Fundraising is essential to the survival of most non-profit organizations. The success or failure of a fundraiser can determine how much an organization is able to accomplish.


Fundraising walks or runs are excellent event fundraisers. These fundraisers need little startup capital. The keys to making money with this kind of fundraiser are organized planning and very large numbers of participants. Plans need to be started six months ahead. Various committees need to be formed at this time. A pledge/participant committee needs to create guidelines for the participants and suggestions for pledges. A publicity committee will need to explore all the opportunities for getting local businesses involved and encouraging the public to support the event. Three months before the fundraiser is a good time to start asking local businesses and church groups to organize groups within their organizations to participate in the event or donate either money or things like water and snacks. A publicity blitz should occur during the month before the fundraiser. Every local television and radio station should be broadcasting advertisements for the event. Posters and fliers need distributed throughout the community with information on how to participate as well as how to pledge support. If there are hundreds of participants who raise fifty to a hundred dollars each in pledges, a lot of money can be made.


Whether planning a barbecue, beef and beer, or spaghetti dinner fundraiser, people will come out in droves for food as long as the event is well advertised. A major goal of this fundraiser is for the group to have little to no out-of-pocket expenses for supplies. Anywhere from six to fifteen dollars per dinner served can be earned by the group. A committee who will solicit businesses for donations to cover the cost of everything from the main course to napkins is essential. Good cooks will be needed as well. When the fundraiser is scheduled can help determine where to heavily publicize. Local television and radio are always good publicity venues, but if the event is held Sunday afternoon, getting in touch with churches and asking them to include it in their announcements will earn extra customers. This fundraising venue is also great if it benefits a performing ensemble such as a school choir. A performance of the group can be a main feature of the event.


The elements of any successful fundraiser are the same. There must be many people willing to help, many people willing to participate, and little money spent by the organization. Most fundraisers can work if these three things come together.