FUNDRAISING VERSUS ENGAGING
When people give you money for your cause, it means that they have been touched by it. This is a great starting point to engage them further, so make sure you keep in touch with them, for example by inviting them to like your Facebook page! This way you can keep them informed about your efforts (and what their money was spent on), ask them again for financial support or to participate more actively in different activities that you will organize in the future.
Whatever the cause that you are working for, some money will always be needed. Many groups start with self-funding from their own members, but usually this is not sustainable if you want to achieve more. So, share your cause, inspire others and ask them for financial support. Any donation, big or small, counts and can bring you closer to the funds necessary to create something, organize a protest, set up a network of people or whatever else you are working towards. There is a variety of ways to fundraise at your disposal and you can pick the ones that best match your resources and the amount that you need to move on.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are aware of the regulations that exist in your country around fundraising, selling items etc. You should make sure that your activities involving money are legal, or you could be faced with unpleasant consequences.
- Plan a fundraising event. It can be a party, a concert, a screening, a festival, an online event or anything else you might come up with. Choose the location, date and time, according to what appeals to people and make it easier to attend. Estimate the cost of the event and the resources you need to set it up, as well as the way people will donate, for examples through an entrance fee, through buying stuff at the event, etc. Publicize the event through social media, posters, advertisements etc.
- Crowdfunding platforms are online tools that makes it easier and safer for people to give financial support. There are many, like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but also other more local or peer-to-peer versions. Pick the one that best matches your goal. These platforms also provide useful tips on how to set up your crowdfunding campaign.
- Merchandise. You can create items such as t-shirts, shopping bags, pins, posters etc that will at the same time help you spread your message and raise money. They can be sold online or you can organize a bazaar to promote them (see next step).
- Organize a bazaar. There you can sell your groups merchandise and you can also complement it with other items, such as second-hand clothes or books. Bazaars around Christmas time are especially successful and you can prepare season items for it as well, like decorations, cakes etc.
- Collaborate with startups: Startups are open to new ideas that can give them added value. The easiest way to collaborate with a startup is for advertisement, but they could even give the option to their customers to pay a little more for their services that is donated to your group.
- Municipalities or EU programmes. If you are into writing proposals, then this one’s for you. Municipalities often give money to various causes that are beneficial for the region. Find the right people to talk to in your municipality and present your idea and the budget required to make it happen. Also, you can check for funds through various EU programmes. You can find them online, but be prepared to write a detailed proposal, a long waiting period before hearing back, and detailed reporting requirements.
- Organize workshops. If your team or supporters teach yoga, dancing, cooking or anything else, you can organize special classes where the tuition fees go to your cause. These can be recurrent classes or one-off events targeting a wider audience.
- Use publicity to reach more potential donors (online channels, social media, press releases, posters, flyers, radio). The more people get to hear about your cause, the more ready they will be to support it financially.
- Be creative: There are plenty of ideas out there on how to raise money for your cause. Pretty much anything can serve to raise money if you organize it correctly. Do some research on charity auctions, marathon events, organizing dinners for sponsors, inspiring people to cut out a bad habit and give the money for a better cause, create a game or a quiz to convince people for their support, you name it!