Non-profit Fundraising Ideas

Posted by Nick Niesen on November 8th, 2010

Need a new way to pump up this year's fundraisers at your nonprofit? These six fundraising ideas will definitely maximize your results.

1 - Auction off premium event seating
2 - Grab Google Grants for publicity
3 - Leverage eBay for donations
4 - Swell your revenue stream with credit
5 - Multiply donations with upfront requests
6 - Explode your results by going OTT

Auction Premium Seating
Heard about the Minneapolis church that auctioned off their three front pews for the Christmas Eve service as part of their school fundraiser? The bids topped $6,000 or $1,000 a pew. Not bad for something that went for free most other places. Just imagine what you can get for the premium seats at your own events.

Google Grants
Are you hip to Google Grants? The world's favorite search engine provides free advertising for registered 501c nonprofit groups. The Google Grants program is like Google's pay-per-click AdWords program without having to pay for the clicks.

To be eligible, groups must have a website, non-profit 501(c)(3) status and not be religious or political in nature. Google picks new grantees every quarter. To apply for Google's free advertising program, fill out an online application at

eBay Giving Works
Got eBay? Not in your fund raising plan? Then go to the world's largest market place and sign up your nonprofit group for online donations. eBay Giving Works puts the power of the eBay Marketplace to work for nonprofit organizations.

Anyone can sell items on eBay and donate part or the entire final sale price to your nonprofit organization. Donations from the sales of eBay Giving Works items will be collected and distributed to you, and tax receipts will be issued to the seller on your behalf. Find out more at

Increase Revenue With Credit
Did you know credit is better than cash? Not only are people more likely to honor a pledge backed by a credit card than an ordinary phone pledge (100% to 70%), they are also much more willing to give more if you split the amount into smaller monthly pledges.

Instead of asking for a $100 donation, ask for $10 a month. Make sure you set it up as a recurring billing where you can bill the monthly amount for periods up to 36 months. Find the monthly sweet spot of your donor base and explode your donations on autopilot.

Make It Easy To Donate
Shy about asking directly for money? A small Illinois nonprofit held a fundraising dinner for their supporters and raised $6,000. They prominently placed a big donation jar at the registration table and raised an extra $18,000.

Don't be shy about asking for help and don't be shy about making it as easy as possible for supporters to give financial support at any event. Just be upfront about your needs and give them high visibility.

Explode Results By Going OTT
Know the secret of OTT? Over the top is what you want your fundraising event to be, the must attend occasion topping the social calendar. Pull out all the stops to add glitz and glamour. Be sure to provide multiple attractions that encourage participants to join in the fun (and open their wallets) wherever possible.

Silent auctions, live auctions, raffles, door prizes, entertainment, sponsorships, celebrity presenters, and glamorous settings work wonders by boosting turnout through free publicity and word of mouth. By going "over the top" with your fundraising event, you'll magnify your donations mightily.

Put these fundraising ideas to work for your nonprofit group and make 2006 your best year ever.

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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