Three Steps for a More Profitable Fundraiser

The search for a fundraiser can be a bit overwhelming. There seem to be thousands of choices, from selling chocolate and magazines to collecting used cell phones and ink jet cartridges. Whichever means you finally choose as means of raising money, you can be sure to have a positive result if you take these three time-tested steps.

Step 1: Create a plan.

The person or team in charge of the fundraiser needs to make some decisions, including the following:

  • Determine what items will be sold or collected for fundraising: Is the fundraiser limited to selling cookie dough in the neighborhood or will the entire town be involved?
  • Determine the timeframe for your fundraiser: Allow several weeks to get the word out, sell or collect the items of choice, and deliver and collect money.
  • Set a goal: Set an aggressive but achievable goal in terms of how much money is to be raised. Choose a goal and advertise it for all to see. You could say something like, “To reach our fundraising goal, each person must sell 25 candy bars.”
  • Make an advertising plan: Determine what groups of donors you wish to approach and determine the best way to address them- by letter, neighborhood door drops, email, through their children, in combination with some other event, etc.

Step 2: Train your team

This is an extremely important part of your fundraiser. The amount of money that you earn depends on how well your team understands your cause.  The first step is to hold a meeting. Include everyone in your organization, school or club who will be fundraising. Make copies of the goals and mission of your fundraiser and hand them out. Explain the “who, what, when, where, and whys” of your fundraiser:

  • Who will be fundraising
  • What you are selling or collecting
  • When you will be selling or collecting
  • Where the items will be sold or collected
  • Why you are holding this fundraiser

Step 3: Advertise your fundraiser

There are several ways to get the word out about your fundraiser. The more people who know about it, the more successful it will be.

  • Post flyers at your local business, your school and your church. Have parents hang a flyer at their office.
  • Hand out letters to friends, classmates and neighbors.
  • Send emails to your friends and family. Have your parents email everyone at work.
  • Issue a press release to all local newspapers that explains your fundraiser.
  • Advertise your fundraiser on local radio stations.


It all sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised at how well your fundraiser will run if you just take the time to plan, train, and advertise.