Those things you might not know when it comes to find fundraising ideas for charity in Canada...
#1 Did you know that you can get free advertising for your fundraising campaign?
Google, Youtube and eBay have programs dedicated to help fundraisers to get free exposures in their pages. You simply have to register online by filling the form and provide the appropriate files. Instead of paying like 0.20$ per click (through a standard PPC Pay-per-Click Adwords Campaign), you might receive a credit up to 10.000$ in free ads (so 50.000 visitors to your website). However, you cannont spend more than 330$ per day, so your online fundraising campaign advertising must be of 30 days if you want to receive all the benefits from such a free opportunity for school activites, sports teams, dog rescue shelter, etc.
On Youtube, there is also a free and very popular section called "Charity's for Non-Profit" and it's funny to watch videos from groups of people in needs for their projectsd. You can also broadcast and get money from all around the world instead of be only limited to Canada.
Learn more about Google Grants for non-profit : http://www.google.ca/intl/en/grants/
#2 There is easy money to raise on Facebook
Your participants have friends. And those friends are on Facebook. Do you know that 25 people have a reach of about 50.000 people as a personal network? It's easier to get help from people who actually know your people than going door to door on unknown streets and do the same. Open a paypal account and get the donations using a single button to press. People can give you 5$ using their MasterCard or Visa credit card, that's as simple as it.
More, the friends of your friends might promote your project as well. Receiving thousands of "Likes" can also get the attention of potential sponsors for your group. I've already seen a youth hockey team getting 15 CCM helmets from a sports goods retail store that were sold afterwards for 30$ each = 450$
Create a FB page and publish your story on other friends' walls + share picture. A tip like another : place a thermometer and show your fundraising progress on the screen, reaching your goal on a day to day basis. Don't forget to place your charity's logo and do it as legit as it can be by showing your address, known phone number and giving all the names + pictures of your members. Be ready for contributors to speak to you one on one and give extra informations.
#3 When donations are tax deductible
Supporting a cause is a good way to reduce a contributor's taxable income in order to lower his tax bill in Canada at the end of the year. You are required to get a # non-profit tax number and fill the papers before distributing those rebates for the tax-payers. Don't take any chance and call the government and have a discussion with your accountant before proceeding because the administrators are responsible in regards of the Canadian law. If you make a mistake, a lawsuit can be intended against you.
#4 Ask money when it's payday!
You want to sell calendars, pencils or chocolat bars? Do it in the neighborhoud when it's payday (on Thursday or Friday). That's is also a good idea to know that seniors and retired workers usually receive their social security checks and welfare cheque after the 25th day of each month). Let them the time to receive them and make a deposit before knocking at the door. Experienced fundraisers know that the best time to sell cookies or gadgets is during those days.
#5 When there's no shame to placing donators at competition
The first neighbour on the street gave a generous 12$ for your fundraising activity? Repeat the amount of money to all his next neighbours as you knock to their doors. It makes miracles, you will see. Hey, don't worry! It's only a matter of generosity matching, you are not stealing their contributions, just stimulating them to support your fundraising campaign.
Keep repeating about your goal and how much it takes to achieve it. Speak about pourcentage (like 30% remaining so far...) and share your excitement.
Start to collect those whom you are sure they will help you. When you meet your next people, make yourself sure that they will see that you already have bills in your collection bag or box. More, place the bills with the higher value on top (20$ and 10$ bills over the 5$ ones and the coins low under).
#6 Have your gang onsite and washing your coworkers cars at job
Take your folks to the parking, connect the hose and soap/wash/rinse everybody's car and wait for tips. Wait for a sunny day in Spring or Summer. Your coworkers will enjoy coming back home driving a clean car. Many people are shy or uncomfortable to ask their boss and colleagues to help them to fund their kids activities by putting an ad in the kitchen or on the main office board. That's much more easy to offer a service that has actual value for everyone.
And kids like washing cars, it's an eternal truth.
Fundraising tip : don't forget to bring a 12V air pump in order to properly inflate the car tires (read the notice on tires to find the exact level of needed pressure).
#7 The coffee machine is a fundraising trap
Cook cookies or cupcakes and offer them to your coworkers at 8:00 AM in front of the coffee machine. Considering that at least 50% of them do not have breakfast before getting to work, succulent food will be appealing. Sell them for 2$ piece and watch your box to be emptied quickly. Repeat the experience the following week. You don't have to ask for any permission to your boss and eating cakes while helping a cause is always a win-win situation. Depending on the size of your employer's company, you can quickly fundraise as much as 200$ just by standing twice in front of a hot coffee machine. Try it, you will see.
#8 The yard sale
Ask all your members to take 5 items at home and organized a yard sale. A used luggage, furniture, lamps or even a mattress, everything can be sold. Every year, I'm stunned by what I discover on the tables. It may go from a Star Wars figurine to a genuine Coca Cola fridge, perfect condition electronic keyboard or anything else that had been stored and forgotten for years in the garage, attic or basement.
Fundraising tip : bring a dog and use it as your day mascotte. Make it wear a t-shirt as a part of the team.
#9 The lemonade
Yes, it still works because people see that in movies or books. This is an image that's s a part of the mainstream classical culture but no one never does it! Do you remember the last time you baught a glass of lemonade from an outdoor kiosk operated by 2 sweet and lovely 8 year old girls? Guess you never did.
It's time to mobilize your workforce and start a new business. Every glass sold for 2 dollars, get the ingredients (water, tons of lemons, ice, sugar, cherries and mint leaves).
Fundraising tip : place your kiosk where people will be thirsty like near a baseball field where are 25 adult people playing baseball this afternoon. Or nearby a huge tennis court (having over 10 courts). Place a sign saying for what that money will be used afterwards.
#10 Race for the pennies
Go door to door and ask only for 1 cent coins, nothing else. You refuse the dimes, the quarters, the dollars... All what you are looking is to go out with gazillions of pennies. Create a special team and 2 x 2, go throughout your area and raise all those pennies people keep in the drawers, pockets, glass jars and buckets. Make yourself clear to your kids : a 1 cent is a gold bullion.
Be responsible and walk your way instead of burning gas driving cars. Today we walk and find pennies.
There is now no need to use papers or to calculte your cents. They now have machines at your bank that will calculate the raw collection of your week-end. However, before getting to the bank, involve the gang and look at those coins that look older than the others. We always find collector's pennys (look for those dated before the year 1910). Prepare a set of your most compelling findings (like a top 12 of your oldest ones), glue them on a sheet and place an ad on eBay.
A lot of 12 coins dated back from the year 1910 can be easily sold for 100$ and it will cost your organization the cost of a single stamp to ship.
If your lot contains some date earlier than 1899, jackpot. Expect a 250$ to 500$ value.
Fundraising tip : ask your donator to take a look in his car for spare pennies in the dash or the under arm case.
#11 A new collar for the dog
Among all the available fundraising ideas, there is one thing to know : dog owners are mad about their pets and they all like to spoil them and make them look beautiful. Ring the buzzer and offer them handcrafted collars in different colors and they will buy one of them at 10$ per unit. It's amazing how easy it is. There are guidelines available on the web explaining how to make dog collars using the right strong and long-lasting material that you can buy at Wal-Mart. The worst part of it isn't to sell those collars but only to find houses where they own one!
#12 Let the big horse do the job
A horse is an attraction by itself. Make it wear your color and transport the purse. A trained horse can easily walk for hours, visit a hundred of different homes and stop at dozens of parks and landmarks. Make it be a part of the fun and introduce it as the fundraiser top gun of your organization.
But that horse deserves a salary for its contribution : reward it by feeding it with apples, carrots and pieces of sugar that your donators may give by themselves. Every donation made = one opportunity to pet and feed the horse. I once saw 5.000$ raised during a single afternoon. But the more pleasant is : look at the way people smile when you show up.