Non-profit organizations must raise money to run their programs, support their causes and maintain operations. Since these organizations often rely on donations in order to survive, fundraisers spell the difference in success and failure for many organizations. There are many different options for raising funds for a non-profit, but thinking of new and creative ways to raise money is often the key to success.
Artists are all around us if we take the time to look for them. No matter where the organization is located, it is likely that there are local artists who would enjoy a chance to showcase their work for a good cause. Soliciting art donations of all types from artists or galleries, and offering a receipt for a tax deduction can be the first step in putting together a successful fundraiser built around an art auction.
Obtain a space that will allow people to sit, stand, mingle and explore a makeshift art gallery that features all of the donations collected prior to the event. A jazz trio or other type of soft music should accompany the beginning of the event. Finger foods and wine or other drinks can be served and people should be encouraged to look at all of the work and the biographical information posted about the pieces before the formal auction begins. Ask an auctioneer to volunteer some time to run the auction and sell the donated art to the highest bidder.
A recycling fundraiser is an environmentally conscious event that can raise money all year long for the organization. All that is required, aside from the promotion of the program, is the acquisition of recycling bins to place on the property of the organization and in various places in the area. Aluminum is a recyclable material that yields money when turned in. Ask businesses, factories or other organizations in town to partner with your non-profit to help raise money through the collection of recycled cans. They can place small bins in their places of business to collect cans from employees or customers that are turned in weekly or monthly to the non-profit's main bin on property.
The staff must sort and transport the cans to the recycling station to collect the money, but it is a small investment of time for the surprising amount that can be raised through an ever-growing network of partners. This kind of fundraiser is particularly appropriate for environmentally oriented non-profits.
Organizations that do not attempt to take advantage of the latest technology will end up losing out on big opportunities. Developing a fundraiser through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter can bring many people on board to get behind a cause by giving them a quick and easy way to make donations.
Paypal, for example, offers non-profits a donations button to add to posts or websites so that donors can easily send a donation with a couple of clicks of the mouse. With the extensive friends, follower or fan lists that can be developed on social networking as well as the friends of friends concept, online fundraising could quickly become the most lucrative portion of your fundraising efforts.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.