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As much as we love charities and the vital work they do, and as much as we love to raise money for them, it’s hard to come up with stand-out, creative money-making ideas. There are so many causes and events that even the kindest among us can start to feel a bit fatigued – another beard shaving, another baked bean bath” If you have a favourite cause or community project and it needs funds, think outside the (donation) box to get the cash flowing. And there are plenty of ideas out there. Take the fundraisers at https://community.chipotle.com/resources/chipotle-fundraisers-101/fundraising-ideas-for-sports-teams/ for example. You can find examples all over the place but once again, it is always fun to think of some more obscure and unique ideas – read below to find some.

Rethink the bake sale

Bake sales are a school staple – it works, which is why we’ve been having them since we discovered fire (probably). However, the over-riding image is that of sorry-looking fairy cakes with lurid dribbles of icing and maybe a bout of norovirus lurking among the sprinkles.

Not great. So, give it a re-vamp and streamline your bake sale. Make it all about the brownies, or the red velvet cupcakes, and use this in the promotion. The fact that you’ve specialised means you’ve put some effort into the making and baking, which in turn makes people optimistic about the quality of your goods.

Forget your dignity

Fundraising is worthy, but it doesn’t have to be worthy and po-faced. Fun and games, with a bit of mockery thrown in, always gets the donations going, especially if you’re well-known in your community or workplace for something. Are you mad about dogs? Why not offer photos of your dogs in daft costumes to anyone who donates 5? Then one of yourself in a daft costume for those who donate 10?

Use a charity checkout system

Many online sellers offer shoppers a donation service whenever they check out on their website. Perhaps, your charity can start adopting a framework that can help with the impact measurement. How so? They can set up their own page on a vendor’s website, and so every time someone pays for an order, the company donates a percentage of the order price to the named charity. Amazon is the one we’ve all heard of, but smaller companies do it too. Printer supplies seller www.cartridgepeople.com, for example, donates 10% of the order price to your charity of choice whenever you check out.

Threaten people

Yes, that’s right. If people don’t donate to your cause, you’ll come and sprinkle glitter in their garden, or follow them around, dressed as a chicken, for ten minutes at a time. Reframe their donations as insurance – this business model worked for the Mafia, after all.

Play by numbers

Your charity is 20 years old, so ask people to donate 20, or 20p, whichever is easier. Obviously you’ll accept other amounts, but have the emphasis on 20 to motivate people.

Maybe it costs 6 to buy vaccines for 10 children, so work six and 10 into your theme. Like numbers, the possibilities are endless. Click here to read more about vaccines.

To stay ahead of the fundraising game takes courage and creativity these days, as well as a bit of cheekiness. Above all, have fun, as this is what attracts people to your cause and makes them remember it in the future.

Andy McGowan
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