yet raises plenty.
For marketing, head over to local stations and social media pages. Post about it online or distribute flyers – whatever works for your locality.
You can either limit the event to painters and visual artists or expand it to all sorts of crafts, including pottery and knitting.
Even better, you can set up a bake sale in the craft fair. While people look at art and appreciate crafts, they’ll need a brownie to munch on.
5. Merch Sales
What it’s for: Fundraising for bigger brands and companies
Tip: Hold a social media poll to ask your followers what merch they want
Nowadays, every famous person has their merchandise. With Youtubers as young as sixteen years old selling personalized merch, what makes you think this fundraising strategy couldn’t work for your brand?
As a company, you can expand your influence and raise money for a new project by selling merch. Ask your social media followers what they’d like to buy. Then, you can make merchandise, like t-shirts, caps, mugs, notebooks, etc.
Apart from displaying your logo, the merch should also be designed well. People don’t want to buy a basic t-shirt that they can get for $5 at Target. Instead, they want something personalized and unique.
Also, if your designs are cool, more people will be interested in buying the merch, making the fundraising campaign successful.
Interestingly, you can also incorporate this fundraising strategy in crowdfunding. Give your backers free merch as rewards for their pledge. Simply set the rewards on JustEarlyBird, and the tool will ensure there’s never a low stock for new backers.
6. Food Truck Fundraisers
What it’s for: Community causes
Tip: Only do this if you have connections with local organizations
For holding food truck fundraising events, you need to have local connections. Sure enough, you don’t have to be a popular socialite but knowing a few people in management helps with this one.
Get in touch with food trucks and offer them a deal. They’ll give a small fraction of their sales for your fundraising campaign. In return, you’ll give them entry into large-scale local events with a huge audience.
For example, if your town is holding a family fair or circus, it’s a great time for a fundraiser. Reach out to the local management and ask them if they’d like to partner with food trucks. Then, strike a deal with the food vendors, and you’re good to go.
Since such events have a massive audience and people are out to have fun, you’ll most likely reach your fundraising target in one day.
Social Media Fundraising
If everything from education to business is being done online, why not raise money through social media too? You can either use these ideas individually or couple them with some other strategies.
7. Online Challenges
What it’s for: Social causes
Tip: Get influencers involved to make the challenge go viral
Back in the day, social media helped raise a lot of money and support for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge. You can do the same for other causes. Create a challenge that other people can follow and set the rules. Everyone who does the challenge has to donate $5.
Even if they don’t donate, they’re showing the challenge to their followers. Suppose an average social media user has 200 followers. That’s 200 potential donors who’re learning about your challenge.
When running a fundraising event on social media, you must involve the influencers and bloggers.
They have large audiences, so your challenge is likely to go viral. Second, their audience is more like a fanbase. Thus, influencers instructing their audience to donate will be more fruitful than you doing the same.
With Tik Tok becoming all the rage, it’s even better if you involve people with a high following on the platform. Along with executing the challenge, they can also urge their followers to donate.
8. Online Auctions
What it’s for: Personal projects and social causes
Tip: Use an auction site rather than making a new website
A few years ago, holding an online auction would have been a lot of work. Today, owing to auction sites, it has become much easier. Now, there are two steps to this idea.
First, you have to collect items to be auctioned. Ask the local community if they want to donate things, such as appliances, furniture, designer clothes, etc. You can also go over to the thrift stores in your region and ask them if there’s something they can give you.
Second, market your auction and organize it online. Spread the word about your auction fundraising event to get more people to bid. You can use local mail, flyers, or run an ad in the newspaper.
Big Money Fundraisers
Lastly, let’s discuss fundraisers for big projects. You must have a team and resources for these ideas because they require thought processes and continuous work.
What it’s for: Financial expansion
Tip: Reach out to related organizations
As an individual or a small company, you can grow through sponsorships. Devise a plan and think of organizations that will be interested in partnering with you. Why should they work with you? What do you have to offer? Keep all these things in mind when using this idea.
It’s very probable that you won’t always have the last say in such events and strategies. You’ll have to work with other companies and also consider their concerns and demands.
In the end, come to a mutual agreement that works in favor of both parties.
What it’s for: Big corporate or scientific projects
Tip: Reach out to the relevant authorities
Depending on your niche, you can submit a grant application to fund your project. For example, if you want to conduct a large-scale scientific study, you can ask for a grant from your university or a government organization.
Make sure you submit the application to an authority whose work is congruent with your specific project.
For this fundraising idea to work, you must make a convincing case. In most instances, you’re competing against tens of other companies or individuals who need the money almost as much as you do. You have to convince the donors that you need it more.
Towards the end, we’d say that fundraising is no easy business. From planning to marketing, a lot goes into the campaign. Even then, you’re dependent on others to make your efforts yield results. Thus, it’s crucial to take every step smartly and responsibly.
With crowdfunding, virtual fundraising has become much more manageable. If you want to lessen the work, take this route. Get some help from automation tools like JustEarlyBird, and add a pinch of creativity and marketing. Voila! You have a recipe for a successful fundraising strategy.