Raising money for a homeless shelter may seem like a daunting task, but once you get people involved in an event or other fundraisers you may find it easier than you first thought. An individual or group that wants to raise money for those who are homeless can go beyond car washes and bake sales by being creative and using the media and the Internet to promote your cause. The first step is to be clear about what you're raising money for. If you are raising money to help repair the bathrooms at the shelter, say so.
Hold a Sleep Out. A sleep out is a group of volunteers that sleep outside in a park or other common area and illustrate what it's like to be homeless.
Alert your friends, family and other organizations to the event through social media sites and your local media.
Set a financial goal and let everyone know what it is. If you are raising money to donate to a local shelter, create an informational website and presentation materials you can put up at the sleep out.
Solicit donations and sponsorships to meet your financial goal and put up flyers and posters to let people know about it. Encourage those who can to participate and those who can't to donate.
Volunteer at your local homeless shelter, food bank or other area homeless organization.
Encourage those who are staying at the shelter to write a small description of how they became homeless (if they are willing to share), a poem or other creative writing piece. It does not have to be perfect. You can edit the pieces or have someone at a local school edit them for you.
Put the writing together in a booklet or full book through a local printer or an online "on demand" service. A local printer will most likely help you with the cost of printing.
Sell the book at local events, local stores and online. Donate the proceeds to your homelessness charity.
Enlist other organizations, like scouting groups, school groups or religious organizations to help you sell the book through their own events.
Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.