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Top 5 Ways to Stretch Your Fundraising Dollar

Get the most out of your fundraising dollar!

Here are our top 5 tips for stretching your fundraising dollar that all groups (schools, churches, athletic teams, charities, etc.) can take advantage of:

Tip #1 – Get Donors

Some donors provide actual funds to nonprofits, but many also provide gift items to be used at raffles, auctions or as incentive prizes for fundraiser participants.  Having these things donated cuts out the cost of purchasing, meaning your final fundraising profit will be higher.

How do you find donors?  If you’re looking for gift items, go around to local businesses asking them directly.  Send letters and place phone calls to larger organizations.  Offer to advertise their business at your fundraising event in exchange for their generous donations.

Tip #2 – Start Early to Catch Deals and Freebies

No matter what type of fundraiser you’re planning, there will probably be a cost involved somewhere – be it car wash supplies, rental tables, cases of chocolate or printing costs.

Start planning early enough so that you have time to shop around and compare prices.  Go back to original offers if another company gives you a lower offer – the original company may lower their price to get your business, or throw in some extra freebies.

Tip #3 – Follow Your Budget

The easiest way to overspend is to disregard your budget.  It sounds challenging, but all it takes is to plan a budget before you start, and then be sure all your purchases are in line with it.

– Don’t make a purchase until you’ve compared the cost to your budget and are sure it will fit.
– Keep track of every cost, no matter how small.  Coffee for your volunteers?  Write it down!
– Immediately subtract all costs from your budget once the purchase is confirmed.

Tip #4 – Identify Your Must-Haves

A great way to plan a budget is to list of everything you need and want for your fundraiser.  Go through the list and identify the “must-haves” – things you absolutely need.  Everything else on the list is a “nice-to-have” and should only be added to your budget if there is money left over after all the “must-haves” are accounted for.

Example: If you’re planning a charity walk, water for your participants may be a “must-have”, but an assortment of juices and expensive bottled waters are probably “nice-to-haves”.

Recognize needs vs. frills and you’ll find your dollar goes much further.

Tip #5 – Watch Out for the Pennies

Watch out for extra expenses.  For example, shipping fees are one of those things that can be easily overlooked.  Before factoring cost into your budget, get the FULL price including shipping, handling and any applicable taxes.

Also, things like paper for fundraising flyers can often be cut back on.  The more expensive, higher quality paper may look better up close, but most people will see it on a wall or through a storefront, so in this case, it’s ok to cut costs by choosing a lower quality product.


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School budgets have been getting tighter and tighter by the year. However, we still want our students to enjoy all of the educational opportunities and

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