Finding new ways to raise money for a nonprofit organization can be a challenge. After a while, donors grow tired and uninterested in the same old bake sales and other predictable fundraising events. Planning something new and exciting will get people interested and more importantly – get people talking. Below are some unique fundraising ideas for nonprofits.
The Casual Event
Instead of hosting a fancy fundraising event in a high end hotel, why not host a low-key cookout that serves hot dogs and beer. Tell your donors that this year is such an important year for your nonprofit and you want to make sure that more money goes towards your mission. This type of event can only be successful if you charge the usual amount you would for a fancy event.
Reverse raffles can be really fun, but they are also a surefire way to raise a large amount of money. Instead of having guests purchase a raffle ticket, give them one for free when they come through the door. The person who wins the raffle will receive a gag gift or will be required to do something slightly embarrassing. To avoid the embarrassment, each attendee can sell back their ticket in exchange for a donation. To raise even more money, you can use a sliding scale to determine the buyback price for tickets. For example, the first 10 tickets can be sold for $1, the next 10 for $5, the next 10 for $10, and so on.
Certified letters are a unique and effective way to get donations for your nonprofit, but this will only work if you have some major news to share with your donors. Send out an email to your biggest donors letting them know that you have some major news. Tell them to keep an eye on their mailbox as you will be sending them a letter divulging the news. Send each letter through certified mail. Tell them the news and make sure you emphasize just how important this news is to your organization. Explain why you need money and that the money is needed urgently. Don’t forget to include a return envelope for them to send their donation in. Certified letters are more likely to be read carefully and intently.
Cook Off Event
Summer is grilling season and the perfect time to host a cook off event. Solicit everyday people and local chefs to enter their best dishes into the contest. $1 equals one vote. The person with the most money at the end of the event wins a prize or a trophy. This idea is similar to the famous chili cook out events you see everywhere. Be creative with your ideas and get some local restaurants involved. Everyone loves to eat, so you will no problem getting people to participate in this type of event. For a unique twist, try getting restaurants involved and hosting a “Best Pizza in the City” event.
Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Silent auctions are always a big hit, but including wine tasting in the event will surely draw a large crowd. It also gives you the advantage of being able to charge a higher admission fee. Include a wide range of different wines from all over the world. Serve appetizers and provide live entertainment. Plan for a raffle or door prizes to raise even more money. This type of event will need to be hosted somewhere with adequate space and you will need to market the event to the right crowd. See if you can get donations from local bands, restaurants and venues to make your event a success.
Get in touch with local florists and garden centers and ask for donations for a flower fundraising event. A large garden center may be able to donate a large quantity of annual flowers, especially if the flowers are no longer in season. Secure a venue for the event and start posting flyers around town. Flyers can also be handed out in schools, in newspapers or handed out in parking lots. Don’t forget to let everyone know that their donations will be going towards a good cause.
This is a fun event that will get the community involved. Plan to release a mass of balloons into the sky. Sell the balloons for $5 to $10 each. Have each participant show up for the balloon release extra early so that they can claim their balloon and write their name or message on it. You can advertise this event through flyers or place an ad in the local newspaper. At the official time, release the balloons. This a large scale event that will attract plenty of attention in the local community. It will require a large amount of planning, but the results will be well worth the extra effort.