A Creative Way to Raise Funds by Jordan Stoltzfus

A Creative Way to Raise Funds by Jordan Stoltzfus



 Non-profit's are always looking for new, creative ways to raise funds. Many time's they've been supported by the same people for many years but it could be hard to motivate those people to keep giving or boost their giving, especially if they don't have a vested interest in the non-profit.

When I did volunteer work in Zambia and had to raise funds I was blessed that many people I know are very generous and care deeply about my life and opportunities I had. But when I decided to pursue more time overseas in Nepal I found that it was hard to re-generate interest in what I'd be doing and the importance of the work I was participating in. I feel non-profits often have that obstacle. In the beginning people are excited about the work and willing to give, but as time goes on people can easily become distracted, especially if the non-profit is involved in something that is sometimes difficult to see the results of. Such as working with homeless, or the church youth group. If it's hard to tell what their investment in the non-profit is accomplishing it may be necessary for that organization to pursue new ways of raising funds and generating interest in their goals.

One excellent way to do that is to have a raffle. There are many different ways that this can be carried out. Perhaps it could be an add-on during a typical fundraiser meal. Between speakers or mouthfuls of food why not head over to the raffle table and give a few extra bucks to a good cause in order to have a chance to win a great prize?

The raffle could also be completely separate from normal fund-raising activities. It could also be a good opportunity to try to involve new people in the work you're doing. Knocking on somebody's door and giving them an opportunity to buy a raffle ticket is, to me at least, much less intimidating than knocking on their door and simply asking for money and trying to explain everything your non-profit is doing in the community.

The best prizes to offer are ones that everybody you're targeting would be interested in. If you're the NRA then offering a limited edition shotgun as a prize could be highly effective. But if you're targeting the general public, or your Mennonite congregation, perhaps you'd be wiser to offer something like gift certificates to the best place in town, or a hot air balloon ride, or a weekend getaway with all expenses paid. A great way to garner more interest is to offer multiple prizes. Then those who will potentially buy the tickets will consider it a better investment. They'll think something like, “If I don't win the sweet hot air balloon ride maybe I'll at least get a gift card.” This will make them more willing to invest.

In order to motivate your volunteers to sell more raffle tickets you could offer a prize to whoever sells the most, or even better, give them a raffle ticket for every 5 or 10 raffle tickets they sell. That way, even if they know they're behind Randy, the Radical Raffle-Ticket Seller they'll still be motivated to keep selling.


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Contributed by Jordan Stoltzfus


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