Tag Archives: Non-profit organization

Are there any tricks or tips to help my fundraiser go smoothly?

How to Communicate Your Ideas

Image by kevindooley via Flickr

As with anything, the best thing you can do is communicate.  Talk to the organizer before the event and put in writing when things are going to happen when.  I have heard stories of consultants having issues with the organization so putting it in writing and giving each person a copy will hopefully help.

  • Date fundraiser starts
  • What the consultant is providing and if there are costs associated with it
  • The cost of the fundraising supplies if the organization is paying
  • Date fundraiser closes (I suggest a date a few days before you actually want to close due to stragglers)
  • What the consultant expects back and if there are costs associated with it
  • Does the organization give you one big order – 20 A, 27 B, 21 C – or do they give you the small orders?
  • How does payment work?
  • When shipment is expected (will be based on closing/ordering date)
  • Where the shipment will be delivered?
  • Who will be sorting out the shipment?
  • Are there any other things that you think need to be discussed with the organization when doing a fundraiser?
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Should I absorb the cost of the fundraiser supplies or should the organization?

This can be a bit of a hot topic when it comes to fundraising.  Some organizations cannot afford the initial outlay for the supplies required (order forms, possible samples or flyers) and therefore expect the consultant to pay.  But at the same time, the consultant should not have to be out the cost for possibly several hundred dollars if the organization is not successful.

The best solution I have heard to this is to have the consultant charge the organization for the supplies and they will get the funds back in their fundraiser.

For instance, supplies cost $100.  The consultant would get the $100 from the organization to pay for them.

Then, when it comes time to settle up, let’s say the organizations proceeds would be $1000.  The consultant may then choose to give the organization back the $100 for the supplies as the consultant is able to write them off as a business expense.

Another option would be to go half and half.  Using the example above, the consultant would give the organization back $50.

You could also give them a credit for all the supplies they turn back into you after the fundraiser is over.  Continuing with the previous example, if they spent $100 for the supplies, and they gave you back $25 worth of supplies (have to be in new condition) then you would give them $25.  Those supplies could then be used for another fundraiser.

I suggest that the organization pays for the supplies up front as it will be an indication of how serious they are in making money with their fundraiser.  There are horror stories out there of consultants who bring in the supplies for a 100 sellers from their funds and then the organization doesn’t bother or only get a few hundred dollars in orders.

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I want to do a fundraiser, but I have no clue how to get one. Any ideas?

The sky is the limit on where you can find fundraisers but actually landing one is the hard part.  You can also cold call/cold mail/cold email locations, but without following up, you likely are wasting your time.  Regardless, here is a list of places you can try.  Some are free, some will cost you money.

  • Ask people you know if they know anyone who is looking
  • Talk to people you know who are involved in different activities
  • Contact your local schools and churches
  • Make sure to tell customers at your home parties
  • Advertise them when you do events
  • Put an ad up on classifieds that you offer fundraisers
  • Check the classifieds to see who is advertising a fundraiser – car wash, steak night – and see if they are interested in another type of fundraiser
  • Put up posters wherever you can
  • Contact any type of community organization or hall to let them know you do fundraisers – while they may not do them, they may know people who do that they can pass your information on to
  • Get in touch with your local chamber of commerce to see if you can get listed with them
  • Put ads in the newspaper


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