Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Please Do What You Can To Help The Hurricane Victims

Please DonatePlease DonateThe scale of Hurricane Katrina's devastation is beyond belief. The impact is unprecedented. I couldn't help but feel the pain and suffering listening to the news. NOW is the time for all of us to help. I encourage you to be compassionate and make a donation today.

Please DonatePlease DonatePlease visit the American Red Cross Online Contribution Page.

And the Salvation Army Online Contribution Page


Selling Products: A Growing Trend Among Local Community Fundraisers

What usually comes to mind when you think of a local community fundraiser? A bake sale, walk-a-thon, benefit dinner, a show or party... There's no question that these are great ways to raise funds for a cause, but they can involve a considerable amount of planning, and are usually best suited for organizations with a lot of volunteers. Smaller charitable organizations and local community groups have typically resorted to the old tradition of soliciting donations. Some will go door to door, others set up in a local mall or circulate a collection box at work.

But many charitable fundraisers are discovering another way to raise funds for local charitable causes as well as for local chapters of large non profits. For many years, schools and sports teams have been raising funds through the sales of a wide variety of items. If this works for schools, teams or scouting groups; why shouldn't it work to raise funds for a local chapter of a non profit or a national charity? Donors respond more with their wallet when they know that the money is going to support a cause. Of course, just helping out is a reward in itself, but getting something in return can fuel even more generosity. After all, we are all consumers at heart. It's only natural that fundraisers will have an easier time reaching more of us by selling products.

I recently came across several interesting examples of this, showing that selling may be a growing trend among local community fundraisers.

K-6 Students Help Tsunami Victims

Scratch CardScratch CardFollowing the Tsunami disaster, JustFundraising.com encouraged local community groups to raise money for Tsunami relief. The company donated their Victory scratch cards to groups of any size with the condition that 100% of funds raised would go to the cause. Scratch cards, a new way to raise funds, are pocket-sized booklets with scratch off dots. They are a simple and effective concept... An individual approaches friends, family, co-workers and neighbors with their scratch card in hand. Then they ask the donor to scratch two or more scratch dots to uncover dollar amounts underneath. The donor agrees donate the sum of the amounts, for example $2 + $3 = $5 a total donation. Some scratch cards come with coupons that are given to the donor as a ‘thank you’. The coupons provide good value with savings from popular merchants.

Mrs Davey's ClassMrs Davey's ClassMrs. Sandy Davey and her K-6 students of the Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley California, graciously participated in this opportunity and collected funds for the American Red Cross Tsunami Relief. “Our elementary students were moved to do a fundraiser for the unfortunate victims and survivors of December's devastating Tsunami in south Asia. Our elementary student council got the idea from JustFundraising.com and used scratch off cards during the month of February 1st through 25th.” Their K-6 student population of 196 raised a total of $1042.40 for the American Red Cross Tsunami Relief.

Fire Academy Sells Cookie Dough For Local Charities

CookiesCookiesSome schools and sports teams are turning to frozen cookie dough fundraising to raise funds for books and sports equipment. It’s not surprising that this is a popular product, since most people can’t resist the thought of delicious home baked cookies. Supporters will eagerly buy many tubs of cookie dough at an average price of $14 a tub. Typically, fundraisers keep between 40–50% profit to support their cause. The 133rd Fire Academy in Tustin CA raises funds every year and donates a portion to local charities. Recently, they chose to raise funds with cookie dough. "My Fire Academy did a cookie dough fundraiser, and we had a great time! We will give a portion of the $4,218 raised to two local charities”, said Jason Aiello, of the 133rd Santa Ana Basic Fire Academy.

Wrestling Club Helps Wrestler With Leukemia

CandlesCandlesFundraising efforts can have an even more direct effect. With medical costs going through the roof, families are having a hard time making ends meet when it comes to serious illness care. This was the case for a wrestler from Beulah, North Dakota, who is fighting a battle with Leukemia. His wrestling colleagues, the Beulah Miner Wrestling Club, rallied to help ease some of the financial burden that comes with serious illness. They raised funds by selling scented candles. Cyndie Dschaak from the wrestling club said, "We did the candle fundraiser, and we raised $1007 in profit. The candles were great and they were easy to sell. We even came up with our own advertising slogan 'Light a candle for Chris.'"

So what can we make of all this? It's good news for all kinds of groups, because it demonstrates that there are more fundraising options than there have been in the past. Selling products for a cause is not a new idea, but aside from colored ribbons and wristbands, many charities have not taken advantage of the possibilities. Local community fundraisers are learning a lesson from their local school, sports team or scouting group... the power of Products For The Cause.

For more information on Scratchcards, see Skratchers.com

For more information on Cookie Dough, see Gourmet Cookie Dough Fundraiser

For more information on Candles, see JustFundraising.com Candles

The Fundraisers.com Blog Network!

Annie Van BebberIt was 34 years ago when my Dad passed away in eight short weeks from Leukemia. At that time, I felt the need to do something to rid myself of the pain and to help find a cure so others would not suffer. So I called all my friends and produced my first fundraising event... a Broomball Hockey Game. At the time I was in radio so I was able to draw top DJ's, support from the record labels and a live broadcast on a local radio station. I got into the "Giving Back" spirit to try and make a difference and have been fundraising ever since.

The internet has provided us with a new way to share our feelings and everyday experiences... the blog. It's an unusual name, isn't it? It's short for "Web Log", and people all over the world are contributing their thoughts and ideas to the "blogosphere". I wanted to create a blog where people who are dedicated to working for the common good can exchange ideas and support, and report on what their organizations are doing. Also, I felt it was important to have a place for people to talk about their own feelings. But as I thought about all of the things that people could write about, I realized one blog just wouldn't cover everything. I'm proud to introduce the Fundraisers.com Blog Network!

Our blogging project begins with seven blogs, each designed to provide insight into a different aspect of Giving and Fundraising. If you have an idea for a blog that you would like us to start, let us know. We will feature it here and showcase it on our website at www.fundraisers.com.

These blogs are available to you and your fellow volunteers and fundraisers to use to get the word out about your cause. Simply click on the email link to the right for the appropriate blog to submit your article for consideration. As the weeks go by, you'll be able to read the announcements and reports from others who feel strongly about their causes, and you can become part of the worldwide Community of Giving.

There are many people who are dedicated to contributing what they can to make the world a better place. I hope these blogs will provide a line of communication to enable us to all accomplish great things for our causes. Send us a blog entry and let us all know what you are up to!

All my Best,
Founder, Fundraisers.com