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Five Great Frugal Fundraising Ideas

By: J.A.J Aaronson - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Frugal Fundraising Ideas Campaigns

A successful fundraising campaign is as much about minimising your costs as it is maximising donations. In the current economic climate, frugality has never been so important.

But low-cost doesn’t have to mean low quality. Here are some great ideas for frugal fundraising.

1. Street collections

Street collections are a perpetual favourite amongst fundraisers, and for good reason – they provide a unique opportunity to reach potential donors directly, and reduce the need for expensive marketing campaigns.

Street collections can be a very cost-effective way of raising money, particularly if you can persuade a few of your friends to volunteer a few hours of their time to help you out. It is vital to remember, though, that you need to abide by the law when carrying out this sort of action. Street collections need to be licensed by the relevant council. More information is available elsewhere on this site.

2. Community events

Involving the community is a sure-fire way of drumming up broader interest, and helping to bring people around to your cause. Think about ways that you can encourage your friends and neighbours to become involved in your fundraising. For example, you might choose to organise a fete and invite people to donate cakes or other food to be sold.

Of course, this is significantly more likely to succeed if the cause relates in some way to the community, or it is something with a broad appeal. If you are raising funds for a very niche cause, or if that cause is likely to split opinion, you may struggle with community events.

3. Sponsorships

Sponsored events are another favourite – but one that could do with some re-imagining. Sponsorship provides potential donors with a clear event around which they can rally. Even if they are not particularly gripped by the cause, friends and family will often donate simply because they support the individual.

It is worth noting, though, that some sponsored events have something of an undesired effect. Many potential donors will question, for example, why they should donate money to sponsor someone climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, or something equally expensive. Frugality means keeping the cost of your fundraising exercises down – and this includes events for which you are seeking sponsorship.

4. Raffles

Raffles can help you to bring in extra donations and increase participation and awareness at the same time – all on a very slim budget. Encourage friends, family and neighbours to donate items to be raffled off. They need not be physical things; people might donate a few hours of their time, or a particular skill that they have.

The only potentially large expense involved in a raffle of this sort is the hire of a venue in which to hold the event – but you can easily get around this if you know someone with a large enough living room!

5. Go online

Finally, it is important to remember the low-cost potential of internet fundraising. You can reach a vast number of potential donors easily and cheaply using online tools. Third-party fundraising sites like JustGiving are well worth a look – but you can also achieve a huge amount simply by using existing social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Send messages to your friends and colleagues explaining your cause and asking for donations; you may be surprised at the response you get simply by using the social networks favoured by potential donors.

Frugal fundraising shouldn’t have to involve cutting corners – just cutting costs. With a bit of creative thinking you can keep your expenditure down while still building a high-impact, enjoyable fundraising campaign.

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