- Know what cause you are fundraising for and can eloquently tell people what they are being asked to donate towards.
- Set a fundraising target of how much you want to raise before you begin.
- Make sure to acquire relevant permission or authority before proceeding with any fundraising event. There are specific laws and regulations that come with some types of fundraising.
- Make sure what you have planned is feasible and ideally will cost as little as possible so that all proceeds can go back into the main cause.
- Utilise all resources you have on hand. Stick notices on noticeboards at school, work or the Post Office. Get your school, work or clubs involved.
- Your community newspapers could help you spread the word if you contact them about your fundraising efforts.
- If you are approaching strangers or businesses for donations you might need to use an official receipt book.
Top 18 ways YOU can help:
1. Personal Donations
If you work, whether part time or full time or get an allowance from your parents, consider putting aside a small portion of your pay for the MSWA. You might also want to request for donations instead of birthday or Christmas presents.
2. Bad Habits
Have a bit of a potty mouth? Having a swear jar might help you get the dollars quicker than you think. Encourage your work colleagues or friends to get in on it too with a gold coin for each slip up you make.
3. The Power of the Web
Fundraising is easy if you are on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Dedicating a space on your profile page about your efforts to raise funds for the MSWA and asking friends to consider making a donation is an effortless way to fundraise. Make sure to include information on what MS is and what the MSWA is about so people know who and what they are being asked to donate for.
Also update and post a lot of pictures of any other fundraising events you participate in (for example a picture of you belting out some tunes on Karaoke Night), so that people can see their dollars are being put where you say it is.
4. Put Yourself on Sale
If you have a special skill, talent or simply have a healthy body then think about using these to fundraise. Do chores around your house or for neighbours, if you can play an instrument then offer your services as a musical tutor and if you can cook well then offer to cook up a lovely meal on a weekend night.
5. Selling Your Wares
Can you knit or are you handy with craft paper? Then consider selling handmade items such as knitted scarves and hats, handmade jewellery, paintings or sketches or small things such as bookmarks and occasion cards at your local Sunday markets. A lot of people appreciate handmade and unique items and when proceeds are donated towards helping others it makes the buy that much more worthwhile.
6. Get Sponsored
Get family, friends, workmates and even strangers to sponsor you to do something out of the ordinary or just plain funny. Some suggestions might be walking or biking to work instead of driving, dressing backwards, banning yourself from watching television for a week or doing something daring such as going bungee jumping. The more bizarre the task, the more interest you would generate.
Ever wanted to see your boss or principal do something completely silly? Get your boss/principal/teacher to agree to be sponsored in return for doing something bizarre. Work colleagues and schoolmates would be more than eager to sponsor them to see them do something out of the ordinary or out of their comfort zone. Pick one task or have a number of options and get people to vote for which task they want to see completed by donating to a particular tin with whichever having the most proceeds winning. Suggestions include having your principal manning the register at the canteen or your boss serving coffee at work.
7. Food Treats
The classic fundraising methods of having sausage sizzles, pancake breakfasts and bake sales are bound to work a treat. Try to get ingredients to be donated or discounted by businesses and get family or neighbours to loan their BBQs, cutlery and their time so that more funds can be put towards the cause. Set up stalls outside shopping centres, at your local park, community hall or in your own backyard.
Bake up a batch or two of cupcakes, brownies or muffins and take it into school, work or club meetings to sell off. Most people can’t resist home-baked sweet treats and the buy is more justified when the proceeds are for a good cause.
8. Movie Night
Spend Friday night in by renting a new movie release (or several) from your local video store, invite all of your friends and to keep expenses down provide only the popcorn and delegate each friend to bring something else such as candy, ice-cream or drinks to share. Charge an entry fee, dim the lights and make sure to have fun.
9. Karaoke Showdown
If you love belting out your favourite tunes in front of an audience then consider holding a Karaoke showdown between yourself and your friends. Hire a karaoke player for the day and invite friends and family for a sing-off in your living room. Charge for admission and consider giving affordable prizes such as home baked goods, CDs or vouchers for winners in categories such as ‘best singer’ and ‘most entertaining’.
If you’re game to try a larger scale operation then consider holding a karaoke showdown with people from your company. Ask your boss for permission to use the company building if there is sufficient space. Fire up some friendly rivalry between departments by forming singing teams separated into departments such as finance, human resources and marketing. Each team will compete for the glory of the title ‘best performing department’ as well as individual prizes such as ‘best singer’ and ‘most entertaining’. Approach your boss to consider making a large donation (tax deductible) and to put a little bit of cash towards finger food and drinks for the night.
10. Battle of the Wits, Trivia Night
Not into singing your heart out in front of your friends? If you would prefer to test your general knowledge over your singing ability then hosting a trivia night can be a fun option. Trivia questions and scorecard templates can easily be found on the web. Make it fun by pitting groups against each other based on age or gender.
Or go out as a group to the many trivia nights held at pubs or community halls around town make it a night out with dinner and drinks and donate any winnings you earn from playing trivia quizzes.
11. Mini Tournaments
Whether it’s a poker night, board game night or a video game night, try hosting a tournament at home and invite(or challenge!) friends and family to compete with you. Charge an admission fee and recruit someone to umpire and keep scorecards on each competitor’s progress throughout each round. Reward the champion with a small prize.
12. Cook-Off Challenge
Reckon you can give those chefs on Iron Chef and Master Chef a run for their money? Why not hold your own cook-off reality television style and compete against family and friends? Offer prizes for dishes deemed ‘most delicious’, ‘most creative’ or for ‘most impressive chopping skills’, and ‘best effort’. Try to get the ingredients donated or discounted from local supermarkets, butchers and bakeries or utilise connections with friends who are employed at supermarkets to get discounts for purchases. Charge an admission and taste-testing fee.
13. Community Spirit
If you are a regular at your local fish and chips, gym or the drycleaner, then consider approaching your local businesses and asking if you can leave a donation tin (an official tin from the MSWA) at their counter. Some people prefer to slot small change into charity tins rather than put it back in their wallet or pocket.
14. Neighbourhood Garage Sale
Get your neighbours in on the action by organising one giant garage sale. Do a door to door visit on your street and try to recruit your neighbours to do a bit of spring cleaning and either donate some items to be sold or recruit their time for the day of the sale to help move and sell the items. Place signs all over the local community, in shopping centres, bus stops and street posts to garner attention for the big day. Keep in mind you might have to ask your local council if you can use your local park or school oval to hold the sale. Browsing for bargains will work up an appetite so have a sausage sizzle or baked goods stall as well.
Alternatively think about having an EBay sale instead or use EBay to sell off the items that don’t get sold at the garage sale.
15. Hold A Charity Auction
Organise a charity auction for MSWA within your school, workplace or local community where local businesses and individuals offer up desirable items or services. Approach your local businesses and tell them about what you are trying to do and offer them an opportunity to be a part of it. Ideas for auction items could include discount vouchers or freebies from popular bakeries, beauty salons, restaurants or movie cinemas. Other services such as free tutoring, free cleaning, home made meals or baked goods, or even doing someone’s groceries for a week could also be put up for auction.
16. Dress Up or Dress Down Day
Get your schoolmates or work colleagues involved and have a casual dress day or pyjama day instead of going to school or work in a uniform or suit in return for donations. If your school or workplace doesn’t allow casual dress then perhaps something like crazy hair, crazy hat, or bad tie day would be more suitable.
On the other side of the scale, having a formal dress up day at work would certainly be something different to try. Get your workplace dressed up in tuxes and ball gowns and celebrate with a sausage sizzle or BBQ at the end of the day with proceeds from dressing up and food to be donated.
17. Get Your Sporting Club Involved
If you are involved in a sporting club or team then think about passing donation tins around during matches and games. Have the sporting announcer/umpire make an announcement prior to the game so the crowd knows what you are trying to fundraise for. Alternatively you can ask people to sponsor you throughout the game for the number of goals or runs you and your team scores.
18. Talent Competition
Curious about what hidden or unknown talent your boss, work colleagues or schoolmates and teachers might have? Why not hold a talent quest for your workplace or school and charge an admission fee for families and friends to attend? Make donation tins available for people who want to donate further during the performances. Also think about having someone who’s handy with a video camera on the scene to capture all the best and most hilarious parts and burn it onto CDs to sell after the competition.
Your contribution no matter how large or small makes a difference in the quality of life for those affected by and living with multiple sclerosis as well as funding research into finding a cure from MS.
The methods above are not the only ways to fundraise; if you prefer to get creative yourself then the sky is the limit for how to fundraise (as long as it’s within legal guidelines of course).
Fundraising is meant to be fun too, so get out there and enjoy every moment!
If you would like to volunteer to help with the Rotary Ultra Team Challenge please register using the attached Volunteer Registration Form. Download this .PDF file, fill in the form and submit it by email.