How to Run a Great Brick Fundraising Campaign

by Joe Garecht

Brick fundraising used to be a very popular tactic for low to mid-level fundraising campaigns, but over the past ten years seemed to fall out of favor.  There has recently been a bit of a resurgence in brick fundraising, and for good reason… this tactic works particularly well for organizations that have lots of potential mid-level donors (donors in the $50-$500 range).  (For more great ideas check out Creative Fundraising Ideas for Non-Profits).

What is Brick Fundraising?

Brick fundraising is a fundraising tactic where a non-profit establishes a brick wall, walkway, or other tiled or bricked surface (either indoors or outdoors) and finds donors who are willing to donate a certain amount in return for being allowed to engrave one of the bricks with their personal name or message.

Who Should Use this Tactic?

The organizations that are in the best position to successfully use brick fundraising are groups that have their own space/location, and thus can put bricks on a wall or walkway, and which either have (a) a large contingent of small and mid-level donors, or (b) a huge group of prospects who have an affinity for the organization but have never given (some great examples are hospitals, which can reach out to former patients; schools, which can reach out to parents; and churches, which can reach out to parishioners).

How Do I Maximize My Return?

The best way to maximize your return on a brick fundraising campaign is to run it with the same professionalism and planning as any of your other fundraising tactics.  For best results:

1. Have a Plan – Gather your team and develop a comprehensive, written fundraising plan for your brick campaign.

2.  Use a Committee – Ask some key supporters to form a leadership committee for your brick fundraising effort, responsible for reaching out to your prospect list as well as their own networks.

3.  Develop Materials – Use clean, professional brochures and letters, including pictures of what the bricks will look like, to market this opportunity to your prospects.

4.  Have Different Levels – Most successful brick fundraising campaigns offer different donation levels to those who support the campaign (e.g. $100 for a small brick, $200 for a medium brick, and $300 for a large brick).

5.  Make it Fun – Brick fundraising efforts should be fun and interactive affairs.  Find as many people as possible to sell your bricks, and offer them lots of support and appreciation.

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