I want to raise money!
September 24, 2005 9:08 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with charity fundraising idea that I think could be exciting, unique and, most importantly, quite lucrative?

My idea (which I'm going to keep to myself at the moment unless someone's keenly interested) would need to be held run under the auspices of an existing organization that has some name value to it in order to get underwriting for overhead, prize donations and participant interest. Participants would likely and largely be from corporations (i.e. The Foo Bar Company Team).

Unfortunately, none of the charity/non-prof groups that I'm currently affiliated with are of the sort that would have the name or mission caché that would garner (or really need) big money corporate sponsors, donors or participants. This idea would be an ideal fit for a larger group and probably as a one-off special event (for, say, long-term hurricane victim relief) unless the dollar figures I have in mind could be scaled back significantly to make it feasible for annual participation.

So, having said all that, does anyone have any ideas as to the best way to match up my idea with a group that could benefit from it? Should I just pick some bigger name groups and drop them a letter? Should I try to find someone who works as a fundraiser and give the idea to them? I'm at a loss, but I'd love for this idea to help somebody rather than just sitting in my brain.
posted by Dreama to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you possibly team up with a freelance event planner? I have friends who are trying to get their own event planning business off the ground, and it sounds like what you're talking about is vaguely similar to the sorts of things they're working on. They basically come up with ideas, then attempt to sell the ideas and their planning services to larger companies.
posted by occhiblu at 9:57 AM on September 24, 2005

If you can describe it in about three paragraphs I would just cold e-mail it to a few groups that fit the criteria you mention. It shouldn't be too hard to locate someone in development (aka fundraising) department. If you're good on the phone, you could try cold calling instead.

I'd suggest you start by making a list of targets, including all the necessary contact info, etc. Then send the letter to them (or call them) one at a time, giving them a certain amount of time to option the idea before you approach the next organization.
posted by alms at 4:02 PM on September 24, 2005

Uh, "lucrative"? As in you, Dreama, would be a for-profit consultant holding the fundraiser?

You should know that many bike-ride fundraisers, which were once popular, have been dropped by the charities, because of the extremely high overhead involved (sometimes over 50%; non-profit good governance suggests 10% as a guideline).

That said, many non-profits do rely on third-party vendors to run fund-raisers for them, so if you're intent on doing this, there's a potential business opportunity there.
posted by dhartung at 11:27 PM on September 24, 2005

Response by poster: Not personally lucrative, lucrative for the organization which would reap the funds which are raised.

Thanks for the answers everyone. I think I'll think on this a bit more.
posted by Dreama at 4:27 PM on September 28, 2005

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