Continuing our overview of effective fundraising for nonprofits, here are some more ideas that successful organizations have drawn upon to solicit donations.
Silent auctions – The classic silent auction arrangement involves setting up a bunch of tables at a site and inviting attendees to place bids on each item by jotting their name and bid amount on a sheet of paper posted nearby. Therefore, anyone who wants to bid knows the amount they must beat. There is no need for an auctioneer to coordinate bids. It’s a sound idea to use nonprofit fundraising software with event registration capabilities to track attendees.
In order to be financially viable, silent auctions usually require a fairly large number of items up for bids. Nonprofits often approach local businesses for merchandise, or rely on their existing supporters for auction-worthy items. It’s also possible to offer services in addition to physical goods.
Movie nights – Some nonprofits rent space at a local movie theater and show a relevant film, such as a documentary that explores ideas championed by the organization. It’s also possible to show a movie at a private location, but it’s important to be aware of any legal issues pertaining to public screenings. Movie nights give a nonprofit an opportunity to expose the public to their cause while making money from ticket sales, concession stand sales, and anything else that might pull in a few more dollars (e.g., raffles).
Charity softball games – Casual softball games have a slow-paced, relaxing atmosphere that the public tends to enjoy. The appeal is only heightened if it’s clear that the profits will be devoted to a good cause. Nonprofits can make a significant amount of money from admissions and refreshments.
Video game marathons – A surprising number of people out there enjoy watching others play video games over the internet. Livestreaming a video game marathon creates a fun environment for soliciting donations. The event can also provide a backdrop for silent auctions and similar fundraising activities.
Celebrity speakers – Is there a well-known personage who is sympathetic to your cause? Try to find out if they might be interested in attending an event where they can communicate their ideas to the public. Bear in mind that a “celebrity” speaker doesn’t have to be an internationally famous person. They can be a local radio personality, a university professor, or another individual who is a recognized authority and/or can lend their name to a worthy campaign.