Selecting A Charity Auction Theme

charity auction themes

Organizing an auction may not be an easy task but if you put your mind to it, it will not be an impossible one. First, it is important to consider the location or organization the auction will take place in. the budget should give you the limits of what can be done and what is on the higher side. Besides this, the personalities of the expected guests and you as the organizer should come into play when selecting charity auction themes.

Read More

Advice For How to Ask Local Businesses For Donations

Whether you are asking for donations or selling a for-profit product, it is all about sales. Asking for donations IS the game of sales and therefore follows the same basic rules. Many charities fail because they don’t understand and follow the fundamentals of building relationships, which is what sales is all about.
First and foremost, you must fully believe in and support what you are selling. If you do not, either handle yourself on it, or don’t ask for donations. If you do, then you’ll be much more successful in your endeavors.

First approach who you already know. This makes it much easier to get your foot in the door. You want to get face-to-face with the right person. This would be the person that will make the decision to give you what you ask for. Meet in person as much as possible. It’s much harder to turn someone down in person than it is on the phone.

People spend money on the people and products that they trust. This is even more crucial when fund raising. It’s your job to build trust. Never lie or try to manipulate your prospect. Be proud of who you are and the organization you are representing.

Be prepared with clear and basic information about your organization. Your website and social media accounts need to be up-to-date and full of the good work your organization does. Bring printed flyers or booklets to give them. Not everyone will take the time to log-on, so give them something to look at.
People believe what they see and not what they hear. Show them who you are and what you do. Make your mission statement clear and simple.

Tell them why their help is important to you and the community. People like to help. They like to know that what they are doing makes a difference, so tell them. Show them how important donations are to you and your organization.

Be direct, honest, and listen. The biggest mistake salespeople make is they talk too much. Listen to what the prospect says. Answer their questions. Offer to give them something in return, such as a letter thanking them for their support or acknowledging them on your website. Ask them what they would like in return for their support. You will find that most people don’t want anything or very little. If at all possible, do what they ask.

Ask for the money. Sounds like an obvious statement, doesn’t it? But most salespeople never ask for the sale. Ask them for a specific amount. If they are unable to give that to you, ask them what they can do. Don’t be shy. Maintain being friendly and emphasizing how valuable their help is to you and your organization.
Make it easy to take their donation. Accept all major credit cards, checks (even faxed checks), and cash. Have an invoice book with you in case you need it. Follow-up with a heartfelt “Thank You!” letter immediately. On the same note, target local businesses that you know are lucrative. You know the local dentist has money. But don’t forget things like plumbers and exterminators, even though they are not glamorous. Have you seen how much it costs to have them give the boot to some bats in the attic?

Ask for referrals. Once someone has donated to you, kindly ask them if they know anyone that would be interested in helping you and your organization. Make it easy for them to contact you, via phone, text, or email.

Your job is to make it easy and fun for businesses to help you.

Read More

Fund Raising Tips For Your Dog Shelter

When thinking about fund raising for your dog shelter it might help to think of four possible areas of activity: in-house, Local Community events, Local business sponsorship or internet marketing.

Shelter Shop

The first step should be a look at what is provided at the shelter as this may generate some ideas. If you don’t already have one, a small shop selling shelter specific items and general canine items may be a good idea. Postcards, calendars, key-rings or posters with pictures of dogs in the shelter available to buy could be a good source of revenue as well as promoting adoptions or private sponsorships. At the same time many visitors to the shelter will already have dogs or may be looking to adopt a puppy, so a range of walking leads, harnesses, toys, dog or puppy food (visit for best choices) and chews could make good sellers. What better than to provide those taking a shelter dog home for the first time with the opportunity to buy important items to help their new family member settle in? There is an opportunity, given the space to do so, to encourage the participation of local small businesses by allowing them selling space within your shop too, thereby broadening the appeal to visitors and providing a percentage of the profits to the shelter.

Local Community

Moving outside of the shelter it might be possible to start a resale shop in the local community to raise funds as well as lifting the profile of the shelter. Another possible effort is attending local events such as fairs or festivals with a visible presence and providing information about the shelter to visitors. You could even bring some dogs there for people to pet, this is a good way of establishing the shelter in the minds of those who might consider adopting or sponsoring. This is also an opportunity to capitalize on the event’s publicity thereby acquiring very low cost advertising. It is possible to organize sponsored dog walks, donations to a pet food bank or other shelter specific events by utilizing the networks and knowledge of other community organisations.

Other Ideas

Moving even further away from the shelter itself, talking to local businesses and getting them involved in sponsorship and publicity as well as encouraging their staff to get involved with the shelter can once again raise capital while fixing the shelter firmly in the local psyche. Working with a local printing firm for example would feed in to the provision of posters and calendars for the shop that you may have established at the shelter. Going one step further than this would be to approach bigger, state-wide or national companies to become involved. Many of these companies are looking for ways to connect with communities to give something back and show their friendly face.

Finally there is the internet which can be used to promote the shelter and encourage sponsorship but can also be used to conduct competitions such as children’s writing or photography associated with their own pets.

There are many other ways to raise money for your shelter but these are a good place to start.

Read More

Our Biggest Fundraising Success

Over the last few years we have seen ever more successes and a lot of that has had to do with the fact that it is becoming increasingly easy to reach ever larger groups of people. Thanks to social media advertising it is so simple to create a real buzz around fundraising events and in the last 12 months we have extensively used Facebook and Twitter.

With these recent successes we took some ideas to a local charity that we have done some work with in the past. We love working with young people and this particular charity is heavily involved in helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. They provide everything from counseling to sports coaching, and school work help to cooking courses. The door is open to everyone who is sober and abides by some strict rules like no violence or verbal abuse and no cursing under any circumstances.

Youth Support is heavily dependent on funding from the public both in the form of cash as well as donations like furniture, food and volunteer time. Because we had not done any social media outreach for them before we wanted to see how big an impact it would have for a charity working with young people.

But we didn’t want to stop there. Because fundraising fatigue can make the public blind to the needs of charities like this, we sent out with the aim of raising enough to keep the charity running for at least 12 months. Little did we know how successful it would be.

To achieve this we combined the traditional approach of local media advertising, especially radio with a heavy social media presence. We have great support from all local radio stations and a lot of radio hosts have talked about the success we have had. When we set out on a 3 day media blitz we did not anticipate having more incoming phone calls than we could handle. We quickly found more people to answer calls, but we then ran out of phone! Can you believe that?

To solve the problem we quickly scanned some cordless phone reviews and figured out that we would need a bigger system that could support a multiline cordless phone set up. Turns out this is really easy to achieve and with a quick trip to Walmart we had an additional 15 phones for our volunteers to use. This really saved the day.

We also recruited some of the kids to help engage with our social media campaign. We used Facebook ads to reach local people and obviously there were many likes and shares as well as questions on our Facebook page. The kids did a great job answering questions and commenting on shares about the many ways people could get involved.

This resulted in numerous donations, but also in hundreds of hours of donated time. The result has been that for the next 24 months the charity is fully funded, they can make some significant improvements to their facilities through the help of dozens of tradesmen like painters and plumbers and carpenters offering their time and resources.

We are still figuring out how much has exactly been donated, but I will certainly post soon about the exact details.

Read More

Raffle Tips for Non-Profits

Raffles are a great way to raise funds for your non-profit. In tough times folks may not be able to afford to bid on big-ticket products or services in an auction, but everyone can afford to buy a raffle ticket or three. Of course, it is important to match your prize to the charity or non-profit you are raising money for, so for instance a high-end Zojirushi rice cooker would be a good item for a food bank looking to raise funds, or a really good stand up paddle board (or SUP) would make sense for a swim club looking to raise money for a trip to a competition. So, this post is meant to give you some advice on conducting a successful raffle for your club, school, or other charity or non-profit.

• First of all, can your organization legally hold a raffle? Verify this with your local authorities. If you’ve already held a raffle and know you are legal then obviously skip this step.

• What prize(s) are you going to give away? As suggested above choose one (or more) that is suited to your organization, if possible: a rice cooker for a soup kitchen, a paddle board for a school trip to somewhere warm, etc.

• Make yourself some tickets! You can order these from a printer, print them yourself, or even buy rolls of tickets at some specialty stores if the raffle is taking place just during the space of time an event takes place. If your raffle is taking place over days or weeks you’ll want your tickets have more information. On one end of the ticket you can print the name of your organization, address and phone number, what prizes are on offer, the name of the event, the draw date and, if applicable, website URL. On the other end of the ticket you’ll want space for ticket buyers to fill in their info: name, phone number, and maybe address. Having numbered tickets is a good idea as some localities require it, and it’s easy to keep track of how many you’ve sold.

• Sell tickets! This is fun. Grocery stores will sometimes allow your gang to set-up at the entrance, craft fairs will often allow booths. Schools will have plenty of opportunities at different functions; be creative!

• Hold a drawing. This can be at the end of a larger event allowing the possibility of a lot of last minute sales as excitement builds. It is good to make a big deal of it for the aforementioned reason, but also just because it is fun!

• Contact the winner! This is super-fun as well. People love winning stuff. It is especially fun if the raffle ticket buyer happens to be present at the draw.

One thing to watch out for in the whole process is not to do it too often. I there are too many raffles taking place people will not buy due to raffle-fatigue. So better to make one big raffle rather than many small ones. Here’s to your success raising money for your worthy cause!

Read More

Organize an Amateur Archery Competition for Fund Raising

There are a lot of ways to raise funds these days. You can organize concerts, dinner gala, raffle draw and a lot more. However, if you want something that is unique and may not have been heard of, then you can go for an archery competition. This might seem like something that only a few people are interested of, but you will be surprised with the turnout. A lot of people are into archery. There are also those who are not necessarily into archery, but might be interested once they know what it is all about.

Gather local archers

Before doing this project, make sure that you have the support of local archers. They are your stars in this event. Make sure that a lot of them would register to be a part of the competition. You can also ask them to include other archers from neighboring cities or states. Once you have enough people signing up for the competition, you are good to go. If you have an overwhelming number, you might have to divide them into categories. You can also invite non-professional archers to join under the rookie category.

Do a massive promotional campaign

This is where the success of your event lies. You need to first make sure that people are interested in archery. If you can have a pre-event showcase for free, then it would be better. By then, people will see what archery is all about and how fun it could be. You can go house to house just to promote the activity. You can also make use of local TV and radio stations. Most of all, don’t forget to maximize social media.

Highlight the beneficiaries

To top it all, you need to let the people know who will benefit from this program. By then, even if they are not interested in watching people play, they might be interested in buying tickets to help raise funds. Of course, you don’t have to appear like you are begging for money. The point is that you want them to feel organic altruism by just giving them facts about the beneficiaries of the program.

Provide the best equipment

During the actual event, make it more of a spectacle by showcasing not just the best players, but the best possible equipment as well. By then, they will realize just how big the event really is. For archery experts, they might have their equipment already. For those who don’t have, you might have to provide them with one. If you want a high quality but affordable best compound bow, you can go here. On the other hand, if you want the best youth compound bow for the rookie category, check this out.

Hopefully, you can convince people to come and support your event. After all, this is not for the sake of business. It is done to raise funds for those who needed them the most. Besides, it is also a way to let people know what archery is and how fun it can be.

Read More

Tips on How to Deal with Online Fundraising Problems

With the advent of the Internet, almost everything can be done online. We socialize, conduct business, do banking transactions, and a lot of other stuff through the internet. The key reason for this is convenience. You can do all these things in the comfort of your own home. This is why business institutions are also going online. Their potential customers are doing transactions online so they also will get their own online presence to cater the needs of customers.

Business establishments and customers are not the only ones going online. Nonprofit organizations and charity institutions are now also furthering their advocacies online. Going with the times is a sound strategy for business as well as for fundraising schemes. There are however problems with online fundraising. Like any business institutions, nonprofit organizations also encounter numerous problems with online activities.

Here are three major online fundraising problems and how to best deal with them:

  • Disheartened volunteers

Motivation plays a very significant role in making volunteers push through with the work. Going full online can have negative effects as the seeming inactivity can demotivate your volunteer staff. The best thing to avoid demotivation is to enlist as many volunteers as possible and rotate them according to schedules or activities. This will keep them moving constantly and boredom, which is where demotivation usually begins, will be stopped before it even begun

  • Inefficient website

Another problem with online fundraising is an inefficient website. Remember that website works by getting people’s attention and making them visit your page. If your website is inefficient, then people will fail to visit it. When there is less traffic, you will lose the opportunity to successfully raise funds.

Take a lesson from online appliances shops selling famous brands and cooker of rice. What they do is constantly promote their website using SEO techniques. From your team of volunteers, you can identify people to form another group whose task is to promote the website to attract attention.

  • Being repetitive

Fundraising can easily drain your creativity. In the long run, you will notice that your online fundraising campaigns are turning to be a mere repetition of the previous things you have done. This can be clearly seen when you start the advocacy. You have so many ideas but as time wears on, you will eventually exhaust yourself.

This is where the “online” in online fundraising takes effect. You can actually research numerous ideas from the Internet. To your surprise you will find that the Internet has an abundant supply of fundraising ideas that you can use for your benefit.

Online fundraising, just like any other endeavor is bound to experience difficulties. What you can do is make use of the available resources in the Internet and allow your people to be involved more on the work. There is no problem that cannot be addressed.

Read More

Ideas To Help Regardless Of Salary

Fundraising, as the name suggests is a process of raising money or other resources for non-profit organizations (NPO) so that they can carry on with their intended operations. The resources or money comes in the form of donations from another organization, individuals, businesses or government agencies.

Whether you make millions on the stock market, or earn a respectable (but lean) medical coding salary, there are plenty of ways you will be able to help causes that are important to you.

Another way of raising funds is by crowd funding. It can be defined as a process or a practice by which funds or monetary contributions are made by a large number of people so as to complete a job or a project. This is done typically through the internet.

Traditionally fundraising was done through various practices like door-to-door fundraising or face-to-face fundraising from streets, residential places etc, but nowadays fundraising is a different propaganda altogether. Online fundraising is one such example.

Fundraising is done by various means. Charitable fundraising, professional fundraisers, political campaigns and grassroots fundraising, public broadcasting, fundraising from organizations etc are some of the most common of them all.

A brief elaboration of the above are as follows:

Grassroots fundraising: A process of fundraising which is executed mainly by political leaders for candidates/political parties for their campaigns. It is a fundraising campaign which is used to promote various political parties, their activities, elections, and various needs, and most importantly the promotion of the candidate. It has primarily come to life due to the exposure of the internet. US President Barack Obama led one such campaign in 2008.

Professional fundraisers: Here, a professional staff of the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) is hired for fundraising. It is a very popular method. Here the hired fundraiser is given a basic salary and a scope of work. The scope of work is only to raise funds for that organization. There are religious organizations and public broadcasters implementing the same idea of fundraising but within their own specifications and boundaries.

Apart from these organizational fundraising ideas, there are various channels one can raise funds from. Such as:

Philanthropic institutions like charity clubs, rotary clubs etc given to various charity activities on a socio-economic segmentation and prioritization basis. Local clubs not committed to fund-raising objectives (except their own members) often undertake charity drives catering to the needs of the poorest community and the destitute. Such voluntary organizations may also come forward with built up funds and contribute to a specific charitable activity conducted by the government or semi-government organizations both on the central or state level.

Grant funding is a prerogative of government agencies and various charitable trusts instituted for this purpose.

Public events can be organized on a mass scale as campaigns for fundraising to support a common social cause like a natural calamity or the like these include walkathons, dance and musical soirees, encouraging participation of the audience together with charity auctions. This not only promotes the relationship with the donors but also lends a special importance to such events featuring eminent personalities and making it a grand success.

Of late, product oriented fundraising has been re-coursed to with the middle and lower middle- class clientele as its target. Canvassers moving from door-to-door with sundry items convince the prospective customer about the generous cause and collect funds in lieu of commodities sold at a discount.

Some online outlets have started functioning in fundraising activities making the entire effort convenient and likable especially to the tech savvy lot.

Regardless of how much money make, there is always a way you can help out!

Read More

5 Simple Ways to Market a Non-Profit Organization

Building a non-profit organization isn’t easy, and it involves many factors to make it successful. Marketing is one of those factors, and it’s an important one. Marketing campaigns aren’t just for businesses to make a profit, it’s for any business that wants to attract more attention. Effectively marketing a non-profit organization is similar to marketing strategies used in businesses who pursue profits. Successful marketing can help secure funding, growth, and maintain important connections. All of which are important to the long-term success of any business. Below are five simple ways to successfully market a non-profit organization.

1. Social Media is King
Social media can be used for much more than staying in contact with friends and family. There are thousands of success stories from people using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ to find, target, and engage their audience in order to build and grow their business. Using social media is an easy, affordable, and effective way to reach out to the masses with your message. Find your target audience and start tweeting, sharing, and posting about subjects that will engage and excite your audience.

2. Building a Website
Creating a powerful online presence is an essential marketing tool used by every business imaginable. Building a website allows potential investors and faithful followers to quickly get information about what your non-profit offers to the community and why they should get involved. You can take ideas from other niche commerce sites like Cali Vape King and create an extensive website in order to generate more long tail traffic. You can gain a lot of marketing insights from unrelated niches that happen to be doing well with it. You can also use this website as a way to easily collect funds and keep your followers updated with the latest news and events.

3. Mailing Lists
Don’t let all of your connections go to waste, keep the names of customers, investors and prospects organized in a filing system that works for you. Keep in touch with people on your list by sending periodic newsletters, invitations to events, and thank you notes — all of which ca be accomplished through email. This strategy allows you to keep your non-profit in the forefront of peoples minds, while simultaneously reminding them why they care about your cause.

4. Networking
Creating and maintaining relationships with people who are actively involved in similar organizations or projects is an extremely important step in building a successful non-profit business. These connections can lead to serious benefits because when you know the right people, the right doors begin to open for you. You can build these connections through social media, attending local events, or by reaching out to people in similar fields.

5. Branding
Building a brand isn’t just for big and profitable businesses. In fact, building your own personal brand that coincides with the brand of your non-profit is a key factor to successful marketing. Picking a name people will remember and designing a unique logo are great ways to brand your business. A great example is Vaporizer Judge, which draws a lot of attention because of the authority created within the name. While these steps are important, branding yourself might prove to be even more beneficial. People don’t invest in companies, they invest in people who build those companies. Make sure to build a presence that includes the things which make you, and the people involved in your non-profit, different and better than the rest.

Learning how to successfully market your non-profit organization is a process and it can take a little bit of time before you see results. However, it is definitely worth the effort if you want long-term success for your business. Using these five simple marketing steps will give your non-profit the kick-start it needs.

Read More

Great Fundraising Ideas Involving Food

Are you tired of doing the same old bake sale for your fundraisers? Now, there are different tasty ways that you can make your fundraiser a success and enjoy good food at the same time!

Here are some cool culinary ideas to keep in mind when planning your next fundraiser:

Potluck Dinner
These dinners are simple enough to organize and easy on the volunteers since each person can contribute one dish. Potluck dinners bring back that old-fashioned approach to getting everyone together and sharing dishes without putting financial burden on the host. You can also bring your recipe in with your dish and give it to those who enjoyed your dish.

You can request donations by means of admission fees, or you can have people pay what they think the meal is worth. In our experience, people have paid more than we’d think to charge.

Potato Buffet Bar
Start tempting your guests with a buffet potato bar. All it takes is a bunch of baked potatoes and small fixings, like cheese, sour cream and bacon. Create a station consisting of potato carving tools and fixings. Then set up a contest to see which participants has the best dressed potato and offer prizes for the top winners. You can charge a fee per potato or for each admission.

BBQ Head-to-Head Grilling
Putting up a barbecue contest is one reason for firing up the grills and taking out your barbecue tools. You can grill just about anything you can think of: steaks, hot dogs, burgers, sausages, or chicken. You can even grill vegetables, corn-on-the-cob, or even skewer vegetable chunks.

Host a contest and get the guests to judge contest participants with best grilling skills. Set up different categories like “best grilled meats,” “best grilled vegetables,” or “best grilled sauces.” Gain funds via an entry fee or start charging hungry donors per plate.

Chili Creationg Contest
This fundraiser not only rakes in money, but it’s also the reason to interact and share cool chili recipes with each other. For this, chefs will have to pay for an admission fee. It’s essential to provide worthwhile prizes for each winner. Create various categories for each prize.

Leave chefs a bit of time to make their chili during the competition. Get more donations per bowl and even provide canned chili sauces for audience to raise more funds.

Blue Plate Bidding
This is a fun fundraiser with a bit of traditional twist. First, you’ll need pre-made meals which can be done by volunteers or trained chefs, or even culinary students. We have found students and other people that are interested in becoming a chef are everywhere, and love to hone their craft! The meals can be simple, unique, or adventurous. Each dish is thoroughly covered to hide its identity. Participants will be tasked to bid on the concealed meals.

Have food warmers ready to ensure that each meal remains hot until the start of the bidding. You can set your own bidding price tag for each dish. This may also depend on the cost it took to make each meal.

Sub Sale
You can raise funds by selling sub sandwiches near any sports event. It’s guaranteed to be a winner. Create a wide range of cold cuts ahead of time, such as roast beef, ham, turkey, or cheese. You can even ask food donations from your local deli shops or bakeries. For the toppings, don’t forget to include tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce, and different sauce varieties for customers to make their own subs. We have stopped putting sauces right on the sandwiches themselves, and started having packets of condiments for people to take if they like.

Chocolate Bar Charity
Selling candy bars is one great approach to making money for your cause. This is particularly true if it’s an office where employees crave for snacks in the middle of the afternoon. Most people have a weakness to chocolates and will find it difficult to say no. You can even get kids to do the work for you by selling them door-to-door. Having chocolate bars plus a sweet smile equates to plenty of money raised.

Read More

Fundraisers for Team Sports

Whether we played them growing up or not, we can all agree that youth sports are a good thing for kids to partake in while growing up. Unfortunately, not every community and not every youth sports team has unlimited, or even adequate funding. But while that may seem like a bad thing, it does open the door for the team to run a fundraiser that can be beneficial for all parties involved. Here are some great ideas for what youth sports teams can do as a fundraiser.

The classic fundraiser is selling candy bars. Unfortunately, this doesn’t exactly promote a healthy lifestyle, but there’s no doubting that it can be an effective fundraiser. Kids can sell candy bars to their family, friends, and neighbors, and raise a great deal of money in a short period of time; after all, who in their right mind is going to turn down the chance to eat a candy bar and help a good cause at the same time? If you can incorporate a way that people can burn off a few calories after they buy the candy bar, that’d be even better, but if not, selling candy door-to-door makes for a fine fundraiser.

We have also been experimenting with a team tournament and have had success. Team tournaments can be great, and you can charge each group an entry fee for participating, and then give the winner a trophy or some other simple prize and use the proceeds (after event costs) to fund your cause. We worked with the team at Paintball Enthusiast to help us put together a tournament for that, and we’ve also done 3 v 3 basketball as well as a golf tournament.

Another possible idea is renting out the young athletes themselves. Members of the team can be rented out to do chores and odd jobs for various members of the community in exchange for making a donation to the team. If someone needs a lawn mowed or has been unwilling to clean out a garage or basement, they can simply hire one of the youngsters to help them out. Unlike the candy bar idea, there’s no overhead to pay, it’s just a matter of the kids giving up some of their time, which can help the team raise money in a hurry. Of course, in addition to raising funds for the team, doing something like this can also help teach the kids about hard work and instill a sense of community in them by having them help out their neighbors, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Holding an auction can be another fine idea to help raise money. All that’s necessary is convincing some of the local businesses to donate a product or service that others will want to bid on. To help tie it in with the team, you can hold the auction before, during, or after one of their games, so people understand that by making a bid they’re helping the team. You can actually incorporate the rent-a-kid idea into the auction, by auctioning off a kid’s time and help to the highest bidder, as this will keep the kids engaged in the fundraiser and make them feel like they are a part of everything.

Finally, if all else fails, try putting on a show. It can be a good old-fashioned talent show, or a battle of the bands, or anything that’s going to get butts in the seats. Put on a show that people want to see and let people know that the proceeds go to help support the team. People will come to support the team, but they also want to see a good show, so find a way to do both at the same time and everybody will be happy, especially the team.

Read More