The Northern Charitable Foundation was founded in 2007 by Alex Dembitzer, his wife Rosa Dembitzer and Jacqueline Fried.
Finding new fundraising ideas isn’t easy. Do you go ‘tried-and-trusted’, (but boring) or ‘weird-and-whacky) (might not work). Our 4 Fabulous Fundraisers are not only proven to work, but are creative and fun for everyone involved.
A scavenger hunt is a great way to raise funds for a school, or for a school to raise funds for a community cause. Family teams, teams of friends and even local businesses can take part in a scavenger hunt. With a little upfront planning, you’ll be able collect funds ahead of time because each team will pay an entry fee to be able to join in the fun. We suggest teams of up to five people maximum, especially if you’re going to have them drive to any of the locations on your hunt.
Once you’ve decided on your scavenger hunt route, you can decide on how many stopping points you’ll have and what tasks you will ask your participants to perform. If you’re raising money for a cause, you’ll be able to use each stop as a way to generate awareness about different facets of your organization. You’ll only need to source a small gift for the winning team, because the real prize in a scavenger hunt is taking part.
If you’re looking for a way to raise money for any building project then ‘Engraved Bricks’ is a phenomenal way to get things started. The upfront costs will include a brick engraver, as well as the bricks, of course! Each ‘brick’ is sold to an individual, family, or group, and for the cost of their donation, their names will be engraved on the brick that will either be on a wall of the new building or on a walkway outside. It’s a way for people leave their mark, literally, and to raise awareness for your building project. The best part is that this can be an ongoing project – it works especially well for schools and colleges when you get your alumni to purchase an engraved brick when they graduate.
Need a way to boost your raffle idea? Host a 50/50 Raffle instead of one with traditional prizes. There is very little cost involved, apart from printing raffle tickets and the idea is simple: The raffle winner gets 50% of the total money raised! People get a kick out of donating and watching the funds increase, and the more money there is, the more people want to donate.
To really get your supporters involved in your cause, why not ask them to ‘give it up’ and donate the money to your organization. It’s a superb way to really engage with your community, plus you’re not asking them to take anything ‘extra’ out of their wallets, but only to give up a snack, a beverage, or even a small meal and donate the money to your organization instead. This idea will need a little bit of marketing to get it started, but is extremely effective for a longer, or ongoing fundraising idea.
Donor acquisition is undoubtedly one of the most important, and difficult, aspects of managing a non-profit organization. There is no single reason that gets people giving, and no unique sweet spot that’ll make donors give more. Learning how to attract donors, and keep them donating is more experiment than science, though in recent years there has been a lot of research into what motivates people to give and how to get large donations on a regular basis.
While some donors will respond to emotional or inspirational stories, recent research suggests that public recognition may have a greater effect on donor acquisition, and retention. Here are some tips that can help you on your fundraising journey.
If you have a big-name donor, organization or foundation supporting your work, let everyone know about it. Experiments conducted by Yale University showed that naming big-donors, celebrity endorsements and other well-known support can increase the chance of an individual donating by up to 22%. The reason: It’s increasingly difficult for individuals to choose a charity amid the hundreds of thousands on offer. A household name increases the chance that your charity will stand out, and acts as a seal of approval.
Everyone wants to get a little praise and recognition for the work they do, whether by active hands-on assistance or by donating a significant sum of money to help a charity. The promise of public acknowledgement goes a long way in attracting potential donors, especially big-name donors. Never under-estimate the power of public recognition and use it when asking for donations. Joan Flanagan, who is considered a pioneer of grassroots fundraising, offers a simple philosophy: “All the knowledge about fundraising can be summed up in ten words: Ask ‘em, thank ‘em, ask ‘em again, thank ‘em again.”
There’s a lot to be said for the personal approach. Asking for support and donations in person will always be more effective than any other way of advertising. This is particularly important when trying to get donors to keep giving. Set up face to face meetings with past donors, pay attention to what they’re saying. Ask them about their experience and why your charity is meaningful to them. The traditional thank you letter is an essential starting point, but the best way to keep donations rolling in is to personally recognize and reach out to donors.
A very small percentage of your fundraising effort will actually be spent on asking, the rest is preparing for ‘the ask’ with research into prospective benefactors, and how you treat your donors after their first donation. This type of effort should not only be limited to big-name donors. Making an effort to personalize the relationship you have with small and medium supporters is imperative.
In a world that is increasingly driven by fleeting soundbites, six-second videos and click bait headlines, taking the time to personally and actively engage donors is the best way to attract, retain and ensure that your charity remains successful and effective.