Product fundraisers seem to be the obvious choice for new fundraising groups. To be sure, product fundraisers do have a lot of ease and convenience to offer, and potential for profitability because companies offering product-based fundraisers often supply marketing materials like catalogs and fliers. But product fundraisers can become stale and repetitive, and sometimes it can be difficult to find enough supporters in want or need of the products offered to turn a respectable profit.
Volunteers new to fundraising may not always realize that they have many options beyond product fundraising. And often non-product based fundraisers enjoy greater success because they give supporters fun, easy ways to support an organization at a variety of affordable price-points, without purchasing product they don’t really want or need.
One option for staging a non-product based fundraiser is to hold an event. If well organized and well-run, event fundraisers can be very successful because they provide affordable, fun, community-based entertainment and/or education. Some event-based fundraising options include:
- Community carnivals or fairs
- Craft sales, bake sales, flea markets, or fairs where table space is sold (rented) to vendors
- Wine tasting
- Car washes
- Karaoke, dance
- Educational events like a first aid event
Event-based fundraisers are lots of fun and can be hugely successful, but they do have a downside: they require a lot of planning, man-hours, and initial monetary investment for supplies.
Other non-product based fundraisers
There are several other non-product based fundraiser options that can be completed in record fundraising time, and be very appealing to supporters, such as the following:
- Discount cards – sold for 5 or 10 dollars, worth percentage discounts at partnering local businesses
- Scratch cards – supporters scratch one or more circles on a card and donate the amount of money that is shown (donations are no more than $5 per circle)
- Raffles – sell tickets, draw a winner for the prize; 50-50 raffles are especially easy and popular (winner gets half the money collected from ticket sales)
- Brick fundraisers – sell bricks engraved with donors’ names and use them to build a garden, walkway, or partial building
Product-based fundraisers give supporters something tangible for their money, but with multiple fundraisers being run in every locale several times per year, product fundraisers can be met with diminishing demand and support. Non-product based fundraisers and fundraising events are better options when the product fundraising pool is overflowing.