Coming up with fundraising ideas that a single person can easily carry out alone is half the battle. Raising money for a good cause, a charity or any other commendable reason might seem like quite a feat for one guy or gal, but if you keep it simple, it's doable. Really, it's all in the planning.
So, take some time beforehand to spot any legal issues and narrow down a suitable plan of action. By opting for a money-raising event that fits your schedule and abilities, you'll be able to address it with confidence and increase your chance of pulling off the whole shebang smoothly and (fingers crossed) with a hefty amount of cash to show for your efforts.
Keeping the fundraiser itself simple means more time to spend doing the most important work: approaching individuals, entrepreneurs and executives to ask for their support, namely charitable donations. The lower the level of difficulty and the less time the event takes, the better – especially when you're a busy businessperson yourself.
Avoiding Legal Issues
Before you begin asking strangers or friends for donations, make sure you're not unknowingly breaking any laws. Get in touch with your state department to ask about, for example, obtaining a permit to hold a raffle. Raffles are a form of lottery, which is banned in some areas.
Contact the association for which you want to raise funds or visit its website. Typically, fundraising councils are happy to offer information and ideas. Some health organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, provide fundraising kits that include signage, pamphlets or printed balloons to help you raise awareness for their cause.
After you have all your legal ducks in a row, you're ready to go.
Hold an Online Auction
Other than creating awareness through social media and by word of mouth, holding an online auction is relatively easy to do by yourself right from home. As long as you have an item to auction off to the highest bidder and a social platform or website from which to host the event, you're pretty much set.
To make the process even simpler for yourself, consider using an online charity-auction vendor, such as Winspire and eBay for Charity. Compare a few of your favorites for price, ease of use, bid alerts and payment of the funds raised.
Host a Street Party
When a calamity occurs, people naturally want to band together to help the impacted person, family or town. If a neighbor lost her home to a fire, for instance, holding a street party is one way to help raise money and gather items that she might need, such as:
- nonperishable foods
- small appliances
Have a Garage Sale
Can one person handle a garage sale by herself? Absolutely, assuming you have a garage, carport or yard to fill with things donated by friends, family, neighbors and yourself. Post signs in your locale the night before the sale, advertising the address, start time and the cause you're supporting.
No space to set up tables or spread items around? No problem. You can rent table space at a local flea market. If you let the market organizer know you're donating the money raised to a good cause, she might waive the rental fee and even let you set up in a prime location where your signage will get lots of attention.
Raffle Off a Prize
Asking local retailers for donations to put in a gift basket to raffle off is easy for one person to do. Making large, poster-paper signs that explain your raffle, its entry fee and the cause it supports is also not difficult to do alone. Setting up a folding table and chair near the entryway of a supermarket, big-box store or mall (with approval from management, of course) is easy to do solo.
Again, check your state laws to see if raffles are permitted or banned in your area.
If you're holding a fundraiser for cancer research, for example, raffle off a gift basket filled with appropriate items, such as sun-protection stuff like sunblock, a sun hat, a "sun"brella and a gift card for a pair of sunglasses.
Easy Fundraising Ideas for Small Groups
- Barbecue competition. Donate the entry fees to your charity after sampling some sticky, smoky goodness.
- Pizza party. The sales go to the cause. This is one of many fun fundraising ideas for schools.
- Nickel drive. Head out in teams of two to see who can collect the most nickels (or coins of any kind) from the public in an afternoon. This is a good one when you're looking for fundraising ideas for kids.
- Craft fair. Consider selling items that are inexpensive and relatively easy to make, such as soaps, greeting cards or dog treats.
- Car wash. Sure, you could hold a car wash fundraiser on your own, but it's a lot more fun when other people get involved. :
Consider Crowdfunding for Your Cause
Essentially, crowdfunding or crowdsourcing is fundraising handled through online platforms, such as FundedByMe or YouCaring. It's used to collect money for various charity or funding needs, including to raise startup capital for a new business, to pay a medical bill that's causing hardship, to put someone through college who would otherwise be unable to attend or even when an entire community is in dire need of financial aid.
After Hurricane Harvey's destruction, for example, crowdfunding was used to raise millions of dollars to help residents rebuild affected parts of Texas.
Other than registering your cause, you have little more to do but wait for donations to roll in and then see that the intended recipient receives them.
Leave a Donation Box
Raising funds for a cause by leaving a donation box in a high foot-traffic area could possibly be the easiest way to raise funds without anyone else by your side. You often see these types of money boxes in secure areas, such as on bank teller counters, near grocers' tills or bolted outside of drive-through windows at fast-food restaurants – places where people usually have a bit of change to give.
You can purchase a secure, suitably sized, lockable donation box online. Add appropriate details to the box, such as the purpose for the donations, using printable stickers for a professional look. Arrange to leave the box or a few boxes with an organization or store so that their patrons can contribute if they wish. Pick up the box after an agreed length of time, maybe a week or a month.
Regardless of whether you're planning to hold a fundraiser on your own or with a small or large group of people, being charitable is admirable.
Lorna Hordos is a home-improvement business owner and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of conversational business articles for WordPress.com, Bizfluent, AZ Central and Global Post.