Four Low Cost Fundraising Ideas

by Joe Garecht

Keeping fundraising costs down is a necessity for small and mid-sized non-profits.  While larger organizations may hold huge galas or invest in ten thousand piece direct mail prospecting, these smaller charities rely on low cost fundraising ideas to maximize their revenue and keep their programs funded and strong.  For more information on maximizing revenue read How to Increase Your Charity’s Fundraising Profit.

Today, we present four low cost fundraising ideas that can be used by any school, church, or non-profit to raise more money without breaking the fundraising budget:

1.   Just Ask

I know, it sounds trite… but it’s true.  Sometimes all you have to do is ask.  Many small non-profits looking for low cost fundraising ideas overlook the cheapest idea of them all: having your board members, senior staff, and key supporters simply sit down and start making calls.  If you only need to raise $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 for your current fundraising campaign, this may be the easiest and cheapest way to go.

2.  Hosted Events

The next best thing to getting your board members to make calls to raise the money you need is getting them to host (and pay for) small events in their own homes or offices.  People love to throw parties, and if they are willing to pay for the food and drink, this method becomes a very low cost fundraising method for the organization.  Many non-profits have found that board members and other supporters are easily able to raise $1,000 – $5,000 through a small event held in their home or office.

3.  Participatory Fundraising

Participatory fundraising events (such as walk-a-thons, dance-a-thons, and read-a-thons) can be excellent low cost fundraising ideas, provided that you are able to put together strong committee to handle the work load (a-thons are a lot of work) and that your non profit does not spend lots of money renting a venue or providing other items for the event.  For more information on running a participatory fundraising event read Getting the Crowd Involved with Participatory Fundraising.

4.  E-Appeals

You have been collecting e-mail addresses from your friends and supporters, haven’t you?   (If not, start now!)  Many low cost fundraising ideas can be found right in your own e-mail list.  The best one to consider is running a series of fundraising e-mails asking people to contribute to a specific cause where they can make a real difference.  For more information on running a great e-mail fundraising campaign, read Fundraising on the Internet.

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