Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Individual Fundraising

by Kimberly Reynolds

When you are doing individual fundraising for a personal cause such as breast cancer research, multiple sclerosis, AIDS charity, or even personal medical expenses, you need proven fundraising ideas. Here are six ideas for individual fundraisers.

  • Dinner Party - An easy way to raise funds is to throw a dinner party. You can make it a gala event, a potluck supper, or even a spaghetti dinner for hundreds of people. Use your creativity and design one that you feel comfortable doing.

    Line up a suitable location and publicize it well ahead of time. Selling tickets in advance at a discounted price is a great way to ensure a sellout. Include raffles, door prizes, and auctions for extra funds.

  • Car Wash & Bake Sale - Why not do a one-two punch of two successful fundraisers in one? Car washes can easily $600 to $1,000 in a single Saturday and you can boost that by offering lots of home-baked goodies.

    Keep drawing new customers by avoiding the appearance of a long wait. To speed things up, wash cars in multiple lines. Offer the baked goods to all your customers. An easy way to do it is to have everything out on tables where drivers wait while their cars are washed. Sell small boxes for $10 that they can fill up with their selections.

  • Holiday Home Tour - Ever want to see inside some of the latest new homes or tour the best houses of the local historic district? So do lots of other people and it's surprisingly easy to make a great fundraiser out of a themed tour.

    For instance, new homes displaying the latest interior design fashions can be set up for fundraising. Sell tickets that allow access during a select time window such as week or ten-day timeframe. Builders then sell the designer houses either furnished or just decorated with great colors, draperies, etc.

    Or, you can arrange a 'candlelight' tour of the Historic District to benefit your cause. Work with the neighborhood association to find homeowners willing to open their homes for a single night. Do guided walking tours in small groups and point out significant sites along the way.

  • 'No Talent' Show - A twist on the standard talent show is doing one where everyone can demonstrate their lack of talent. Karaoke routines are popular as are wild dance moves and magic tricks. It's all in good fun and you can award prizes based on audience response, best costume, worst performance, etc.

    Charge performers a small entry fee and attendees an admission fee. For extra profits, sell food and drinks, offer silent auction items, and don't forget to have a donations jar at the ticket table.

  • Themed Dance - Dances can be great fun and great fundraisers. All you need is a theme, a place, and some music. Possible themes include Roaring Twenties, Sixties, Disco, New Wave, Pop Tarts, Dancing With The Stars, Dancing Under The Stars, etc.

    Whatever time period or fashion disasters you choose, live music will draw a bigger crowd than having a DJ will. Book a band that can cover the hits of that particular era and add promote heavily.

    Add extra fundraising with silent auctions, wine tastings, whiskey tasting, catered dinner, slave auctions, and anything else that fits.

  • Fashion Show - These make a great mother/daughter event, but you can also take the fun route and include the Almost Queen For A Day men's beauty pageant for laughs during intermission. Work with area stores and designers to line up an appropriate selection of fashions that will appeal to large audience. Include a catered lunch and silent auctions of donated goods and services. You could also work with your business partners to put together a live auction of some donated designer clothing.

Individual Fundraisers Summary

There are lots of individual fundraisers that you can put together fairly easily and still raise significant amounts of money. All it takes is a little event creativity and you're in business.

Add as many additional fundraising activities to your event as possible. Raffles, auctions, donations, sponsorships, sales, and discounts are among the most popular methods.

Draw a big crowd by publicizing your event with a press release, email campaign, newsletter, and by having everyone involved work their contacts. Most of all, make it a fun individual fundraising event that captures attention and supports a great cause.

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About the Author:

Kimberly Reynolds writes for news and magazine publications about organizing nonprofit fundraisers, individual fundraising and charity fundraiser events. Find more fund raiser ideas on her website,

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