Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

A free newsletter with fundraising ideas, tips, and secrets for the small nonprofit fundraiser


December 11, 2017

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Article Archive

Creating and Using Fundraising Flyers by Deane Brengle

It doesn't matter if you're selling candy bars as a fundraiser or holding a fundraising auction. Most nonprofit groups will find that using a flyer as a promotional tool for your fundraiser will significantly boost your bottom line. The use of fundraising flyers can play an important roll in reaching your fundraiser's goal.

A fundraising flyer will increase your community's awareness about your fundraiser and help pre-sell it. It's advertising pure and simple. And everyone knows, "If you don't advertise a terrible thing happens - Nothing!"

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Are You Serving Alcohol at Your Fundraising Event? by Deane Brengle

Serving alcohol at a fundraising event is not an unusual occurrence. Many nonprofits engage in this practice for a variety of reasons. Some encourage it thinking that a donor may feel more inclined to give generously if they are "feeling good". Others think that they won't get as many attendees if alcohol isn't served.

No matter what the reason, if you're serving alcohol at your fundraising events don't do it without careful forethought!

These days more and more event hosts are being held accountable for the actions of their guests after they leave the event. Both civil and criminal court cases have reached an all time high recently. You can and will be held responsible for injuries and damages that occur as the result of the alcohol you serve during your event to your guests. The smart host of a fundraising event serving alcohol covers all their bases before there is a problem.

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Host a Successful Fundraising Event with Inflatable Rentals by Christine Harrell

If your organization or school is looking for a new and exciting way to raise funds, try hosting a carnival with inflatable rentals. With inflatable obstacle courses, inflatable sumo wrestling, inflatable bungee basketball and many other fun inflatable games, setting up and taking down a carnival doesn’t need to be a big production. It’s well within your organization’s reach to net several thousand dollars over a night or a weekend with inflatable rentals and a carnival theme. For an amazing event, start planning early and keep these few tips and ideas in mind:

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Let's Dance! Ideas for Planning a Fun Dinner Dance Event Fundraiser by Jennifer Lawton

Is your group planning a dinner dance event? This is a very popular type of event that can also be a good fundraiser for your group. Here are some tips to help make your dance run even more smoothly this year and help with your fundraising.

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Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser How-To's by Kimberly Reynolds

Putting together a pancake breakfast fundraiser is a tried and true method for raising funds for a worthy cause. The important thing is to include several extra ways to raise as much money as you can.

For a pancake breakfast, all you need is a large space with kitchen facilities, plenty of batter, and lots of volunteers. So, what additional steps can you take to double or triple your fundraising results?

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7 Tips for Planning a 50's Theme School Dance Fundraiser by Jennifer Lawton

School dances are popular with the student body, but they often take lots of planning and good organization to make them successful fundraiser. A 1950’s theme school dance is a very traditional school dance, back when good ol’ rock n’ roll was just getting started. Parents will be likely to smile when they drop their children off for the dance, as this is the music of their own parents’ liking. Here are seven rockin’ tips to get your 1950’s dance off to a swinging start!

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Fundraising With a Chinese Auction by Kimberly Reynolds

Chinese auctions are very similar to silent auctions except they have a raffle component added to the mix. The bidding on items is done by ticket instead of by a written bid.

In a Chinese auction, customers buy a number of tickets for a set price, then use the tickets to bid on the items on display by dropping them in a fishbowl next to the item. In a silent auction, they would just enter a bid amount on a form next to the donated item.

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Fundraising With a Mardi Gras Theme by Kimberly Reynolds

Looking for a fun fundraising event to raise money for your nonprofit, church, or favorite cause? A Mardi Gras Fundraiser could be just the thing.

The basic premise is fairly simple - a fun night where adults can enjoy good music and great food while letting their hair down with some outrageous costumes and the requisite major bead necklaces.

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A Traditional Mardi Gras Party by Gail Leino

Mardi Gras is without doubt the biggest and most colorful party in the world and provides you and your guests with an excellent opportunity to impress everyone around you. The most important elements to any Mardi Gras are Mardi Gras decorations and, of course, Mardi Gras beads and masks. Mardi Gras history has seen tens of thousands of revelers transcend on the French quarter wearing the most colorful and elaborate costumes and you should try your best to recreate this party atmosphere when you are Mardi Gras party planning.

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Invitations Create Mardi Gras Buzz Before the First Beads are Handed Out by Gail Leino

What good is a Mardi Gras party without Mardi Gras invitations? Invitations to a Mardi Gras party need to be as fun and festive as the week long event itself.

For example, if a business is throwing a Mardi Gras party and inviting top clients then make sure to budget a fair amount of money on the Mardi Gras party invitations. First sit down with your event planning team to plan out the party. Get a general idea on ...

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Decorations Bring Mardi Gras to Any Venue by Gail Leino

Mardi Gras decorations are essential to throwing a Mardi Gras Party. This brightly colored festival is celebrated world wide and is recognized by the colors of purple, gold and green.

Decorations for a Mardi Gras are very easy to create and are available for purchase at almost any dollar, discount or party store. There are numerous websites available on the Internet selling decorations for this festive week. Once you purchase these items make sure to save them for the party the following year. This theme is always considered current and never goes out of style.

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Mardi Gras Beads: What Is The Tradition? by Gail Leino

When you think about Mardi Gras, you don’t think about some of the traditions that are a part of the celebration like Mardi Gras beads. In fact, how many people even know the symbolism behind the beads? It takes some research for most people to understand why certain things are done and why they are traditional parts of the Mardi Gras celebration.

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Mardi Gras Costumes by Kent Pinkerton

In order to understand why people wear costumes on Mardi Gras and how this tradition came about, you need to understand the history of this occasion.

The meaning of Mardi Gras in French language is “Fat Tuesday” and falls somewhere between February 3 and March 9, depending on the lunar cycle. Mardi Gras is a final party before the sacrifices of the season of Lent.

Mardi Gras originated in France and traveled to New Orleans in the late ...

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Mardi Gras Party Theme Ideas by Dee Schrock

Encourage guests to arrive dressed in costume and ready to have fun!

While Fat Tuesday is the traditional time to have a Mardi Gras party, you can have one any time of the year. What better way to liven things up? It's also a great way to celebrate the ongoing spirit of New Orleans.

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Mardi Gras Party Games to Create a Carnival like Festival by Gail Leino

Signifying the last day of Carnival, Mardi Gras is a great opportunity to celebrate. Why not mark the occasion with a party? Games such as those below are a good place to start.

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Want to get your organization noticed? Create Your Own Holiday! by Heidi Richards

Planning special events can be a cornerstone of your marketing program. Small business owners should and can be excellent hosts of special events. Typically events are created to showcase the product and services a business offers. Designed to attract attention, educate potential attendees, and supporters and the media, special events generally focus on a specific purpose with specific outcomes.

A special event can include a one-time event such as the launch of a new product/service or a grand opening; they can include ongoing events such as party or fundraising partnership or to announce a special occasion such as an open house or holiday, which is the focus of this article.

When marketing a holiday you can capitalize on ones that already exist or you can "invent" your own the way the founders of the WECAI Network™ did when Virtual Woman's Day™ was created. Like many other holidays on the calendar, Virtual Woman's Day™ was born from an idea to honor an existing holiday - Women's History Month - and making it unique to the organization. The founders of the organization wanted to encourage women to learn more about Women's history and also connect with women around the globe which was the impetus to create Virtual Woman's Day™.

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Fundraising with Restaurant Nights by Deane Brengle

Many restaurants offer nonprofit groups a popular way to fundraise with "Restaurant Night" fundraisers.

Here's how it works: The restaurant gives your group a percentage of the sales on a designated night for all the customers that your organization brings to their business. Most of the time the restaurant will limit your available nights to a week night- usually one their slow nights.

A restaurant night fundraiser requires virtually no planning and very little investment from your group. If the restaurant requires a flyer or coupon to be presented for your group to receive credit, it will often print those up themselves.

Why does a restaurant participate and even encourage this type of fundraiser?

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Thons by from "The Offical Soccer Fundraiser's Guide

The "thon" special event is a clever way of combining fundraising with a participant activity requiring accuracy or endurance - primarily of the athletic variety. Variations on this theme include: walk-a-thon, jog-a-thon, bowl-a-thon, lift-a-thon, skate-a-thon, bike-a-thon, swim-a-thon, dance-a-thon, shoot-a-thon and dribble-a-thon.

At Ashland High School, Ev DeVaul conducts a very successful lift-a-thon to support the school athletic program. He provides the following suggestions for groups preparing for a "thon":

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Seasonal Fundraising Ideas by Deane Brengle

The calendar can provide some great inspiration when looking for fundraising ideas for your group. The changing seasons, holidays and other calendar related events can create good opportunities for fundraisers that can be repeated year after year. The momentum from a fundraiser that is held every year can be a real boost to your bottom line.

Make sure you're not duplicating the efforts of another group in your area before you proceed with planning your own seasonal fundraiser.

Here's a starting point to get you going. Don't be afraid to modify or improvise using these ideas.

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Fundraising for Church Groups by Kimberly Reynolds

A great idea for a church fundraiser is putting together an annual 'Church Feastival' where good food, carnival games, auctions, and family fun combine for a wonderful fundraising event. The idea is to attract a broad spectrum of the local population to your fundraiser by having something for everybody.

The benefit to the church is that many newcomers will form a very positive impression of your ministry and facilities that will in time translate into a larger congregation. And of course, there's all the wonderful things you can do with all the funds raised by your 'Feastival.'

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Mystery Dinner Theater Fundraiser by Kimberly Reynolds

A murder mystery dinner theater fundraiser is a fun way to raise funds. Here's how to host a murder mystery as a fundraising event. First, you need a location and that choice is critical to your success.

Your location must combine good food with exclusive use of the facility because your theater performance takes place in acts divided by dinner courses. You don't want other restaurant patrons coming and going during the critical scenes, so it's best to book a reserved dining room at an inn or a large restaurant.

Make sure the room seats a large enough crowd to actually produce a good profit. Negotiate a flat group rate that includes dinner and dessert. Check and see if there are deals that include wine with dinner or if there's a corkage fee if they bring their own bottle.

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Jingle Bell Walk Fundraiser by Kimberly Reynolds

A fun fundraiser for the holiday season is doing a Jingle Bell Walk for your favorite cause. It can be a great fundraising event for a school, church group, medical research, or any other nonprofit group.

The basic premise is very simple. You gather a group of people who will walk a certain distance or route and you raise funds for charity through sponsorship donations.

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Casino Party Planning - 10 Steps to the Perfect Fundraiser by Jack Corcoran

The key to a successful casino party fundraiser is planning. This article will help you plan the perfect fun casino party. Have your guests experience the excitement of a Las Vegas themed party.

Step 1 - Establish a Budget

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A Nonprofit Tour: A Smart Way to Grow by Merle Benny

Do you have a system in place for introducing new people to your organization and mission? A regularly scheduled tour makes an ideal introduction to your nonprofit. Don't let the idea scare you off. You don't have to be big or own property. Your presentation is simply a prepared (and interesting) showcase that informs anyone about your work.

A great tour is visual, creative, quick, informative and intriguing.

Invest the time in preparing a great presentation and you will:

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The Economy and Your Fundraising Auction by Maureen and John Winter

We know that many of you are considering scaling back on your fundraising auctions in these difficult times. But if our recent experience is any measure, we have seen large audiences, better gifts and more robust bidding that in the past years for all five of the fundraising auction events we have managed in the last five weeks.

Our advice - Make your message and people will come and give!

Here is a list of general fundraising auction guidelines that are tested by time but often have been ignored due to your success in the past. They need to be followed

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Cooking for a Cause: 5 Great Fundraiser Ideas by Abigail Beal

There are many scrumptious ways for nonprofits to raise funds with cooking fundraisers. It is easy to see why Cooking fundraisers are popular: people love to cook, love to eat and are interested in trying different types of food. Here are five great cooking fundraisers for your organization to keep in mind!

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Blind Auction Fundraising by Matt Armstrong

Consider raising funds for your special cause with a Blind Auction fundraising event. They are fun, exciting and easy to organize. In fact, there are several ways to organize a blind auction.

In a typical blind auction fund raising, people are invited to donate items for the auction. Each of the items is wrapped, by the donors or volunteers, so that bidders cannot tell what they are bidding on. Hence, "blind" auction.

The items are given a number and put on display some time before the actual auction. Guests have fun trying to guess what each item is. At some blind auctions, items are tagged with helpful hints. Guests then bid on the item numbers that interest them.

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Is Your Fundraising Event Raising Enough Dough - For the Effort? by Barbara Talisman

Evaluating special events should be an ongoing process, in this economy even more so. Can donors support a special event? Is it an appropriate event for the community now? What can replace the income? More importantly if the event is raising less than $25,000 in any economy, should it continue?

The simple answer to the $25,000 question is, no. Think about the time and effort it takes to have a special event. Is that the best use of staff and volunteer time to net $25,000? There are alternatives.

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