"Greening” your fundraising campaign

With Earth Day right around the corner (April 22nd), organizations and individuals often look for ways to give-back to mother nature.  Yet, it’s not entirely possible for every organization to host a “green fundraiser” where all profits go towards an environmental cause.  After all, nonprofits, schools and community organizations have fundraising goals that need to be met to help a number of worthy causes.  So, what can we do as individuals and organizations to contribute positively to the environment, without straying from our mission?

Below are a few ideas for small steps we can take to help make a big difference and a positive impact on our global community.

  • Minimize your use of paper. Instead of printing registration forms, pledge forms, donation request letters, etc.  Instead, utilize online fundraising software to manage all the details for your fundraising event.  Participants can sign up online instead of filling out paperwork, donors can make online contributions instead of sending a check, and your fundraiser can be promoted through digital media verses printing promotional flyers.  If you do have to print materials, be sure to print on recycled paper.
  • Organize a fundraising campaign where you sell something environmentally healthy. Instead of candy bars offer organic granola bars, spring flower bulbs or “green” cleaning products.  The fact is…today consumers are more conscious in their purchasing decisions and often seek eco-friendly products.  Therefore a simple switch in the type of product you offer may help you increase sales!
  • Source locally and/or organic items.  If you are offering merchandise for sale at your fundraising event, such as t-shirts or hats, consider sourcing organic fabrics.  Same goes with food choices.  Work with local food vendors that make an effort to reduce their environmental impact in their farming practices.
  • If you’ve already chosen an item to sell that’s not coined “eco-friendly”, it’s not too late to integrate something sustainable with your fundraiser.  If you host a charity golf tournament, use recycled hemp bags for participant goodie bags. Similarly if you host a fundraising sales-drive, deliver products in re-usable shopping bags instead of plastic. (tip: print sponsor logos on the bags to help cover costs) Small initiatives help too.  Require participants to recycle boxes from deliveries, packaging from gifts, etc.
  • Create a twist to the theme of your fundraising event and organize an event that educates people about environmental conservation.  Host a school plant-a-thon to teach children how important it is to preserve plants and natural resources. Maybe your walk-a-thon event can take place on a road where participants clean up trash as they walk?  If you are a company that requires employees to commute, host a “bike-to-work week” fundraiser to reduce the amount of carbon emissions caused from driving.