In an ideal world, everyone's needs would be met. No one would ever go hungry, and charities would have endless resources to help people in need of essentials like food, clothing, shelter and medical care. But unfortunately most charities are heavily dependent on the generosity of their patrons, and contributions rise and fall with the economy. Sometimes the charity's needs are urgent and cannot wait until the next boost in donations. That's when charities need to get aggressive in search of locating new donors. Fortunately with some careful planning and diligent effort, the contributions can come rolling in again.
Turn to online websites that collect smaller donations from many individuals. Websites such as Caring Bridge and WePay provide the opportunity to raise money online. Publicize your campaign in local newspapers and community bulletin boards, which can lead to large numbers of donations in a short period of time. These websites collect the donations and are verified, which makes donors feel more secure; however, they do charge fees equal to a small percentage of the total donations.
Harness the power of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People would have turned to their neighbors for help in the past, but nowadays social media sites have filled that void. Set up a page on Facebook or another social media site to raise money for your cause. This option is free and can be easily publicized by posting about it on your own personal pages. Encourage your friends and family to promote the cause on their own pages as well.
Create a team of people to solicit donations, and set up a friendly competition among them. Choose an inexpensive prize, such as a restaurant gift certificate or movie tickets, if your budget allows. Assign fundraising goals to your team and urge them to compete to see who can raise the most money in the shortest period of time.
Call or visit the owners or public relations departments of local businesses and ask them if they would agree to match funds raised. If you can get a business or company to agree to match donor contributions dollar-for-dollar, you can easily double the amount of money you've raised for charity. Businesses want the good publicity of donating to good causes, so it never hurts to ask.
Holly Case has written professionally since 2000. She is a former contributing editor for "ePregnancy" magazine and a current editor for a natural food magazine. She has extensive experience writing about nutrition, pregnancy, infertility, alternative medicine, children's health and women's health issues. Case holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and professional writing from Saginaw Valley State University.