Types of Fundraising
Table of Contents
There are many ways to raise funds and each one comes with their own pros, cons, and legal obligations. We’ll discuss a few of the most common types of fundraisers below.
This is not a definitive list by any means. Simply type in fundraising into Google, and you will receive hundreds, if not thousands of search results.
Grants are funds allocated to your organisation usually by a government, private, or philanthropic organisation. Grants are normally provided for a specific project or program delivered over a defined period of time.
Grants are very competitive and your success rate can be very low, which can be disheartening. To learn more about writing a successful grant application, read our article, Introduction to Grant Writing.
Grants can be a great financial boost to your organisation, but writing an application is very time intensive, with no guarantee of success.
One final note, grants are not free money. While you generally don’t need to repay a grant, there are strict guidelines on how the money will be spent and an acquittal process where you will report how the money was spent, and the outcomes it achieved.
If you don’t use the grant money for its intended purpose, you may need to pay it back, even if you have already spent some or all of it.
Sponsorships are when a business or individual donates money, goods or services generally in return for promotion.
For example, your local sports team might be sponsored by the butcher. In return for their financial donation, you display their logo on the players sports uniforms and other promotional materials.
When approaching business for sponsorship, be clear about what you are asking them for and what they would receive in return. It’s a good idea to have a simple sponsorship proposal in writing, that you can give people to go away and think about. No one likes being put on the spot.
To learn more about sponsorship, read our article, How to get Sponsors to say yes here: Get Sponsors To Say Yes
Fundraising events can be an effective way to raise funds for your organisation. There are wide range of events to consider such as:
- Gala Dinners
- Food, music, or film festivals
- Community Fairs
This list goes on and on.
Not only are they a good way to raise funds, events are great opportunities to engage your community and members, and raise awareness about your organisation.
While there are a lot of benefits, events take a lot of planning, organisation, time, and volunteers. You’ll also often need some start up money to pay deposits, hire equipment etc.
This leads us to risk management. Due to many moving parts of an event, risk management is essential to protect you from legal, financial and reputational damage. You can read more about risk management here: What is Risk Management
Online crowdfunding has become a popular form of fundraising for specific causes.
You create a crowdfunding campaign, outlining your project or cause, and why you need funds. There are many sites you can create a campaign on, some of the most popular are:
- Go Fund Me
- My Cause
While it may seem a quick and easy way to raise funds, it in fact takes a lot of time and effort. You will need at least 1 or 2 people to create, manage and regular update your campaign. Competition for crowdfunding is fierce, so you need to stand out from the pack and really sell why people should invest in your campaign over the thousands of others out there.
There are legal considerations for you not-for-profit if conducting a national fundraising campaign, even online. Read below for more information.
Raffles and Minor Gaming
Raffles, bingo, trivia night, poker nights are all fun and interactive ways to raise funds. Under the law, these are considered minor gaming and have strict regulations you need to follow. Depending on your organisation, and the state you are holding these events in, you may need to apply for a license. Read below for more information
Another form of fundraising that falls into this category is trade promotions. A trade promotion is when you promote your organisation or cause, by offering a prize to winners. This can include:
- Complete a survey for a chance to win
- In 25 words or less competitions
- Games of skill
Raffles and Minor Gaming
There are many ways you can raise funds for your organisation or project. It’s worth the time to research a few different options, and their pros and cons, before jumping into your next fundraiser.