Strategies for Fundraising Organizations

How much money do you need to raise? How are you going to use the money? Who is your target population to get the money from? All these are questions you need to think about carefully before you decide HOW you are going to get the money.

Deciding the strategy for raising funds is one of the most important steps in meeting the goal. Yes, there are many good opportunities for raising funds. Selecting the best one for your organization is sometimes difficult. Weigh factors of potential profits against the time and effort required to implement the fund-raiser and if there are other reasons to use this particular strategy.

Often you cannot raise the total amount from a single effort and multiple programs are needed. Know the potential amount of money any single fundraising program can raise and use this information as part of the strategy to decide on what different programs will work best. Building a series of efforts over a year is often more productive than a single campaign.


  1. Direct Solicitation
  2. Participation Events
  3. Selling Merchandise or Services


Direct Solicitation Is Best

Usually the best fundraising effort is to simply ask for the money. State how much you need and the purpose . Communicate the need to people who can give toward the cause. The key to success in this strategy is to find the target audience who can afford to give and is sympathetic to the cause. The letter is very important, because it must communicate clearly what you want and why, and simply ask for money. Who the letter is from will greatly influence the results.

In a school, if the parent population can afford to give the amount required, this is the obvious target. The community business and resident population is the secondary target but also important. If the parent population cannot afford to give the amount required, you must research the alternative resources in the community. Local businesses both large and small often are the most productive target.


Participation Events

Participation Events and “Thons” have excellent potential to raise funds in various ways. They also serve to bring the community together. Events require many hours to organize and implement, but offer more different opportunities for fundraising within the single event.

Whether it is a Walk, Run, Skip, or Dance-A-Thon, Fashion Show, Entertainment Production, or Auction it can be a success with good planning, promotion and enthusiasm. Events where pledges are made ahead of time or where tickets are sold as the primary focus for funds must also include other fundraising efforts.

Don’t forget to sell advertising in the program, include t-shirts or other merchandise to promote the event, include other mini events within the event such as face painting or bake sales to add to the potential revenues. Even be sure to put a collection box for direct cash donations at the event. These extras can sometimes even exceed the primary fund-raising focus of the event.


Selling Merchandise or Services

Deciding what to sell is difficult. There are many good programs offered by companies who will help with all the paperwork and organization required for merchandise sales. Analyze these carefully. Give first consideration to the questions “What will sell to our target community?” and “How much would be earn from this program?”. Also look into what else might be available that would work better before you decide. Brainstorming is an excellent technique for this decision process.

Merchandise varies according to what it is and the potential profits. Candy, Holiday Cards and Gift wrap seem to be popular choices where there are several Fundraising Program Companies to help. There can be higher revenue potentials in T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs or other merchandise but more work to organize and find good sources. You might consider a safety campaign and sell First Aid or Disaster Preparedness Kits as both a fund raiser and community awareness project. Contact Traditions Renewed for further help in this area.

Sometimes there are big results from small efforts. Look for high profit margin items and good selling opportunities. For example, arrange with local shopping centers to sell Balloons at local shopping center events. Balloons and the helium may cost around 20¢ – 25¢ (for big ones) each and you can sell them for $1.00 or more at an event. To generate even more money you could get merchants to donate certificates to put inside the balloons and then sell the “surprise” balloons with certificates inside for $10.00 or $20.00 each (or more)!

Pick the right merchandise or service to sell to the right target audience and this type program will work. Be creative. Find the best opportunities. It does require substantial effort and organization, but it can be effective. Getting students involved is a good learning opportunity for them and can be part of their Tikkun Olam or Tzedakah activity.


Don’t Forget to Thank Your Donors and Volunteers

A simple thank you note goes a long way. Don’t forget to recognize those who give and those who volunteer to make your fundraising effort work. Although incentives and rewards is another topic, it is important to remember that your next success may depend on your showing your appreciation now.


Fundraising with Traditions Renewed

Next to sharing and reenforcing traditions, we, at Traditions Renewed, have made fundraising one of our priorities. We have concentrated on value creation and put together unique products that tie into Jewish traditions and lifecycle events. Due to the uniqueness and artistic nature of our products, they reflect a high value perception. Consequently, they can be high profit margin items that give fundraising organizations an opportunity to offer meaningful products or gifts and at the same time raise their needed funds. Additionally, all the products are priced at multiples of $18 (or chai). As an example, one product can be sold at one chai, another at five chai. etc. Check our Products with Meaning and see how they fit in with your organization’s next fundraiser. Use the Wholesale Request Form to get quantity pricing. If you have something special and unique in mind and you want us to put it together for you, please contact us at



Carol Kantor is owner of Business Builders in Cupertino, California, a Promotional Products Counselor and long term member of the Educational Foundation at her children’s public elementary school. Montclaire Elementary School consistently raises over $120,000 each year to pay for extra teachers and instructional aides. Business Builders works with many non-profit organizations to help with their fund-raising efforts. Contact her for further information or to help with your fundraising strategy development:

  • Carol Kantor
  • Business Builders
  • 10680 S. DeAnza Blvd. Suite C
  • Cupertino, CA 95014
  • 408-446-4400
an article by Carol Kantor, Business Builders and Traditions Renewed
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