Congratulations on your decision to raise money. Perhaps you are walking to increase awareness of an illness and need sponsorship money, or maybe your child's school could use extra funds. Though it may seem daunting at first, it is possible to reach your goal on your own using some simple ideas.
Everybody loves a garage sale and it's a double win for you. You can get rid of unwanted stuff and use the money to support your fundraising goal. Ask friends and neighbors to contribute things so that you have a wide variety of items. Price the goods reasonably and make sure you advertise so that people know your sale benefits a charity. You may draw more buyers this way. Don't forget word-of-mouth---one of the most powerful advertising tools. Tell everyone you know about the garage sale and ask them to pass the word along that it benefits a worthy cause.
Dig out your Christmas card mailing list if you have one, or go through your address book and create one if you don't. Include everyone you can think of because you never know who will be interested in contributing to your cause. Sit down and write a letter explaining why you are raising money. Make it personal because people give to other people not to abstract organizations. For example, if you are raising money for breast cancer and have been affected by it, include that in your story. Show it to a close friend before you send it to get their reaction so you know it works. Then make copies of it and mail it. Include a self-addressed return envelope so that donating is as easy as possible. Make sure to keep a list of those who contribute so you can thank them appropriately and in case you decide to raise funds for your cause annually. This list will be a good resource for future donations.
Often local businesses support charitable causes. Make a list of those you frequent and approach them for support. Sometimes businesses will donate outright to your cause. If not, ask if they would consider donating a portion of their proceeds for a day or evening. Tell them that you will publicize their support and that they may draw in new customers this way. If your cause is a non-profit organization, let them know they can donate directly and there may be tax benefits. In short, make the case that supporting your goal benefits their business as well. You may also ask if you can leave fliers near the checkout area publicizing your goal. Marketing by association may encourage additional people to give if they know a local business supports you.