A Do-It-Yourself fundraiser idea may consist of creating and selling unique products, organizing event fundraisers, or soliciting donations. DIY fundraisers may be a lot of work, but if they’re backed with a reliable group of volunteers, as well as solid organization and leadership, they can be highly profitable. Consider these great ideas:
Recycle Printer Cartridges: there are many companies that will purchase your used cartridges. It’s a great way to be green and raise green at the same time.
Create Your Custom Cookbook: have each of your seller’s parents put together their favorite recipe(s). You can put it together yourself or have it professionally done with a company like X. Sell them for $5-$20 each.
Raffles: get local merchants to donate prizes, a local printer to sponsor the printing of your raffle tickets, and make sure you have at least one major wow prize such as a trip or tickets to a professional sporting event, along with other unique and cool prizes. Sell tickets at $5 to $20 each and give each seller a quota of tickets to sell to ensure you reach your goal.
Fundraising Event Ideas:
Car Wash: On a hot day find a good location with high traffic. Consider asking your busiest local shopping mall. Why not sell refreshments and baked goods while they wait?
Spaghetti Dinner or black-tie dinner: Everyone looks for an excuse to get out of the house and have dinner cooked for them. Have the finest chef you know prepare a wonderful meal. You can tie this in with a silent auction as well, for a profitable evening.
Movie or Playoff Game night: Invite your school’s students and families to pay $1 each to view a choice kid’s movie or an exciting NFL, NBA or NHL playoff game in the school gymnasium or Amphitheatre. Let the kids where their pajamas for extra fun!
Poker Tournament or Casino Night: your supporters will buy tokens, try and get prizes sponsored.
Bingo tournament: Have local merchants provide prizes. Charge for entry and for each bingo card.
Charity golf tournament: More ideal for larger groups. You can raise money with an entrance fee, sponsored holes, hole-in-one or closest to the hole contests. It’s important to negotiate low pricing with the golf course to maximize your profit.
School Carnivals: Like many other event fundraisers, carnivals require a lot of volunteers. Have rides, games, food, contests, clowns and more. Invite the whole community – charge an entry fee and then come up with creative ways to get them to spend even more, like teacher torture, cake throwing, and the ever popular dunk-the-principal!
Talent Shows and Art Exhibitions: these are two possible ways to get your students to learn or develop a skill throughout a semester, while preparing for the big show. Raise funds by charging an entry fee, and possibly selling some art.
Smarties in a Jar: charge $.50 for 1 guess or $1 for 3 guesses. They can win the jar of Smarties and or other prizes. It’s fun and it raises good money at a minimal cost and risk.
Silent Auctions: these are usually great to tie in with other event fundraising ideas. Look for products that you know are in high demand and try and get local merchants to sponsor them to keep your costs very low. Display the items, have your supporters provide their bid, and at the end of bidding, complete the sales transaction with the person with the winning bid.
Fundraising through Sponsorship and Donations:
Donation Letters: Send out sponsor letters simply asking local businesses to support your group by making a donation. In return, businesses gain goodwill, and often get their logo placed on the group’s web site and physical location like the local sportsplex or school gymnasium.
Service for a Donation: Other groups collect donations by offering a service and asking for an open ended donation - a good example is when you see Cub Scouts or athletes packing bags at grocery stores in return for a donation. It’s also a fun way to get the kids working for their funds.
Online Fundraising Platforms: More recently, non-profits have been using online fundraising platforms to create their group web page and then solicit their social networks to collect online donations.
Skip-a-Meal: Your supporters skip their regular lunch or supper, and instead donate those funds ($3-$20) to your cause. Organize it so it happens on a specific day, to make it a bigger deal and get more supporters.
Walk-a-Thons and Read-a-Thons: Are a great way to encourage fitness and reading in your schools and community as a whole. Have your sellers request $1-$5 per mile travelled or per book read. You have no product costs, so you can earn a huge profit.
Have fundraising ideas that have worked well for your group? Please let us know!