Whether it’s a vacation or a new roof, sometimes life doesn’t go as expected and we just don’t have the money for some of the things we want to do.
In a future article I’ll discuss raising the money to fund personal financial goals that are not covered by your budget or your savings. But let’s say your financial need is for a community service project or a mission trip and you know that others would like to help you reach your goal. Then there are other, more public ways, to raise the money.
This program takes the traditional support letter to a whole new level. You know what I mean. Remember going on a short-term mission trip as a kid and writing a letter to all of your parents’ friends asking them to support you
Well, imagine growing that number exponentially with the help of social media and the Internet. GoFundMe.com does just that. This program assists you in setting up your own website that explains your need. You then share this site with others using social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.
Your site is also listed on the GoFundMe main page. From this page, benevolent people looking for a place to give can peruse the list of categories and may view your site. Those visiting your site may donate funds with the click of a button. You immediately receive those funds (minus a 5% fee) in a PayPal or WePay account. And anyone can do it.
You do not have to be considered a nonprofit organization to use GoFundMe. People have set up sites to raise the money for everything from mission trips to medical bills, weddings and honeymoons, business ventures, and college tuition.
Our homeschool support group does a few fundraisers each year to raise money for its graduation celebration. One of those is selling Domino’s Pizza discount cards. Domino’s Pizza sells our group the cards for $1 each. The kids then sell them for $10 to friends, family, and neighbors. The card is good for 20 buy-one-get-one-free deals. That adds up to 20 free pizzas. Not a bad deal for $10. Plus, our group earns $9 for each card sold.
If you don’t have Domino’s Pizza in your area, try Papa John’s or Papa Murphy’s for similar programs.
This idea requires a little start-up investment but it is worth it just for the fun. Begin by purchasing a supply of those pink, plastic flamingos that you occasionally see in front yards. You then place the flock in the yard of a business or individual with a note explaining that they must pay you a set amount to have them relocated to another location of their choice. And on it goes for the fundraising period.
Of course when you set up the flamingos, you provide the unsuspecting victims with a written, detailed description of your organization explaining why you are raising money. For more details and ideas using pink flamingos, see the article Pink Flamingo Fundraiser for Nonprofit Groups.
Direct Sales Fundraising
Longaberger, Avon, and Tupperware are just a few direct sales companies that sponsor fundraising for groups or organizations. Generally, it involves hosting a party where the products are sold and your group gets a generous percentage of the sales. The party need not be a true gathering; but can be a passing around of catalogs and collecting of orders. The programs vary from company to company so you will want to contact representatives from several different ones and compare what they have to offer.
There are several websites dedicated to helping non-profits raise the money they need. A simple web search for “non-profit fundraising ideas” brought up plenty of places to look for ideas.
But what about your church, school, or civic organization—what have they done to raise funds? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!
This article was originally published on November 22, 2011 on ChristianPF.