Winter Fundraisers Series: How to Host a Penny Wars Fundraiser

Penny Wars Fundraiser

Penny wars are a fantastic way to get people to donate to your cause. Curious?  Read on!

What is a Penny War?

Penny war fundraisers are a style of fundraising where different teams, groups, or etc. compete to see who can raise the most money.

This is how it works:

Setup

Get a bucket or empty water cooler. You’ll need one container for each team. Design a sign or other kind of artwork that clearly shows which bucket belongs to which team.

Place these containers in a central location that’s relevant to your fundraiser. So, if you’re raising money for a school, display your penny war buckets in a hallway with high traffic. Fundraising in an office? Position your penny war buckets in your break room.

Start the War!

Now, it’s time for the war of dollars and cents! Participants in a penny war donate change to their team’s bucket. Whichever team collects the most change in their bucket during your fundraising period is the winner!

Prizes

Penny wars can have prizes, but they don’t need to. Usually the people donating to the cause will also benefit from the funds raised. However, if you want to incentivize your donors with a small “winner’s reward,” that could generate more interest in your penny war fundraiser.

How To Host a Penny Wars Fundraiser

All you need for a penny war fundraiser is buckets (or some type of receptacle), a place to keep them and two or more competing teams. Here’s a few ideas for the types of teams and groups that can benefit from penny wars:

High School Penny Wars: Freshman Vs Sophomores Vs Juniors Vs Seniors

Encourage the different graduating classes to compete in a penny war. Use the funds raised to produce school-wide benefits.

Sports Teams: Varsity Vs Junior Varsity – OR – Sport Vs Sport

If it’s two divisions of the same team, the money raised can directly benefit that sports team. If you run your penny war against competing sports, try doing it during the same season.

Penny Wars for Adults: Millennials Vs Generation X – OR – Pirates Vs Ninjas

If you’re fundraising audience is a group of adults, you can still have a penny war. If you don’t have different “teams” just choose two fun groups or ideas that people can donate to. The first example separate competitors with the year they were born. The second is silly and cosplay friendly – what are you, a pirate or a ninja!?

A Fun Variation For Your Penny War

Want to step up your penny war competition? Put meaning on the literal pennies with this fun variation:

Teams are encouraged to put pennies in their own team’s bucket. Each penny is worth a point. The team with the most points at the end of the fundraiser wins.

Each team is also encouraged to donate other forms of currency in the opposing team’s bucket(s). Each piece of non-penny currency is results in 1 point getting subtracted from that team’s total points.

For example, Team A has 1500 pennies in their bucket, but they also have $250 in other currency (nickels, dimes, quarters and various dollars.) As a result, their penny war points are 1250.

This version of a penny war can bring extra profits because it encourages higher denomination donations and creates more competition for the participants.

Increase Profits with a Penny War Party

Throw a fundraising event and include a Penny War as one of the activities.  For example, if you have a buffet dinner fundraiser, have two team buckets at the beginning and/or end of each line.  Before people begin going through the line, divide them into teams and let the donations begin!

 

Winter Fundraiser Series: Flowery Fundraiser in February

How to Do a Flowery February Fundraiser

If you are looking for a fundraiser to do during the winter months, February is a great month for which to plan. Valentine’s Day is a holiday when gifts are given, so it is a perfect time for a fundraiser.  People love giving and receiving candy and flowers, so why not have a fundraiser that supplies them?

Start Early

While this fundraiser is fairly simple, it is date sensitive so start planning early.  Because you will be delivering the flowers on a particular day, the florist will have a deadline for the order so they can deliver your flowers to your group on time.  You need time to take and collect orders.  You also need time to plan.  Therefore, pull your fundraising team together in plenty of time to get everything planned.

Planning

Planning a flower fundraiser is easy. Start by assembling your fundraising leadership team.  The team doesn’t have to do all the work. They help plan and make sure that all the work gets done.

Determine the Type of Flowers to Sell

Easy Alternative to Live Flowers

Chocolate flowers are usually chocolate lollipops shaped like flowers. This is a fundraiser that is especially good for elementary schools.  It’s simple.  Purchase the lollipops and then sell them.  Companies like The Goodies Factory offer a wide selection.

The first step is to determine which type of flowers you might want to sell — live or otherwise. For this article, we are going to focus on live flowers.

Research which type of live flowers you would like and where you will get them. Get in contact with your supplier to find out when you need to place your order so that you receive them on or around February 14th.

You also need to determine if you want to sell individual flowers or arrangements.  This can be determined by profit made per sale as well as by simplicity. It is much easier to sell and deliver individual roses for Valentine’s Day than to deliver whole arrangements.

Finally, plan for prizes to help motivate sellers.  The amount spent on prizes should be a very SMALL percentage of the profit.  Don’t be afraid to go to local businesses and ask for donations to use as prizes.  You’d be surprised at how motivating a free pizza or hamburger can be.  Offer a large prize for the top 1-3 sellers.  If possible, offer a small prize to anyone who meets a certain sales target.  For example, it could be a $5 Starbucks gift card for anyone who sells 30 roses.

Organize Your Group

Once you know your product and deadline, recruit and organize participants to do the selling.  How you organize depends on the size of your group. Smaller groups can simply distribute order forms to your participants and have them take orders.

Larger groups will need to break your sellers into smaller groups with each group having a leader.  Some organizations naturally break into groups such as schools. Each classroom becomes a group with the teacher as a leader.  Group leaders are responsible to distribute and collect order forms from the participants.

Promotion and Sales

Get the word out!  Make up the fliers and distribute to friends and family. Use social media to your advantage. Send out invites to order your fundraiser flowers. Take orders as they come in and do not be afraid to follow up with people you have contacted but have not yet placed their order or said they would rather not.

Collect the Orders

Depending on the size of the group, you may want to give 2-3 days for participants to turn in their orders.  However, set a specific date and time by which all orders need to be turned in.  Be sure to emphasize this deadline to participants and group leaders.

Distribution

Some groups, especially larger ones, set a date and time during which customers can come pick up their orders.  Others prefer to deliver which is more personal and shows a bit more customer service.

If you are selling individual roses, it is easy enough to have a list of all participants and have them come and pick up the number of roses they need to deliver to their customers.

If you are selling arrangements, hopefully the florist sorts the orders.  If the florist does not sort orders, you will need to have a team to sort the various flower orders for distribution to individual customers.

If you have a smaller group, simply give the flowers to the participants and let them deliver them.  For larger groups, distribute the orders to the group leaders who, in turn, give the orders to individual participants.  The participants can then deliver the orders.

Throw a Prize Party

The goal of the party is to create a final fun memory associated with the this fundraiser so that your group is motivated for the next one.

Most groups need to fundraise more than one time per year.  Therefore, it is important to keep your group energized and motivated.  Once the fundraiser is done, throw a party for the participants.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  Just make sure it’s fun.  While at the party, award the top sellers in front of the group and then make a big deal out of distributing the smaller prizes as well.

 

Winter Fundraisers Series: Bowling Fundraiser

Bowling Fundraiser

Fundraising is often done through outdoor events.  Races and golf tournaments raise money for worthy causes.  However, as the cold months roll in, warm clothes and coats get brought out.  During these chilly times, event fundraisers still need to go on.  What can you do for a fundraising event in the winter?

That’s the focus of our Winter Fundraiser Series — fundraisers that can be done in chillier climates.  One event fundraiser you might not have considered is bowling!

Bowling has Wide Appeal

During the cold, winter months, bowling is a great sport to keep people active, and it is comfortable and fun for all ages. The entire family can participate in a bowling night fundraising activity.

It also appeals to athletes and those with a competitive spirit regardless of their ability level.  Bowling provides the friendly competition that they love with bragging rights for the winner.

Done correctly, a bowling fundraiser becomes a great way for everyone to have fun and feel like a winner while raising the necessary funds for your group!

Preparation for the Bowling Fundraiser Event

Organizing a bowling fundraiser is much easier than it may seem.  It doesn’t matter whether your group is large or small.  You simply plan for the number of bowling lanes that you need.

Prepare the Bowling Alley

Contact your local bowling alley and get the rates and available times for your tournament. Many bowling alleys offer hourly rates as well as per game rates.  If your group is large enough, they may offer group discounts based on the number of lanes needed.

Also, ask the bowling alley if they have a room that you can use for a few minutes for the awards ceremony at the end of the event.

Once you have completed your participant registration (see below), be sure to call and reserve the lanes you need.

Set the Registration Price & Prizes for the Winners

Determine the Prizes Offered

Prizes are important.  They are great motivators.  If participants have fun, they will want to do this again, so be sure to have lots of winners.  That is easily done by having many different categories for the prizes.  For example:

  • Highest individual score & highest team score
  • Lowest individual score & lowest team score
  • Most individual gutter balls & most team gutter balls
  • Funniest bowling style / Best professional bowler style
  • Most individual strikes (or spares) / Most team strikes (or spares)
  • Most encouraging person to others
  • Best non-offensive trash talker

Choose what you will offer as a prize for each category.  You might consider bags of candy, inexpensive trophies, homemade trophies, baked prizes, etc.  Get the idea?  The event is meant to be fun, so have fun prizes.  They don’t have to be costly.  Just make sure they don’t look “cheap.”

Be sure to ask individuals as well as local businesses for donations as prizes.  A free pizza from the local restaurant or a free coffee from the local Starbucks makes a great prize.  You can even ask the bowling alley if they will give coupons for free games to use as prizes.  Be inventive.  The less you have in prize cost, the more potential you have for greater profit.

Bowling Prizes
This is a picture a group took of their bowling prizes and sent to TFN. The person in charge of prizes collected old plaques that people were going to throw away. He designed the front of them on his computer and printed them on cardstock. He then pasted the cardstock to the front of the plaque.

Set the Registration Price

Estimate how many people you expect to sign up.  Figure an approximate cost for the prizes and the bowling lanes.  Determine the amount of money that you want to raise from this event.  Now figure out your registration price.

Number of Registrants * Registration Fee = Total Income

Total Income – Bowling Expenses – Prize Cost = Fundraiser Profit

Example for a Small Bowling Group:

Partipants expected:  25 (5 lanes with 5 bowlers each)

Fundraising Goal:  $200
Bowling Alley:  $16 per lane per hour * 5 lanes needed = $80/hour
Prizes:  $50

If you plan to bowl for 2 hours, here’s how it works out.

$160 (alley) + $50 (prizes) = $210 total cost

$200 (goal) + $210 (cost) = $410 minimum amount of money needed to be made

$410 / 25 participants = $17 per bowler for registration fee.

$17 * 25 bowlers = $420 revenue

$425 revenue – $210 cost = $215 profit
(or increase your profit by $75 if you charge a $20 registration fee)

Example for a Large Bowling Group:

Partipants expected:  75 (15 lanes with 5 bowlers each)

Fundraising Goal:  $1000
Bowling Alley:  $16 per lane per hour * 15 lanes = $240/hour
Prizes:  $150

If you plan to bowl for 2 hours, here’s how it works out.

$480 (alley) + $150 (prizes) = $630 total cost

$1000 (goal) + $630 (cost) = $1630 minimum amount of money needed to be made

$1630 / 75 participants = $22 per bowler for registration fee.

$22 * 75 bowlers = $1650 revenue

$1650 revenue – $630 cost = $1020 profit

Start Promoting 4-6 Weeks Before the Event

Set a sign-up deadline and then start promoting.  Whatever you do, make sure that each announcement sounds fun and inviting.

Online Promotions. Send out invitations via email and on social media.  Set up your event on Facebook.  You might also promote it on your web site if you have one.  In each of these cases, include a link to a registration form.

Group Meetings.  If you have group meetings, be sure to announce the bowling fundraiser at each meeting in the 4-6 weeks prior to the event. Have a sign-up sheet at the meeting and let people know where it is.

Register Your Participants & Reserve Your Lanes

Getting your participant count is very important.  Based on the headcount, you will know whether you need to reserve an entire bowling alley or just a few lanes.  You will also know which costs less: reserving the bowling alley per lane or per game.  (The lower the cost, the greater the profits.)

Encourage people to sign up in teams of 5.  (Most lanes will hold 5 bowlers.) Have them choose their own team name.

About 7-14 days before the event, do a final push for sign-ups with a final registration deadline.  Get your final participant count and reserve your lanes at the bowling alley.

Have the Event

 

On the day of the event, everyone shows up at the bowling alley and has lots of fun.  Later, you will need lots of pictures with people having fun.  (See below.)  When you are shooting the pics, include participants bowling, smiling and enjoying themselves.

Here are tips to make coordinating the prizes easier.

– Be sure to have judges (preferably people who are not bowling) who record individual and team scores as the bowling is happening.  Each judge should be able to cover two lanes (since the lanes are side by side).

– If you are bowling by the hour, let everyone know how many games will  count towards prizes.  For example, if you are bowling 2 hours, some teams might be focused and bowl 4 games while others may only bowl 2.  Tell everyone that they can bowl as many games as possible in the 2 hours, but that only the first 2 games (or however many games you choose) will count toward prizes.

– Have a designated “Scoremaster” to whom all the judges turn in the winners in each of the categories for the lanes they were watching.  The judges list should also include the actual scores.

Have the Awards Ceremony

Once the bowling is finished, quickly gather everyone into the side room.  (See “Prepare the Bowling Alley” above.)  The Scoremaster should quickly tally all the results to determine the winners in each category.  In as fun a way as possible, announce each winner and give them their award.

After the Event

Go through your pictures and choose a large number of the best ones.  Post them to your web site or social media.  Be sure to include a list of the winners and say something about how much fun it was.

And remember:  If you do this event well, you might have created an annual fundraising event for your organization. The more fun people have and the more enjoyable memories they create, the better chance they will want to do it again next year!

How to Raise Money with an Ugly Sweater Party

How to Raise Money with an Ugly Sweater Party

Ugly sweater parties are a fun, hip way to raise money. Today, we’ll tell you how to use an ugly sweater party as your next fundraiser. Just follow these simple steps.

1. Source Some Ugly Sweaters

The first thing you’ll need are some ugly sweaters. Start by clearing out your own closet. Next, ask friends to donate unwanted sweaters to your cause. Finally, take a trip to you local thrift shop. Your goal is to spend as little money as possible.

Yes, some people will have their own sweaters to wear. But you’ll want to provide sweaters to the volunteers helping you with your fundraiser. Also, your ugly sweaters are going to be the first item you use to make money!

At your party, you can invite guests to wear their own ugly sweater, or you can give them one in exchange for a donation. It’s like charging an entry fee to your party, where each guest covers the cost of admission with a donation, and gets an ugly sweater in exchange.

2. Plan the Party

Like every type of party, there are common logistics you need to take into account. Here’s a few to get you started:

Guest List. How many people are you inviting? How many do you expect to attend? How are you inviting them?

Venue. Are you renting a hall or event space for your ugly sweater party? Or can you host the fundraiser at someone’s house?

Food & Drink. What food will you serve? Will this be included in the cost of entry? Will you be serving alcohol?

Making Money At The Party. What other items or services can you monetize at your fundraiser? Will you have a 50/50? Raffle off any prizes? Or are you just taking direct “sweater donations?”

3. Promote Your Ugly Sweater Party Fundraiser

Get the word out! Tell people all about your party and why you’re having it. Don’t just promote the ugly sweaters. Use this opportunity to let everyone know about your fundraiser’s cause.

Word-of-mouth is the most effective way to get people interested in your cause and event. Invite everyone in your personal network. If you’re running a public event, consider using social media to promote the event.

Don’t forget to let people know that when they donate to your fundraiser, you will provide them with an ugly sweater at the party!

4. Have an Awesome Ugly Sweater Party!

Do everything you can to prepare for the party… and then have a great time!

Make sure you have plenty of ugly sweaters to trade for donations. Have some kind of live entertainment for people to enjoy – even if it’s just music and room to dance.

Take lots of pictures and interact with all your guests. If they have a good time, you have a better chance at getting more donations!

5. Thank Everyone Who Came & Share The Memories

After the party is over, reach out to everyone who came. Thank them for attending your party and supporting your fundraiser.

Share the photos you took during the event with guests. Post the pics on your fundraising website or social media. Show everyone how much fun was had at your ugly sweater party!

New Year’s “Game Day” Fundraiser

New Years Game Day Fundraiser

When family and friends get together, there is often a fundraising opportunity that presents itself. Close friends and family are perfect prospects when it comes to raising funds. Everybody likes to help a good cause, especially when they care for the person that is presenting the opportunity. Loved ones are there to support one-another.

New Years is one of those perfect times to present a fundraiser. You may often overlook the men in the family when it comes to fundraising, but this fun way to raise money will have everyone all in — even the men!

The idea is centered around football.

The big game is just as much a part of New Years Day as pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving. Everybody will have fun with this particular game.

The Fundraiser

The idea is that everybody involved picks a team during the game. Whenever the “other” team scores one or more points against “your” team, you put a contribution of a quarter or more (perhaps even a dollar) in your collection jar (details below). Everybody is bound to get into this one, as it makes for friendly competition that contributes to a great cause.

This game not only brings more fun to New Years, but it is easy to perform. The plan-ahead preparation is even easier than most fundraisers. You do not need much to add this to your holiday.

The Set Up

Getting Organized

It is best to start planning and collecting the materials needed as soon as possible. You will need a set of collection jars (or other containers) to hand out and retrieve. Plan your collection method prior to making your announcements. It is best to have everything in order prior to presenting the fundraiser.

Make a list of the participants. Think of as many people as you can. The fundraiser does not need to be limited to your household. Invite neighbors, teachers, friends, family and, if you make it online too, even people you know across the country to participate in this online version that will contribute to your fundraiser.

Set Up Your Donations Method

There are two primary methods used to collect the funds afterward.

Collect the Money in Person

In the past, this has been the most common way to collect the money.  Designate one to two people to collect the funds.  Plan for the collection.  If you are collecting the actual funds, make it as convenient as possible.  Though you could have participants “bring in” the money, you might consider offering to pick the jars up.

Online Collection

With the internet, you literally can make this fundraiser nationwide.  Therefore, you need a way to collect the funds nationwide.  First, you need to set up a donations page.  HelpaFund has been working with all sorts of groups doing just that.  Click here and set up your donations page with them.

Instruct all your participants that once the fundraiser is completed, they should count the money in their donation jar and then use your donations page to send in the money.

HelpaFund keeps a very small percentage, but it’s worth it.  They take the headache out of collecting funds, they allow you to collect funds nationwide, and they provide many other benefits.  Check out our two other articles for more information.

Promoting Your Fundraiser

Promoting the fundraiser will be simple, especially using social media. Create an event on Facebook that has all the details, then get the word out.

  • Schedule one or more Facebook live sessions to present the idea.
  • Tweet a picture about the event with a link to your Facebook event page.
  • Have a group meeting where you present the fundraiser.
  • Present this idea face to face with whomever you think would benefit from that interaction.
  • If you have a place where people frequent (such as a school or church), put up flyers.
  • Send out letters and/or emails. Emails are very good when you are collecting online donations (see above).

Doing Your Fundraiser on New Years Day

If you are Doing the Fundraiser Online

Game watchers who are doing the fundraiser online do not necessarily need  a jar.  As their team is scored against, they can either write IOU’s that they drop in a hat or jar, or they can simply write down their donations on a piece of paper during the game.  At the end of the game, donations are totaled and made online on the donations page.

Build Excitement on Game Day

Use your Facebook event page to get your participants to tell you which games they are watching.  Post the game scores.  Get your participants commenting and posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Get people interacting about the games and the amounts donated.

Collect Your Donations

Think of the  best way to collect the donations after the event for your group or organization.  After the fundraiser is done, either the participants bring all the money collected to the collector(s) or the collector(s) visit each participant and get the jars.

For online donations

As discussed above, if you are using online donations, collections are easy and convenient for everyone.  You should have already instructed people how to make the donations.  After the fundraiser, your designated collector simply needs to be available to answer questions in case any donators need help.

 

Fundraising can be enjoyable. This holiday and sports event will greatly benefit your efforts, while providing family fun. Enjoy your New Years!

 

How to Use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

How to Use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Crowdfunding can be a great way to bring together you donor network and surround them around your cause. Today, we’ll show you how to use crowdfunding for your next fundraiser.

Here’s three steps every cause can follow to successfully crowdfund a campaign:

1. Choose The Right Crowdfunding Platform

Before you can launch your campaign, you need a platform to host the fundraiser.

Crowdfunding with Expertise in Fundraising

If you are looking for a platform that has experience in the fundraising industry with both large and small groups, HelpaFund is a great platform.  It was developed by a gentleman with years of working with fundraising groups and individuals.  They provide all sorts of helps to aid you in your crowdfunding fundraiser.

  • Audio tips for your campaign set-up stages
  • Provide music on campaigns if you want it
  • Provide Entertainment discount cards for rewards (see details on their web site)
  • They even let you create your own rewards.
  • They have share tools.  All crowdfunding uses Facebook of course, but not everyone has a Facebook account. You can also share on Instagram (younger people use that over Facebook) and a Text tool that can be done from a smartphone. (About 98% of people read their text messages, so this is an extremely effective tool.)
  • They even help your crowdfunding campaign get found in search engines.

Product Development or Creative Fundraising

If you have a product that you want to get off the ground, then Kickstarter might be right for you.  People can pledge money to your cause through their site. Your project only funds if you meet or exceed your fundraising goal. If your project is successful, Kickstarter takes a 5% fee of the money raised – and there is a 3-5% payment processing fee. Keep in mind, Kickstarter can only be used for “creative projects.” For more information check out the Kickstarter FAQ and their Creator Handbook.

General Crowdfunding Service

If you are just looking for a general crowdfunding service, GoFundMe offers fundraising services for all causes. Set your crowdfunding goal and you get every donation your campaign raises. The type of campaign you run determines the fee GoFundMe.com attaches to your fundraiser.

2. Make Sure to Provide Compelling Information on Your Crowdfunding Page

This is your opportunity to let donors know who you are, how much money you need and what you’ll use it for.  The old saying, “A Picture Paints a Thousand Words,” is true.  Be sure to provide pictures along with compelling information about your fundraiser and how the funds will be used.

If possible, set up a video for your crowdfunding page.  That way, when potential donors visit your crowdfunding page, the first thing they will see and hear is a video about your cause.

If you need to raise a lot of money or explain an in-depth cause, see a professional filmmaker (think local) might donate part or all of their services to make your crowdfunding video. Tell them what you need the video to do and let them actualize your vision. Some crowdfunding campaigns budget their video production into their fundraising expenses.

3. Launch and Monitor An Engaging Campaign

After you’ve created your crowdfunding page and populated it with information, it’s time to launch your campaign!

The first few days are your best chance to gain traction. Get as many eyes on your crowdfunding page as possible. Share your fundraiser across all social media platforms, and get your network to do the same.

Release daily content related to your crowdfunding campaign. This could be photos of the people / project your fundraiser will benefit, or status updates on how much money you’ve raised so far.

Check out how your promotional content is performing. What posts drive the most traffic to your crowdfunding page? What kind of donors are you attracting? Use this information to refine your crowdfunding efforts.

You want to constantly engage your audience with meaningful updates. Keep attracting new donors until your campaign ends!

 

So what you waiting for?  Start your crowdfunding!

Why You Really Need to use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Why You Really Need to use Crowdfunding for Your Next Fundraiser

Fundraisers are crucial when collecting money to support what is important to you. It opens many doors that would otherwise remain closed. There are many ways to raise funds for your need.

The amount of strategies are endless. People often only consider one option: selling items. This category can include bake sales or other craft sales. You may have only considered fundraisers to be events such as these. However, you can truly get creative with ways to raise money.

Have you considered crowdfunding? You may have heard of it, especially with so many people opening up a crowdfunding account to raise significant amounts of money. You may have seen people sharing a funding page on social media. Huge amounts of money have been raised using this method of fundraising.

There are several reasons to use crowdfunding for your next fundraiser…

Crowdfunding

Extends Your Reach for Funds

Crowdfunding has brought fundraising to the internet. Never before has it been this easy reach sources for fundraising. You will literally be reaching a crowd, as crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing.

Crowdfunding allows your fundraising abilities to reach further heights. You can share your crowdfunding account over social media. People who care about you and your cause can also share it with their friends and followers. This creates a nearly limitless reach for funds.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Larger groups have the power of numbers, but small groups and individuals often face a much harder battle of trying to raise money.  If you or someone that you know has ever been faced with the burden of raising a large amount of money, you know how overwhelming it can feel.

You may have heard of people raising large amounts of money for trips through this type of funding. There are also many tragic situations that people feel compelled to support through crowdfunding. It is truly an easy and effective way to raise funds for your cause.

With crowdfunding, any person or group can use social media to amplify themselves.  Your online friends suddenly are an opportunity to turn yourself or your small group into a large one as they help you get the word out.

Every Cause Matters

Crowdfunding can be used for any and every cause. The range is limitless, so do not count your fundraiser out. Crowdfunding is used for a variety of needs. People have fully funded travel using the method. Entrepreneurs have been successful with funding their business ventures. Artists have also benefited from crowdfunding.

It’s Easy!

Set up a donations page and then use social media to get the word out.  HelpaFund has been working with all sorts of groups and individuals to do just that.  Click here and set up your donations page with them.

There’s No Up-Front Cost

There’s no cost to set up an account, and you don’t have any fees unless people actually make donations.  As for fees, HelpaFund keeps a very small percentage, but it’s worth it.  They take the headache out of collecting funds, they allow you to collect funds nationwide, and they provide many other benefits.

 

There is no reason that you should not incorporate crowdfunding into your fundraising strategies. You will be shocked at the reach your fundraiser has through crowdfunding. If you have a steep goal, then you should definitely consider crowdfunding. The amount of money you could raise is limitless. Do not underestimate people’s willingness to contribute to your cause. Reach the power of human kindness by using this crowdfunding resource today!

CharityMania Fundraisers: Catch the wave that is sweeping the country!

CharityMania - Unique Fundraisers Based on Your Favorite Sport

The Fundraising Network had the opportunity to speak with a very unique fundraising provider recently.  Dr. Neil Quinn and his daughter, Michele Hannemann, head up an organization named “CharityMania,” a unique sweepstakes fundraiser based on the excitement of professional and college sports.  They help schools, churches, sports teams and other organizations across the U.S. raise the funds that they need.

Dr. Quinn’s history leading to this endeavor is an interesting one that we will leave to another day.  For now, we want to share the information we learned when we talked with Dr. Quinn and Mrs. Hannemann.  (We have included links to supporting information as well.)

You describe your fundraiser using words such as “great,” “unique,” and “new.”  Why these words?

CharityMania provides unique sweepstakes fundraisers based on the excitement of professional and college sports. The organization sells CharityMania Tickets to raise money and keeps 70% as profit (no matter how many tickets they sell!).  Selling is typically easy because of the prizes.  Ticket holders receive a great collection of digital music and are entered into a sweepstakes where they can win $1000s in cash prizes based on the results of the sports teams printed on their sweepstakes game cards.

It’s perfectly suited for organizations who are tired of selling the same old stuff.  CharityMania’s flagship event is the FootballMania fundraiser but we have other unique fundraisers as well.

What type of organizations use CharityMania fundraisers?

CharityMania started running their FootballMania fundraiser for several churches and catholic schools about 20 years ago.  Today they work with hundreds of catholic schools and churches across the country, and their customers also include sports teams and leagues, booster clubs, police and fire departments, cheerleading teams, cancer research groups… you name it.  CharityMania fundraisers work well for ANY size organization.

What makes a CharityMania sweepstakes fundraiser so unique and different?

Bigger profits

You make 70% profit for every CharityMania Ticket you sell. This makes CharityMania fundraisers great for any size organization. Sell 10 tickets, or 10,000 tickets… you make 70% profit on every sale!

It’s unique

If you’re tired of expensive and time intensive fundraisers like cookie dough, scented candles, and gift wrap, CharityMania is the answer. There is no inventory to manage or orders to fulfill, and everyone enjoys playing along with their sweepstakes game cards each week of the fundraiser.

It will expand your fundraising reach

Everyone loves music, sports and the chance to win prize money, all of which are key elements of a CharityMania fundraiser. As a result, people whom you never thought would support your organization are now interested in participating and supporting your cause.

How does it work?

It’s probably easiest to use CharityMania’s most popular FootballMania fundraiser as an example.  Your organization sells CharityMania Tickets for $20, and you keep $14 profit on each and every ticket you sell.  Ticket holders receive a great collection of digital music along with a sweepstakes game card where they get to play along for all 17 weeks of the professional football season and win cash prizes each week depending on how the teams printed on their game card perform.  Any tickets you don’t sell can simply be thrown away after the start of the fundraiser!  CharityMania will let you know each week of the season which game cards won and CharityMania will cover all the prize money.  You can see a ticket and read about it on our web site at https://www.charitymania.com/ticketexample.aspx

You talk about the prizes – digital music and cash prizes.  Can you explain more about that?

Everyone loves prizes.  It’s part of what makes the cards easy to sell.  Participants receive digital music from CharityStudio.  Each CharityMania ticket typically has an “access code” located in the top right corner.  To access the CharityStudio and download music, the ticket owner simply enters a valid CharityStudio “access code.”  As far as how the cash prizes work, our YouTube video makes it very easy to understand.

(Note from TFN:  CharityMania has their own YouTube Channel where you can get all sorts of info.  Go to https://www.youtube.com/user/charitymania/videos  In addition, you can learn more about CharityStudio at: https://www.charitymania.com/ClubLogin.aspx )

Is it just for football?

No.  We have a number of different CharityMania fundraisers based on sports throughout the year.  There are three for FootballMania (including pro and college ball), FootballMania Supermatch (based on the “Big Game”), two for BaseballMania, HoopsMania using college basketball, HockeyMania, RacingMania and even GolfMania.

Given the number of sports we have, we are expecting that if groups haven’t heard of us yet, they will soon!

Is it complicated to manage?

No!  CharityMania prides itself on how easy it is to run one of their fundraisers.

How much money can my organization raise?

Holy Family School in Illinois raised over $69,000.  Wilson Park Youth Baseball in Wisconsin raised over $61,000.  Washington Township Parks & Rec Programs in New Jersey raised almost $40,000.  How much you raise depends on how many people you have selling CharityMania tickets.  Most organizations give each person 10 to 20 tickets to sell.  At $14 profit for each ticket sold, you’ll find that a CharityMania fundraiser will get you to your goal much faster and easier than other fundraisers.

What about organizations who live in areas that can’t afford a $20 price point?

Depending on the time of year and which CharityMania fundraiser a group wants to do, we have some that cost less.  The lower cost cards don’t provide as much profit, but the group still has the potential to raise significant sums of money.

When are these fundraisers available?

Sports are available throughout the year, so CharityMania fundraisers run all throughout the year as well.  No matter what time of year you are needing to fundraise, CharityMania is sure to have a fundraiser for you.

A Final Thought from The Fundraising Network

After learning more about CharityMania from Dr. Quinn, Mrs. Hanneman and from reading their web sites, we were impressed by the profit potential of the CharityMania fundraiser and the widespread appeal given the love for sports shared by many people.  In a nutshell, if you want to raise money – possibly large sums — using a very unique and new fundraiser, this just might be the perfect fundraiser for your group.

If you want more information about CharityMania, visit their website at http://www.charitymania.com or contact them directly by phone (888-909-9994) or email: inquiry@charitymania.com

7 Reasons NOT to Have a Youth Group Bake Sale

Many youth groups plan bake sales to support their programs, summer camp or trips.  Everyone likes cookies and cupcakes, so why not have a bake sale?  While a bake sale might sound like a good idea, here are 7 reasons why may not be the best idea.

1. Bake Sale Item Prices – Bake sale items are typically priced quite low.  After all, you can only charge so much for a little zippy bag of cookies.  Prices generally range from 50 cents to $10 for a cake.  So unless they give an extra donation, each person who makes a purchase is contributing a very small amount.

2. Impossible Volume – Considering the low price point of items, your church youth group would have to do a lot of baking to come up with enough items to generate a good income at the end of the day.  With baked goods it’s just not possible.

3. Potential Funds Raised –Unless you only need to raise $100 or less your group is not likely to reach it’s goal with a bake sale.  Why would you spend so much effort on something that produces so little results?

4. Too Much Work – Anyone who’s ever baked items for a sale (and I have) knows how much work it is.  It may take all afternoon to bake a few dozen cookies and cupcakes.  At best your hard work will fetch the organization $10-20.  Was it really worth it?

5. Perishable Foods – Baked goods need to be sold the day of the sale.  If bad weather, a low crowd or something else thwarts the bake sale, you can’t save them for later.

6. Too Many Fundraisers –Because bake sales generate such a low amount of income for the group, it becomes just one more fundraiser people are asked to participate in.  After awhile even people who support your group will get tired of being asked.

7. Divides Your Efforts – Because your youth group is spending time on the bake sale, it is taking time away from fundraisers that could be more profitable. Why not focus all of your efforts on one or two fundraisers that will produce much more results?

Instead of wasting time with a bake sale, find a fundraiser that is the best match for your church youth group.  An effective fundraiser is appealing to a wide majority of your supporters, brings in the most amount of money compared to the effort and doesn’t cost more than is appropriate.

There are a variety of great fundraising ideas…bake sales are just not one of them!

About the Author
Sandra Sims is dedicated to helping groups raise more for their causes. She is the publisher of StepByStepFundraising.com a website that features the best fundraising options including a list of the Top 5 Event Fundraisers.

The Greatest Incentive

Sponsors of The Fundraising Network provide us with a wealth of information and ideas about fundraising.  I was speaking with All Star 1 Fundraising today, and he told me about what motivates his groups that do fundraising — profits. Here is what he had to say.

The very best fundraiser incentive which is far superior to all other fundraising incentives are fundraisers with huge or high profit fundraising!!!

All Star 1 Fund Raising, offers a total of (8) high profit fundraisers with up to 60% profit fundraising.  That’s up to $7.80 profit per item depending on which fundraiser you do!  All other incentives offered by other fundraising companies such as inexpensive gadgets, trinkets, toys, electronic or high-tech games or merchandise will never compare with our 50% or 60% high profit fundraisers!!!

You can take just a small amount of your profit and buy a ‘whale-of-a-lot’ of fundraising incentives and, still at the same time retain more profit than you would make with the companies that only give you 40% profit.

Look at it this way.  It doesn’t matter what percentage of profit you make.  It all comes down to how many dollars you raise when everything is done.  It is based on how much you make per sale and how many items you sell.  Ultimately, the more you sell, the more you make, and more money made per item means more money raised.

Great incentives provide motivation for your group members to sell.  Think of it this way.  If you were a 6th grader, would you be more motivated to meet a particular sales quota if you were going to receive a cheap radio or a brand new ipod?  There are plenty of cheap “prizes” that many fundraising companies bring in from China as incentives.  What if you made more profit and used a little of it to provide fantastic incentives?  Here are a couple of examples.

You can make $10,000 selling 1000 boxes of fruit with Parker Indian River Groves.  You can offer your three top sellers a brand new XBox360 or your top 4 sellers a brand new Wii and still keep $9000 in your pocket.  Your first thought might be, “But that takes almost $1000 out of our pocket!”  However, how many items would your group have sold without those incentives?  $1000 represents the money from the sale of 100 boxes of fruit.  If your group members sold 100+ boxes more than they would have sold without the incentives, then spending the $1000 makes great sense.  Otherwise, your total amount brought home would be much less without the incentives.

Let’s use All Star 1’s example.  Let’s say that you sell $13 items.  You percentage of profit with many companies would only be 40% — about $5.20 per item.  With All Star 1, you make 60% which comes to $7.80 per item.  If you sell 1000 items, you’d make $5200 with the 40% company and $7800 with the 60% company.  If you are making 60%, you sell the same number of items, use $1000 of your profits to provide really awesome incentives and still make $1600 more than with the 40% company.

(Please note that the above examples are only for demonstration purposes.  They are not actual promises of particular profit amounts.  You need to check with your fundraising company for real profit amounts.)

Summary

All this can be a little confusing, so here’s a quick summary.

  1. Rather than considering the percentage of profit, consider the actual money made per item sold.
  2. Figure how much more money can be made by providing great incentives out of your profits that truly motivate your group members to sell than by just settling for the cheap “prizes” that many fundraising companies provide.
  3. If you can make more money by motivating your members with fantastic incentives that you provide out of your profits, then choose to make more money!

All of this can be a little daunting when you first think about it, but take some time to think about how you can make the most money from your fundraiser.  While providing your own incentives may seem like it may be costing you profits, you might find that they actually help you raise more.  The key is finding the fundraising company that pays you more so that the cost of the incentives is covered.

Top 5 Fun Fundraisers

Some of the best fundraisers are just plain fun. When you are looking for fundraising ideas, finding a program that participants will enjoy will boost your success.

Here is a short list of unique, fun fundraiser ideas to get you started. These are great for schools, but you can modify these ideas for a office, church or other setting, too.

1. Kiss a Pig – We did this one back in high school, and it was a big hit. The students’ favorite (or least favorite) teachers are persuaded to join in. Jars with each teachers name are placed in a prominent location in the school. Which ever teacher has received the most money by a given date has to “kiss the pig” in a school assembly. Find out exactly how a high school raised money with this event.

2. Singing Telegrams – This fundraiser idea is great for school or church choirs. Buyers select the song, recipient and any special message. Singers visit the recipient in their class to give the telegram. This one is great for Valentines Day.

3. Goofy Olympics – Pick fun and silly games for an “Olympics” day. Participants pay an entry fee per game or for the whole day. Prizes (donated) are given to winners of each contest or game. Combine this program with food booths for more fun and profits.

4. Pie and cake auction – The cooks and the sweet lovers in your group will enjoy this fundraiser idea! Ask for donations of cakes and pies. Label each dessert with the name of the dessert and the cook. Ask your most humorous and charismatic person to be the auctioneer who can entertain the crowd and boost the auction prices.

5. World’s Longest Banana Split – You don’t have to beat any records to have fun at this event. This fun fundraiser is tasty to boot. Sell tickets in advance, at a set price per person, for all you can eat banana splits. A suggested price is $3 per ticket. Have drink booths set up separately.

Plastic gutters, found at any hardware store, are cleaned and/or lined with foil to provide your banana boats. Set these up on tables or sawhorses. Have volunteers set up at various points on the line to add bananas, ice cream, and toppings. Have a gun shot, or loud speaker announcement as the starting time.

To boost the proceeds for this event, ask members of your organization to donate supplies ahead of time. Purchase all remaining supplies, bananas and ice cream the day before the event.

About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com

Event Fundraising Ideas

Katherine, Editor – Skratchers Fundraising Insider

1- Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner Fundraising Event
Food is always a good fundraiser so try a fundraising breakfast, lunch or dinner event. Keeping it simple is best. A hotdog event fundraiser is a great way to start. Have your local grocer donate the hotdogs, buns, condiments, chips and pop. Set up in a busy area, even the parking lot of your grocer. You can use a propane BBQ or boiler for the cooking. Offer up a package deal like “1 hotdog, bag of chips and can of pop for only $3!” This way you can raise more, faster. Important: Be sure to thank your grocer by giving them recognition for their food donation.

2- Car Wash
A car wash is a great service and event fundraising idea for all those car loving people out there. Get your group volunteers together and pick a central location with high car traffic. Make sure you have room for cars to line up and have a few hoses going so you can wash more than one car at a time. As an added fundraiser sell some snacks and beverages to car owners. Be sure to have enough chairs and shade for your car owners to sit while they wait.

3- Recycled Bottle / Can Drive
Recycling is an excellent fundraising idea for our times. Raise money and do well for the environment. Let your community know that they can drop off their refundable bottles and cans at a central location. Your group will handle the sorting and keep the refunds. A nickel or dime may not seem like much but if this fundraiser is well publicized, all that plastic, glass and aluminum will add up quick. To raise more and as an added incentive / service to your community, you can go door to door to pick their refundable bottles and cans.

4- Bake Sale
Bake sales are always a favorite event fundraiser even though it isn’t the “newest idea”. Why? Well because home baked goodies can’t be beat, and some community members’ love baking and sharing with others. It’s recommended to not have these too often though, so try spreading them throughout the year. Here’s a great tip: Bake some scrumptious cookies using the cookie dough from a popular cookie dough fundraising brochure and make sure to have your order book ready to sell from and raise extra money.

5- Book Sale
Book sales are another old favorite fundraiser. People are sure to donate books they are done reading and people will be sure to buy them as a good read and a good cause. Ask people to drop off their unwanted books or better yet just go door to door. If you find your fundraiser has left over books you may even want to donate them to a hospital, shelter or seniors home.

6- Lawn / Garage Sale
Most everyone thinks about clearing out “stuff” from their attic or garage, well here they can do well too. Have a Lawn sale fundraiser where your community donates items they are willing to let your group sell. Then your group picks a central location to hold your fundraising lawn sale. Once again be sure to publicize this well in advance and many times.

7- Rubber Duck Race
This event fundraiser is fun and can get kids involved. All you need to do is get the rubber ducks or any other fun thing that can float. Have them numbered to match tickets you sell to supporters. Make sure your event is publicized so you can have a fun turnout on the day of the race at your local stream or body of water. The first duck to cross the finish line wins a prize that was donated by a local sponsor.

8- Auction
The most common way of doing an auction fundraiser is to have collectibles such as pro-athlete or celebrity signed items (jersey, baseball, bat or hockey stick, movie poster, video tape or DVD) up for sale. Your local pro-sports team or celebrities are usually willing to do this for a good cause. Have fun and be creative with the items up for auction.

9- Night At The Races
Not actually gambling, “a night at the races” is a fun, new way to have an exiting fundraising event. As recreation and meant for fun, people watch a pre-taped horse race and bet and win “funny money”. Raffles are usually drawn throughout the event. What you need to get started, including the videotape, race program and race tickets are all provided by companies like “A Nite At The Races”.

10- Bingo Night
Bingo nights are always popular so try a Bingo night fundraiser. Do it during the same time as a normal bingo does it; sell cards and call numbers in your school gym or church basement. Instead of money for prizes, give away items donated from local businesses and be sure to give them the recognition. As always, good publicity will make your bingo night fundraiser a success.


About the Author

The Skratchers team has 12 years experience in fundraising and has been providing fundraisers through the Internet for 6 years. To request your free Spring 2005 fundraising kit go to Free Skratchers Sample Kit or call toll free at 1-888-800-9506. Visit www.Skratchers.com.

5 Fundraising Event Ideas

Is your school or non profit organization looking for fundraising event ideas? There are a variety of fun events that are easy to organize and will attract support for your group.

Here are 5 fundraising event ideas for you to consider:

1. Murder Mystery Party – A murder mystery party is a fun small gathering held in someone’s home or can be held at a banquet room of a hotel or restaurant. The Murder Mystery game takes about three hours to play, including dinner. Guests assume the roles of characters in the plot, and at the end the killer – or killers – is revealed

2. Pie and cake auction – The cooks and the sweet lovers in your group will enjoy this fun fundraiser idea! Ask for donations of cakes and pies. Label each dessert with the name of the dessert and the cook. Ask your most humorous and charismatic person to be the auctioneer who can entertain the crowd and boost the auction prices.

3. Trivia Night – Trivia nights are informal, fun, competitions where teams battle to see who has the greatest knowledge of matters trivial. General knowledge and trivial interest questions are asked by a trivia host and the winners are the team which, at the end of the night, have correctly answered the most number of questions. Funds are raised through game entry tickets, food sales, sponsorships and additional fundraisers like raffles.

4. Ice Cream Social – Just about everyone likes ice cream! Host an ice cream social event for your organization. You can charge a flat fee, price per ice cream scoop or just set out a jar and ask for donations.

5. Pizza Party – This is a twist on the usual fundraiser dinner. Decide if you would like to make this a pizza buffet, set a limit on the number of slices per person, or actually sell the pizza “by the slice.” You could also do a combination of set menu and “by the slice.”

With a little creativity your organization will come up with a great fundraising event idea that will be fun and raise money for your cause!


About the Author

Sandra Sims has been fundraising for various charities for over 10 years. She is the publisher of Step By Step Fundraising newsletter, which will help you get maximum results from your charity fundraising campaign. To get a free copy of the special report “The 5 Keys to Successful Fundraising” visit StepByStepFundraising.com