8 Non-profit Fundraising Ideas – From a Donor’s Perspective PART 1

Not a week goes by when I am not approached by a non-profit organization and asked for a donation. Some charitable organizations do it with cold calling, some with selling candy. Some 501c3s offer the most ridiculous items and they are instantly dismissed. Some have great ideas at a reasonable price. Some are WAY off in their thinking.

Below are the most recent charity fundraising techniques that have come my way. Each non-profit fundraising technique includes the price it was offered to me at, the price I think is reasonable AND what goes through the mind when I am being pitched with the technique (and some suggestions for nonprofits to increase their donation potential).

If you are a non-profit and you read this, please understand that I am a normal guy. I can also tell you that a lot of other people think like me.

1. Non-profit Scratch off cards

Price: $15 for one card

Reasonable Price: $15 for one card

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: Are the gifts exciting? Do I use these gifts regularly (I am a 25 year old male with no kids. Do not try to sell me a scratch off card with which I could win “Free trip to the Zoo”. I will gladly buy lots of cards if I could win “a 1/2 priced Dinner at Joe’s” or “Buy 1 hour of tennis court time, get one half off”.)

2. Charity Scrip

Price: $20 for a $25 Olive Garden Gift Certificate

Reasonable Price: $25 for a $25 Olive Garden Gift Certificate

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: I go there once in a while. It’s a nice place. Once again, know your audience and try to match the gift certificate with the potential donor.

3. 501c3 Candles

Price: $18 for 2 candles

Reasonable Price: $10 for 2 candles

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: Candles are nice. Candles appeal more around the holidays. Candles are great around the holidays when they come in scents that my grandmother would like and they are gift wrapped!

4. Non-profit Bricks

Price: $35 for a brick with my information on it

Reasonable Price: $50 for a brick with my information on it

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: This is cool. My name (or company name) will be on a walkway at your non-profit forever. I am in! This is a cool idea! Just make sure I can fit all the information I want on the brick.

5. Charity Calendars

Price: $10 for one non-profit calendar

Reasonable Price: $0 for one non-profit calendar

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: No. No. No. I use Microsoft Outlook. I never use paper calendars. If I tell you I’m going to buy your calendar and put it up on my wall, you should interpret that as “I think my grandmother will love it” or “I’m throwing this away when you leave”.

6. 501c3 Chocolate

Price: $6 for one box of Godiva chocolate

Reasonable Price: $10 for one box of Godiva chocolate

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: I like a little bit of chocolate every once in a while. My girlfriend really likes chocolate. Ok, I’ll take some chocolate. 2 boxes please.

7. Charity Car Flags

Price: $4 for a your 501c3 car flag

Reasonable Price: $0 for a your 501c3 car flag

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: No way. It’s not going on my car.

8. Non-profit Child ID Program

Price: $25 for my kids ID, teeth imprint and short video

Reasonable Price: $100 for my kids ID, teeth imprint and short video

Donor Thoughts/Suggestions: I don’t have a child but if I did I would do this. This is a good thing, more parents should do this.

So there it is. Take notes. Listen to my suggestions and you will have a better offer for charity donors to consider. Along with these techniques you should also be collecting donations on your website. Your non-profit website is available to the public 24/7 and should be collecting donations, memberships and selling tickets to your events.