12 Fundraising Tips, from Grassroots to Galas

by Womens Toolbox • More.com Member { View Profile }


Everyone is fundraising at some point in their life! Here’s some tips to help make your organization more effective.

1.     Build your e-mail database. This give you the ability to “touch your customers” especially around special meetings, events or product sales. 

2.     Be clear about your goals for your fundraiser. Are you fundraising or friendraising or both?

3.     Think about the time commitment and available muscle you have to generate your fundraiser. Events require a committee at the very least. Selling products can be easier but tend to generate smaller dollars. Be realistic for your group.

4.     Auctions – live auctions are at the top of the food chain in terms of money generated. These are followed by Silent Auctions where you offer your customers bid sheets. Chinese auctions ( where you simply sell raffle tickets) are the easiest to produce but the least effective in generating money.

5.     Hot selling auction items – items that have a high emotional value bring the most money – trips to exotic destinations, “Do Alongs” – Caddy for a PGS pro or join an athlete during his workout, a custom party of food and libations! Get gift certificates with a high emotional value rather than just a monetary amount.

6.     Less is More – Keep the silent auction items low to increase profits! The items shouldn’t exceed 14% to 20% of your attendees. So with 500 guests you’d want 70 to 100 items so that competition can drive up the bids. 

7.     Advertising is what you Pay for – Public Relations is what you Pray For! If you’re doing an event , a good PR person will pay for themselves. They can often cut media deals and get editorial that you could never afford .

8.     Outsource as needed. Don’t think for a minute that your group of big-hearted, mission driven members or board can create, execute and sustain an event over time. Give yourself a reality check to see what talent is really in the saddle and ready to giddy-up!

9   Don’t forget to celebrate! Always be appreciative and grateful of volunteer efforts however big or small. Volunteers aren’t paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless!

10. If you chose to do an event, create something that is repeatable and sustainable. Recreating or re-theming each year exhausts your committee and doesn’t help you “Brand” your organization to an event. And that should always be one of the goals! Girl Scouts sell Cookies - American Heart Association has the Heart Ball.

Getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats doesn’t happen over night! Always be grooming your committee for leadership positions. 

Once your organization is deemed “Worthy Enough” – it’s just a question of you becoming more effective in your fundraising!

Best wishes for your volunteer efforts in the New Year! Whatever your passion or cause – they need you now!


Diva Toolbox member, Debra Dion Krischke is a Fearless Women’s Advocate and Special Event Producer . Co-author of Inspired Entrepreneurs – a Collection of Female Triumphs in Business and Life! Visit Debra’s website at http://www.FoodieFundraising.com


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