Monday, February 11, 2013

Fundraising Ideas for Charities

Charities need to know how to ask people to donate money in order to survive. While many charities do alright writing letters to people or making a direct ask, others find that holding fundraising events is an effective way to raise funds. Events do tend to be more expensive than other ways of raising money, so a charity needs to plan well to make sure they actually make money during a fundraising event.

Events to Hold

Almost any event can be made into a charity fundraiser. That includes sporting events, arts and culture events and fun activities. For example, a local charity might want to hold a family bowling night to raise money. The charity can partner with a local bowling alley to hold the event. The bowling alley might agree to give a certain percentage of the sales that night to the charity or might let volunteers from the charity work the snack bar in exchange for tips that benefit the charity.

If the charity wants to hold a cultural event, they might consider asking local artists to donate pieces of art to an auction or display those artworks in a gallery. Proceeds from the sales of the artworks would benefit the charity. The charity could also hold a performing arts event and ask musicians, dancers or actors to donate their time and talent. Ticket sales would support the charity.

Charity events that get people moving are usually very successful. An organization can sponsor a walk. People who sign up to participate ask others to sponsor them. They might be sponsored based on how far they walk, for example. Another option is to raise money by having people pay a fee to participate. For example, if a person wants to run in a charity's 5k, they would pay an entry fee to do so.

The Importance of Sponsorship

Finding one or several sponsors for a fundraising event is crucial. The sponsor or sponsors foot the majority of the bill, so that the charity simply  has to worry about making money. The business' name would then appear on the advertising materials for the event and throughout the event itself.

Sponsoring a fundraiser for a non-profit organization does a world of good for a business as well. It brings the business to the attention of the public in a good way. It also cements in people's minds that  a business is socially minded.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fashion Shows for Charity

A stylish way to raise money for a local charity is to sponsor a fashion show. Morris Gad's company, Diamonds International, sponsors a show that raises funds for a women's shelter in Cancun. The show is a hit each year. If you're thinking about holding your own fashion show for a local organization, he has some tips to help you pull it off.

Finding Fashions

One of the first things to do when holding a charity fashion show is to find clothing to display. If you live near a design school, you're most likely in luck. Fashion design students are usually pretty eager to show off their clothing. You can also put out a call for local designers if you want to use more professional people.

If there are no fashion designers to be had in your area, you can turn to ready to wear fashions at a local store. See if you can partner with a local boutique. The owners of the boutique can help you style the outfits. If you can't find a local boutique willing to participate, think about getting the clothing from a major retailer as a last resort.

Picking a Theme

When you're looking for fashions to display, consider having a theme. The theme can center around the mission of the charity. For example, if you're supporting an animal shelter, think about having a completely vegan fashion show. That means no leather or wool. If you're supporting an environmental group, think about having an upcycled or sustainable show. 

Raising Money

Fundraising is the most important aspect of holding the fashion show. If you don't earn anything for the charity, you might as well have not had the show. Fashion shows have several potential streams of revenue.

      Ticket sales. Charge a small fee, such as $5, to enter the show. Donate all of the ticket sales to the charity.
      Sell food and drinks. Have a selection of food and drinks on offer at the show. You can have volunteers donate the drinks and food, so that all proceeds go to the charity. You can also choose to deduct the cost of the items from the donation.
      Hold a raffle. Sell raffle tickets before and during the show to raise even more money. Ask locate businesses to donate items for the raffle, such as gift cards, clothing, or other services.
      Sell the designs. If you're working with local or student designers, ask if they would be willing to contribute the fashions in the show to charity. You can sell the clothes for a set price or hold an auction to sell them to the highest bidder.
      Find a sponsor. Ask a local business to sponsor the show. A trendy, local clothing boutique would be a great fit. You can also see if a larger clothing store would be willing to sponsor the show.
      Sell modeling opportunities. Ask friends to volunteer to model so that you don't have to pay anyone. You can also sell the chance to model in the show beforehand or as a part of the show. Sell the modeling opportunity to the highest bidder or as part of the raffle.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Morris Gad on Sports for Charity

Athletic events aren't only entertaining. They can also be a fundraiser for a favorite local or international charity. Morris Gad understands the role sports play in charitable giving. His company, Diamond International, has sponsored several golf tournaments in the Caribbean. The tournaments raised money for a range of causes, including a local hospital, the Big Brothers Big Sisters corporation, and substance abuse rehabilitation centers.

Golf Tournaments

Golf tournaments have been shown to be reliable ways to raise substantial amounts of money for a charity. The charity itself can decide to hold the tournament or a local company can hold the event in honor of the charity. In a lot of cases, a business will provide sponsorship for a golf tournament in exchange for having its name on the event. For example, in 2008, Diamonds International was the name sponsor of the Sundowner’s Charity Golf Tournament on Antigua.

If a single company is unable to fully support your tournament, consider asking several companies to sponsor a portion of the event. For example, a company can donate a certain amount of money to sponsor a tee. A sign at each tee would state who sponsored it.

Companies can also choose to sponsor individual golfers in the tournament. The golfer could wear a shirt with that company's logo on it during the event. Likewise, golfers could also raise money for their own sponsorship. They could ask friends and families to support them, donating all of the proceeds to the charity.

Other Events

Athletic events for charity aren't limited to golf tournaments. A local soccer team could face off against another team to raise money for a favorite charity. The proceeds could come from ticket sales to the game as well as from the sales of drinks and snacks during the event.

Audience Involvement

While the golf or other game is the main attraction at an event, a charity can raise additional funds by having contests and games for the audience. For example, if a professional golf player is available, he can be brought in to compete against regular people. People could wager to see if they can get a better score on a hole than the golfer. Other ways to involve the audience and raise money include having a raffle for a chance to kick the soccer ball into the goal at halftime or the chance to make a basket from the 3 point line at a basketball game.

Donated Items

 In addition to the main event, a lot of sports fundraisers feature auctions or raffles that let people win items donated by area companies. The money raised by the auction or raffle goes to the charity. People who win an item at auction are usually quite happy, because they've ended up with a valuable item for a good price.

Raffles are a great way to raise money, too, as people are encouraged to increase their chance of winning by purchasing multiple tickets.  Raffle items can be small, or they can be quite valuable. Morris Gad recommends having a mix of both small and pricey items.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ways to Help Others

If you have the funds, it's worthwhile to make donations to help people who are in need. But being short on cash doesn't mean you can't support or serve your community. If you want to help out, there are a myriad ways to do so. Put your talents and skills to good use by getting out and lending a hand in your community.


One great way to serve people in your community is to offer to teach. You don't have to be a math genius or be excellent with grammar to teach. You can teach a subject you know well that will give happiness or some sort of other benefit to those who participate. For example, if you love fitness, you  might teach swimming lessons or a yoga class. If you are crafty or artistic, you might teach an arts and crafts class. You can also volunteer to tutor students after school if your skills lie in academia.

A number of volunteer organizations exist that pair potential teachers with schools or activity centers. Do your research to find out if there's such an organization near you. If there isn't, talk to the administrators at your school. They might be happy to let you organize one.

Preparing Food

Another way to help others is to volunteer to prepare food at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Many  places serve hot meals to people year round and need volunteers to help out in the kitchen. There are other ways to put your culinary skills to good use too. For example, you can volunteer to prepare food for people working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

Helping Animals

If you love pets, there are several ways you can help animals, and in turn people. You can volunteer to house a puppy for several weeks before he enters training to become a guide dog. You can also foster an animal until he is ready to go home with his adoptive family.

Donate Your Skills

You might consider making a donation of your skills to an organization you support and believe in. For instance, if you are a graphic designer, you might produce pamphlets and flyers for your favorite charity, pro bono. If you're a lawyer, you  might work with an organization free of charge. You might provide counseling to disadvantaged populations for free or on a sliding scale if you're a therapist. There are plenty of ways you can help others without opening your wallet.