Community Fundraising

Hosting a community fundraiser is a great way to raise money for your cause.  Community fundraising is usually more effective when a people focused approach is taken. Relationship building is a key part of such an approach. Building relationships communicates the benefits that the organization offers to the local community. Let’s talk about some specific ways to plan community fundraising activities that incorporate relationship building.

Host an open house

  • Schedule an open house at your community center or at a central location inviting the public to attend.
  • Advertise your community fundraising event with a fundraising website.
  • Post flyers about your event with a link to your website in public places, make announcements on community calendars, and email all of your contacts.
  • Incorporate special activities to educate your guests about your cause such as lectures, tours, and games. This is a great way to encourage participation and interaction amongst your guests while informing them of the need and benefit of their donations.
  • A silent auction could be easily incorporated as part of your event with online auction software. Community members can browse auction items online, easily place bids and make safe payments through your charity auction website.  Announcing the winners at the open house is a great way to entice them to attend and learn about your cause.

Walk-a-thons or pledge events

  • Holding a walk-a-thon is a great way to build relationships through community fundraising.  An opportunity to walk or hike together can generate friendships that will grow with each year that your community fundraising event is held.
  • Utilizing walk-a-thon software will help organizers manage event details, be a great source for promoting your walk-a-thon, and allow participants to easily register, collect and track pledge donations. Members of your community will appreciate the ability to make online donations from the convenience of their desktops.
  • A pledge event is not limited to a walk-a-thon.  Other community fundraising activities can be incorporated such as bowling, jogging, bicycling and anything else that would engage your community.
  • Celebrating your pledge event with a luncheon or dinner afterward is another opportunity to build relationships that will strengthen your community fundraising efforts.  Online fundraising software can help you to spread the word about your fundraiser, register participants, sell tickets for your event, and process online donations. Community members can learn more about your cause and make contributions regardless if they choose to participate in your walk-a-thon and post-events.

Presentations to local businesses

  • Contact local business leaders and ask them for 15 minutes during their next staff meeting to make a presentation about sponsoring your cause.
  • Present information about your cause and the need for funding.  Show how your fundraising website works to engage participants, community members, donors and sponsors.  Show them your online sponsorship page so that they can see the great exposure your website will offer, and include a detailed list of the specific benefits they would receive by sponsoring your event (i.e. logo presence on event website, on-site exposure to event attendees, inclusion in press and promotional materials, tickets for VIP events, etc.)
  • You may want to show a video of your community fundraising activities at your presentation. This will give your audience a hands-on feel of your work and will reach them emotionally.
  • Strategic planning between presentations to local businesses and your community fundraising events is wise. Think about the type of business you are presenting to and try to tie in specific themes and ideas that are relevant to their business. Bring your enthusiasm to the table and get them excited about your upcoming event!
  • Business leaders are often happy to sponsor your event as a tax-deductible donation.

There are many ways to involve your constituents in community fundraising campaigns.  Presenting a variety of ways for them to make donations is important.  Building relationships for each unique fundraising activity, whether it’s a pledge event or an online donations drive, will add to the success your community fundraising efforts.