Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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Do an "Easy Thousand" Fundraiser
6 Easy Steps For Small Nonprofits to Raise
$1,000 in Under Three Weeks

by Sandy Rees

For most small nonprofit organizations, one thousand dollars is a lot of money. Here's a technique to use those closest to your organization to raise it in three weeks or less. It's called an "Easy Thousand" and there are just 6 simple steps involved.

Essentially, you will ask 10 people to each ask 10 other people to give a gift of $10, with the total adding up to $1,000. Here's the math:

Your 10 people x their 10 friends x $10 each = $1,000

Simple enough?

Here's how it works.

  1. Choose 10 people.

    First choose 10 people who are close to your organization and who you think will participate. They can be Board members, volunteers, staff or donors. The key is that they are willing to do this!

  2. Set a start and end date.

    Clearly define the parameters of the activity to help ensure your success. People do well when they know what due date they are working toward. Two to 3 weeks is long enough for this project, so choose a start and end date, and make sure everyone participating knows.

  3. Set your 10 people up for success.

    Gather your 10 people together and explain the project. Help them think through their sphere of influence to identify the 10 people they will ask for money. Have them think about:

    • Family
    • Co-workers
    • Neighbors
    • Friends
    • People they socialize with
    • People in their civic clubs
    • People they go to church with
    • People who they regularly buy from (haircuts, dry cleaners, insurance, financial planners, etc.)
    • People they play sports with (golf, tennis, etc.)

  4. Give them information (brochure, newsletter, etc.) and talking points.

    Make sure your 10 people know the basics of your organization so they can comfortably talk about the work you do. A basic brochure or a fact sheet can easily accomplish this. You might also give them a list of the most commonly asked questions (and answers) about your organization.

  5. Encourage them every day until the end date.

    Be prepared to contact them every day with a brief word of encouragement and updates about the total raised. People get excited when they realize they are getting close to their goal.

  6. Celebrate the end result- regardless of what it is.

    Gather everyone together at the end to celebrate your success, regardless of the amount you raise. If you hit your goal, fantastic! Praise everyone for their efforts. If not, still praise those who participated. Do a quick "lessons learned" and see if there are things you can improve on for next time.


Instead of have each of your 10 people ask 10 others for a gift of $10, consider having them ask 5 people for $20 each or ask 4 people for $25 each. Either way adds up to $1000.

Here's the math:

Your 10 people x their 5 friends x $20 each = $1,000
Your 10 people x their 4 friends x $25 each = $1,000

(c) Sandy Rees, CFRE

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About the Author:

Sandy Rees is a nonprofit fundraising coach and speaker who shows small nonprofit organizations how to raise more money, gain more supporters, and strengthen their Boards. Want more practical tips and ideas for successful fundraising? Get her twice-monthly "Bright Ideas for Fundraising" at

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