At YSC, we know a thing or two about fundraising. We’re grateful to have had hundreds of amazing, generous people fundraise for us to help power our programs for young women affected by breast cancer. We’re all about empowering you to raise money to support the programs you care about, so we rounded up 25 of our favorite fundraising tips to share with you. We hope these help with your next fundraiser!
1. Yard Sale
Ask your neighbors for items to sell, and publicize your sale in your child’s school, your office, etc. Set up a donation center or offer to pick up items yourself. Sign up at freecycle.org and see if anyone in your area would be willing to donate. You can set up a bake sale and pink lemonade stand at the same time to increase donations.
2. Car Wash
Car washes are an easy way to promote visibility! Contact a local school about using their parking lot on a weekend for the event. You could also get the school community involved in both washing the cars and getting their cars washed. Get some lemonade donated to sell at the car wash so that people have a cold drink while they wait for their car to be washed!
3. Pink Bake Sale
Organize a bake sale in your office, place of worship, child’s school, or other public place. Sell pink-themed goods: cupcakes with pink frosting, strawberry shortcakes, pink colored white chocolate, sugar cookies with pink sprinkles, etc. You can even ask local bakeries to donate!
4. Dog Wash
Dog’s are man’s best friend, so they deserve some pampering too!! Hold a dog washing party in your neighborhood, at your place of worship, or at a local pet-friendly business. Ask local businesses to donate the pet wash supplies you will need and ask your friends to help wash. Add a pet treat bake sale and sell lemonade or soft drinks (that have been donated).
5. Pancake Breakfast
Host a pancake breakfast. These work especially well when they follow another gathering, such as a religious service. Charge admission and have a donation jar available at the end of the buffet line and at the door. Think pink – serve pancakes with strawberries, pink lemonade, and even have a small batch of pink pancakes. These events have been known to raise thousands of dollars!
The connections that you have on LinkedIn are very different from those on social media. Post on LinkedIn about your fundraising efforts and don’t forget to ask about matching gifts!
7. Ask your boss for a company donation
Even better, ask your company to match all of the donations you gather!
8. Send out at least 30 emails or letters asking for $25
Check out some sample letter templates on your personal fundraising page. Make sure that you use our “Ask Everyone! Checklist” to include as many people as possible in your efforts.
9. Birthday and Holiday Gifts
Ask that people donate to your fundraiser in lieu of giving you birthday or holiday gifts. Suggest to your friends that they do the same to honor other loved ones’ celebrations!
10. Virtual Party
Don’t have a place for a party? How about using the Internet!. Send invites over the e-mail (use Evite; it’s easy and you can track your respondents.) Offer raffle and silent auction prizes. This is a great way to make a party anything you want it to be without any cost or mess!
Ask companies, friends and others to donate items to raffle off in your community. To enhance your success, have the raffle drawing at a major event or in a public place. Or, try working with a local salon, bakery or other business to coordinate an in house raffle. Ask them if they could donate some products and sell raffle tickets at the register. This is a great way to increase your visibility!
12. Send a mailing – via snail mail
A typical mailing consists includes a request letter, a one-page form for them to fill in with donor information, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. That last item greatly increases your response rate, according to direct mail studies.
13. Ask for tribute donations
Encourage your donors to make their donations in “honor of” “support of” or “memory of” someone they know who has been affected by breast cancer. Let them be part of the experience.
14. Penny Wars
This is a great fundraiser at schools! Give each team (or class) a large water jug. They will have 10 minutes each morning to fill their jars with as many pennies as possible. They can also put silver coins (dimes, nickels, and quarters) into other jars to detract from the penny total. The team with the most money (after their silver has been subtracted) at the end of a week wins!
15. Change Jars
Place change jars in your office to collect money. Encourage people to drop their extra change into the jar every day. (Please exchange the coins for a check before submitting to YSC.)
Post a message on Twitter with a shortened URL to your fundraising page and ask your friends to re-tweet. You may be able to gain donations from people you don’t even know!
17. Movie Party
Host a movie party in your home. Have a “keyword” for the movie, and every time the word is said in the movie, everyone antes up $1 in a pledge bowl.
18. Have a Wine & Cheese Tasting Party
An interesting spin on this party: have your guests bring a cheap bottle of wine in a paper bag, along with their donation. Everyone samples the wine and votes on their favorite. At the end of the night, the winning wine is revealed.
Have people bench press weights in the school or local gym and collect donations for every pound they lift. Make sure all participants have spotters.
20. Give It Up
Ask family and friends to commit to give up a regular activity for a month and donate the money they save to the designated cause.
21. Pink Lemonade Stand
Set up a “Pink Lemonade Stand” in your neighborhood, school, after church, etc. This is a kid-friendly option that can involve the whole community, helping to get YSC’s name and message out there. You can use this in tandem with many other fundraising techniques to take an event to the next level!
22. Create a QR Code
You can print a QR code on posters, a t-shirt, etc. for people to easily donate to your fundraiser.
23. Fundraise in Your Office
Put up a poster and a donation form about the Young Survival Coalition at your office or cubicle. Do virtual shout-outs on office bulletin boards or on intranet chat walls when colleagues donate to your campaign. Keep a fundraising thermometer going so your coworkers can see your progress.
24. Office Competition
Organize your office into teams and see who can raise the most for your fundraiser. Order pizza (or another prize) for the top fundraisers.
25. Add a signature line to your emails
This is an easy way to promote awareness of your fundraising. Example: “I am raising money to support young women affected by breast cancer. Click here (insert link to your personal fundraising page) to learn more!”
We hope you found some great new ideas here. Got a great tip you didn’t see here? Tell us about it in the comments.