Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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"Can You Spare a Dollar" Fundraiser

by Deane Brengle

Have you sighed at the thought of another product fundraiser? Or rolled your eyes when someone mentioned another fundraising event?

Tickets to sell. Orders to take. Products to deliver. Volunteers to coordinate.

I'll admit it - I've grumbled behind the back of someone suggesting a new fundraiser. More than once. And I know I'm not alone. Am I?

But this fundraiser has me thinking. This one's got potential. It's got a lot going for it:

  • It's easy.

  • 100% profit.

  • No products.

  • No sales.

  • No event.

  • A quick - one shot deal.

Can You Spare a Dollar

The premise is simple - have each member of your group ask 25 people for a dollar. Collect the money. Turn it in. That's it.

The twist that makes it easy is the cute sayings on the form that your members use to solicit the dollars. Who could resist:

  • I can't say no to a friend.

  • Well, since it's you.

  • Don't leave me out.

  • What a great cause.

That's just a sample of the great sayings that are used to motivate friends, relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances to helping raise money for a good cause.

Getting Organized

This fundraiser is great for all sorts of fundraising situations. It's perfect for a fast fundraiser to start school. Or a quick fundraiser for an emergency. Great for a small group or a large one. Any nonprofit group can use this fundraiser.

A school band, cheerleading squad, choir, computer club, youth group, soccer team, scout group, Awana, 4-H, Spanish club, Junior Achievement, elementary school, and many more.

After you have decided to go ahead with a "Spare a Dollar" fundraiser there are just a few steps you will need to take to insure a successful outcome.

  • Identify the need and the goal for your fundraiser. It's important for your members to know how much money they are trying to raise as a group and what the money will be used for. Communicate this to your members before, during, and after the fundraiser to help motivate them.

  • Set a time period for the fundraiser. One week should be just right. If it's for a school fundraiser, include both weekends. Send it home on a Friday and have it turned in on the Monday - 10 days later.

  • Don't limit your members. Encourage donations of more than a dollar. It's OK if a parent wants to write a check for the whole amount. Reward everyone who turns in money and a form, even one that isn't completed. Make everyone a winner.

  • Use incentives to increase participation.

Download the Sample Form

I've compiled a sample form for you to use or modify for your own use. Be creative and have your members suggest sayings that are appropriate for your group and have relevance. It will give them ownership in the fundraiser and help improve participation ... and your bottom line.

The file is in RTF format, a file format viewable by multiple operating systems and word processing software. Download the Can You Spare a Dollar Fundraiser Form RTF. (You may need to right click and choose "save as").

If you're having trouble with the RTF file you can download a PDF version also. Download the Can You Spare a Dollar Fundraiser Form PDF.

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Fundraising Expert - Deane Brengle

About the Author:

Deane Brengle writes for several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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