In Kind Donation Fundraising From the Ground Up – REALLY Utilizing Your Group Members Effectively in a Recession!

Whether your fundraising group is big or small, now is the time to gather them together and have a meeting about how to make your fundraiser a success. Because money is tight for everyone, it is very important for you as the group leader to involve your members in choosing a fundraiser that they and you think will be one that your community companies that give in-kind donations will be willing and able to support. In the past, candle fundraisers may have done well in your area but now, maybe people’s priorities shifting has led to them not wanting to make these purchases. Maybe you previously offered Entertainment Books and neighbors had an extra thirty to forty dollars to spend for the value of the coupons. Now, despite the fact that they still appreciate the value of coupon books, they may not be able to spend more than five to ten dollars to help out your group.

What price point can members of your group and their friends, family and neighbors afford as a discretionary purchase? What are items that will be useful or valuable to your group members, friends, family and neighbors? Get a commitment from each group or team member that they will purchase or be responsible for a minimum of the product you are selling. If they aren’t willing to do this, will they really be able to sell as many of the product as your group is ordering? Work as a team to set realistic goals for the fundraiser. Not just group goals, but individual goals. It is valuable here if the group or team knows what they are raising money for. Is the fundraiser for uniforms for the spring season?  Is your group raising money for new hymn books for the church choir?  Is the school band trying to raise money for travel expenses for a competition?

Make a visual graph showing from zero to the desired number –how many hymn books or uniforms will be earned at various dollar amounts.

If group members can add their actual dollars to the chart each day and see how much closer they are to that next uniform or soccer ball, there is more of an incentive to push for the extra dollar. Another idea is to send a small version of this graph to your community newspaper and have a website that shows a representation of the chart so that people who are interested can see the successes or shortcomings of the fundraising efforts in real time. If the community members feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the fundraiser, their involvement will increase and the results will be better.

Always try to involve local businesses!

You could have each member of your group take responsibility for contacting one local business to either offer a donation, to buy a certain amount of product if you are doing a product selling fundraiser or simply to donate a prize if the team meet’s its fundraising goals. This is great publicity for them and should be included in any info you provide about your fundraiser to the local press and to the people who contribute and support your fundraiser.

Now is the time to DO IT – don’t hesitate in starting your fundraising campaign.

If you really involve your group or team members and if each takes accountability your fundraiser can be more successful than any you’ve every done. Finally, celebrate a job well done.  Thank your supporters, and hopefully you will have made more money than you need and can use that for future fundraising endeavors (and perhaps for a party for yourselves!) What are some fundraisers that have worked for you? What has been your best fundraiser ever?