Fundraising isn’t just for raising funds. I know what you’re thinking, “Courtney, FUND… RAISING. Yes, that’s exactly what it is”. But when it comes to a charitable cause, it really is not just about money.
So what is fundraising aside from the obvious? Fundraising is an extremely powerful communication and awareness building tool. If you’re out there actively seeking funds, you’re letting people know about your cause and giving them an easy and quick way to help and feel involved. This turns them into loyal supporters and eventually some of these people will turn into your die-hard volunteers and recruiters for more support.
Let me give you an example. I worked for a not-for-profit grocery store. The main purpose of this store was to serve as the life skills training centre for an addiction recovery program. This store had hundreds and sometimes thousands of people coming in and out of it every day. When I started working there, I realized that so many of these people didn’t truly understand the non-profit side of the organization and were just there for great prices. This problem bugged me from day one but had to be set on the back-burner while we sorted out all of their online spaces.
Then, I was charged with helping organize the 2nd Annual Run For Recovery and while we were able to get most things donated, we still had a few expenses that weren’t covered. I decided to print a shoe shape with the Run branding on it and got our accountant to create a UPC and barcode for the shoe and sell them for a dollar each at the checkout in the grocery store.
In just less than a week, we raised $800 for the Run and in doing so, I quickly realized that the shoes served a far more powerful purpose. I watched as the cashiers suddenly engaged the customers in conversation that went further than just how good their day was going. Suddenly the cashiers were telling the patrons of the store what we were all about. I witnessed several of our regular customers have an “ah-ha!’ moment as they realized that all the money they spent on their groceries actually went to help addiction recovery. When I posted the video below online, people from all over the world started to become aware of what we were doing. We even got online donations from Winnipeg & Denmark!
What I learned from the shoes is that people really do care about causes. But most people are at a loss as to how to help. And most of those people don’t have a lot of time or money to do so. So, giving them the opportunity to feel as though they are supporting something they believe in with zero time investment and just a loonie, is going to create a loyalty and start a buzz. This sort of fundraising not only raises money, but builds, rapidly, a strong awareness of your cause.
Do you have a fundraising project on the go or that you’re about to launch? I would love to hear about it, so post a comment below. Or contact me and tell me about it! Click here!
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