What to Know About Today’s Ways to Fundraise
Product fundraising, silent auctions, corporate sponsorships and more.
Supporters have no shortage of creative, memorable (and even tasty!) opportunities to show their loyalty to causes like yours.
Post Date: Sep 24 2021
If you’ve been fundraising for any number of years, then you already know: fundraising isn’t one size fits all. Many groups find that certain approaches work better than others - or in combination - depending on a huge suite of factors, like the size of their supporter organization, their location, venue availability, access to volunteers, familiarity with technology...the list goes on.
Every fundraising organization is different - which is what’s so wonderful about fundraising! Supporters have no shortage of creative, memorable (and even tasty!) opportunities to show their loyalty to causes like yours.
If you’re exploring different types of fundraisers and trying to decide which approach will work best for your organization, we think a pros and cons list is always helpful. Here are six types of fundraisers, how they can be used to generate income for your organization, and things to keep in mind when making your choice.
What to Know About These 6 Different Ways to Fundraise
When it comes to special event fundraisers, there’s no shortage of creative ideas. You can orchestrate galas, cook-offs, fun runs, contests, sporting events, or “a-thons.” Special events can attract the attention of people outside your primary support group (especially if it’s a well-publicized event), and generate lots of revenue for an organization all in one day.
Special events can be combined with other fundraising types to increase their impact, like product fundraising, auctions or online stores. Plus, annual events have the potential to grow in size and attendance year after year.
Events can take more time than other fundraisers to plan and advertise, and have the potential for higher upfront costs (such as venue rentals and advertising) than non-event endeavors.
Auctions can be a great way to get other donors and businesses to back your cause. With this model, fundraising organizations solicit donation items from the community, and then host either a live or silent auction to generate revenue from their sales. Items can include baskets, gift certificates, toys, vacation packages, services, artwork, sports equipment, and more.
Auctions can be combined with other fundraising types, like special events, corporate sponsorships and product fundraisers. To go virtual, an organization can choose to host a silent auction on their website (and also add a link to their Terri Lynn Webstore to boost their fundraising efforts!).
Hosting a silent auction can require plenty of preparation work, especially if you’re starting from scratch with a first-time event. Outreach to secure donations within the community can take lots of volunteer time, and you may have to pay extra to use software that hosts an auction online.
Sponsorships can be a major source of fundraising for nonprofit organizations, given the right partnerships. You might find a corporation willing to sponsor or underwrite a program or event, maximizing your fundraising efforts. Or, some companies choose to match community donations, which can double (or more) your income from a fundraising campaign. Other possibilities include grants, corporate volunteer days, or even regular monthly gifts.
A single grant can have potential to secure your organization's foreseeable future activities. Plus, partnering with like-minded organizations can increase your brand awareness by combining outreach efforts. And a good partnership is mutually beneficial, giving an organization additional resources, while giving a company the benefit of being associated with a charitable cause.
As a bonus, we’re fans of combining corporate sponsorships with product fundraisers, especially if the corporation is willing to promote your fundraiser’s sale to their in-house employees for purchase. Depending on the size of the company, a fundraising group can add significant sales from just one business partnership alone!
Sometimes, this type of fundraising can feel cumbersome or restrictive, seeing that grants or sponsorships might come with additional “strings attached.” These conditions might apply to how you can use their funding, promote your event, or they may even require specific reporting.
This option brings your supporters together to do the work of fundraising for you. With a large following, this option has potential to “go viral” and can be used to raise money for a certain project or cause. Typically, crowdfunding requires creating an organization webpage, setting a fundraising goal amount and date, and then encouraging your supporters to share a link to the webpage with friends and family. In essence, crowdfunding allows organizations and nonprofits to leverage many small cash donations to raise a larger total amount.
Crowdfunding can help you reach new audiences (i.e. friends of friends of friends), and supporters can give in both large and small cash donation amounts. Also, this type of fundraising is fairly well-known, and many of your supporters will be already familiar with the model.
If an organization doesn’t already have a large audience of cash donors, it can take a considerable amount of time to market a crowdfunding campaign. Constant communication and updates to supporters are necessary, such as sharing progresses or setbacks. Crowdfunding is time-consuming if done properly, and has also quickly become a saturated market. Additionally, crowdfunding websites typically charge fees for collecting cash donations.
Peer-to-peer is a subset of crowdfunding. In this model, fundraising organizations encourage individual supporters to reach out to their peers (family members, co-workers and friends) and ask them to donate cash on behalf of the organization. Your members can create personal fundraising web pages on your organization‘s behalf, and then collect cash donations online to funnel your way to the ultimate fundraising goal. Using the peer-to-peer model, your supporters can get personal with their reasons for lending their time and effort to your cause, and explain why it matters to them while asking for donations.
It’s cost-effective, since supporters do the job of fundraising on behalf of the organization. Plus, people are more likely to give to a new cause when they hear personal recommendations from friends or family. As a peer-to-peer platform, Facebook can make it easy for individuals to set up cash donation campaigns for special events like birthdays. And it’s easy using this type of fundraiser to add a link to their Terri Lynn Webstore at the same time to boost their fundraising efforts!
One of the major drawbacks of peer-to-peer fundraising is the effort it takes an organization to teach supporters how it works. Not only do supporters need to know how to use a cash donation fundraising platform, they also need to know how to effectively raise funds. Plus, it takes time on an organization’s end to set up a Facebook non-profit page to accept the cash donations, if going that route. Fundraising organizations also have less control over the messaging of individuals raising money on their behalf, and their levels of involvement.
This method involves selling products that can be sold at a profit, with the proceeds going to an organization. Items can be sold by members, volunteers, or an organization itself. This is one of the most popular types of fundraising for schools, churches, sports teams, social sororities, and a plethora of other charitable causes.
This type of fundraising is where Terri Lynn programs excel. Product fundraisers, like those using our line of premium snacks and treats, have potential to bring in large amounts of money within a single event, or throughout the year. Product fundraising also has the potential for use online and in-person -- a group can choose to host a face-to-face selling event, an order taking sale or set up a Webstore for supporters to order online at their convenience and ship to their home. Or both at the same time!
With product fundraisers, your supporters get something memorable, useful, or delicious in return for their donations. Plus, this type of fundraising can help grow your community of supporters - if people see others enjoying Terri Lynn products, and if they understand how their purchase can help others, then they’ll be more inclined to support your fundraiser themselves. There’s also the ability to be flexible and creative with sales methods, offering your product in-person, at an event, via order forms, or online. Or, you can even use all three together!
You’ll want to make sure and choose a product that’s high-quality, stands out and relates to your audience of supporters. No matter how much they’re fans of your organization, your community will only purchase so much if your product fundraiser is unexciting, poor value, or something that’s easy to purchase anywhere else. If it’s an unfamiliar brand or product, it can also take time to familiarize it to your audience, and let them know its value and why they should buy.
Need promotional materials? View our ready-made Promotions Kit to start getting the word out about your Terri Lynn fundraising sale.
Ready to start raising money today?
If you’re ready to start raising money quickly, give us a call. Our team of dedicated experts are here to help with a free consultation. Tell us about your group and revenue goals, and we’ll get you set up with the Terri Lynn fundraising program (or programs) that will work best for you. You can also view our Free Fundraising Guide anytime, with pages and pages of tips, checklists, and more - because whatever fundraising type you choose, we want you to succeed!