Something I haven’t focused on yet at Money Spruce is giving to charity, but it’s really a huge part of why I write here. I haven’t figured out a plan yet (mostly because I don’t have revenue right now), but I plan to give a portion of everything I earn on Money Spruce to charity like Chris Guillebeau does (he gives 10% of all revenue from his immensely-popular Unconventional Guides).
In the meantime, I do give out of my own pocket each year, but I typically fundraise even more from friends and family or other ways than I pay myself. I don’t like to ask family for money for just any reason, though. Plus, I’m far beyond the days where I can sell Kit-Kat bars at a couple bucks a pop. I feel much better about it when there’s an event or something else meaningful tied to their giving. I like to think that this motivates them to give more and hopefully provides them more satisfaction in return, too (and I’m super-thankful when they do help me). Plus, there are more ways to raise money than simply hitting up others for cash. Here are some ways that you can raise more for charity without taking more from of your own wallet.
Fund raise for a competitive event
This is my favorite way to raise money for a couple of reasons. The first is that I get to do something really fun, and I’m giving to charity at the same time. It’s the perfect win-win situation. Secondly, as I noted above, others are more likely to donate when I’m doing something adventurous. For example, I rode the Bike MS bicycle ride last year, from Boston to the tip of Cape Cod. This ride was 175 miles over two days. It was no easy feat, and I spent months training for the ride. But I loved the whole build-up and getting in shape, and the ride itself felt like a great reward.
When I ask for donations, I share my story about my training and the ride so that my family and friends know that they’re both supporting a great cause and something that I’m working really hard towards at the same time.
Get others to donate on your birthday or for Christmas
I first got the Christmas idea from my sisters. They’ve asked for donations to charity instead of presents for several years now, and they always end up with hundreds of dollars in donations. They’re very clear that they prefer donations instead of gifts, and most family and friends are happy to do this for them. This idea grew in popularity within my family this year, as everyone decided to give to charity rather than swapping gifts.
A similar idea can work fantastically on your birthday. I heard this from charity: water founder Scott Harrison in an interview he did on Mixergy. Charity: water came up with this really neat campaign to get thousands of people to give up their birthdays and instead ask others to donate their age in dollars to provide clean water. This was super-successful for charity: water, which has raised millions with this campaign. If you like this idea, it’s something you could easily apply every year to any charity of your choosing.
Sell some stuff
I’ve talked about getting rid of your stuff several times on here. Instead of keeping the money for yourself, donate it to charity while you free up space. You could do this by selling extra stuff lying around on eBay or Craigslist or by having a yard sale. If you plan to donate all the proceeds, you can even point out to buyers that you’re selling things as a fundraiser. If you do this, people may be even more generous towards giving you money (or at least not try to haggle so much).
Give something you love up.
I haven’t tried this yet, but I definitely think it would work if you were really dedicated and didn’t have a ton of extra money around. You could give up 2 nights out a month and easily save $60 for charity right there. That’s an easy one for most people. You could also give up something more drastic, like driving a car or even taking a vacation. There’s lots of ways to get creative with this one.
Just for fun, I checked out some other ideas on this fundraising Squidoo lens. Here are some of my favorites from there:
Hugs for sale. Raise money by offering hugs at your local mall in exchange for a donation.
Jello wresting match. Charge $5 a turn for Jello pool wresting.
Silly Bandz. Have your own Silly Bandz designed to sell.
These ideas are pretty “silly,” but you get the idea. There are a lot of creative ways to raise money, other than pulling it out of your pocket or begging others to donate just because.
What methods have you used to fundraise in the past?
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photo by: Tony the Misfit