Most valuable stuff

why not donate to charity?

why not donate to charity?

Donate the good stuff…

We touched previously on the importance of getting as many people as possible to support you. In community-based organisations this is not as much of a problem since you see each other regularly and know where to find each other (whether this is at work or church or at a school or sports club).
Another tip we’d like to impart (because we are discovering this ourselves) is that your supporters don’t always think about the value of their donated stuff and are sometimes then disappointed with the value realised.
Here then is your definitive (hardly, Ed) – well, anecdotal – list of most valuable stuff, or MVS:

  1. Old video games – PS2 games in particular are in demand;
  2. Video games – PS3/Xbox etc
  3. Cult DVDs – one man’s cult is another’s waste of space but don’t think something has no value because of your opinion;
  4. DVDs
  5. Text books and other specialist ‘Professional Development’ books;
  6. CDs;
  7. Books in general.

Most people are surprised that books are in dead last place because they have given so much pleasure to them. But the harsh truth is that most paper simply gets recycled (and we are happy to facilitate this) and as such only raises a nominal sum.
So, when you ask your supporters to donate, specify what you’d like because generous though J is being when donating a boxfull of books, it’d be far better for your fundraising effort if they dug around in the rather more dusty corners of their house for numbers 1 to 5 as outlined above.
Good luck!
The Bigfundraising team

How to maximise your fundraising efforts (all in)

effort_whosaidcant.lg_

Here at Bigfundraising we often see fundraisers start strong and finish wondering why people haven’t contributed. These are common emotions and no doubt there is a curve describing the transition from elation and hope right the way through to desolation and, if not despair, a close cousin.

When you are asking people to contribute stuff – DVDs, video games etc.- instead of cash, the challenges are of the same ilk but mainfest in a slightly different way. For example, someone might intend to bring in their unused video games but never quite get around to it because it’s a hassle, in the same way that someone might want to contribute cash but never do so (or they could just be tight in which case they probably borrowed the DVD they didn’t donate and are a lost cause…).

But your community is strong, correct? And closely linked? Then you just need to press the right buttons and be unafraid of being pushy – successful fundraisers in such communities will sometimes only quit asking when the response becomes an exasperated ‘go away!’ because at least they know the message has been heard…

So:

  1. Get everyone on board – every single person with seniority (positional or time involved) needs to buy in;
  2. Use social media to promote and to keep promoting what you are fundraising for and how much – build a page with us and use that as a core tool;
  3. Keep a database of everyone who has contributed – make it an express aim to get everyone to donate;
  4. Use peer pressure to do so – create a table with all members on it and tick off those who have brought stuff in, even if it is only a couple of DVDs;
  5. Make sure that people realise this is a collective effort – that in the same way a cricket team can’t win if only five people turn up, so it is with a fundraising effort;
  6. Because you are asking people to physically bring in things which may be difficult to transport (or embarrassing to be seen in public with), ensure that those with transport help those without;
  7. Provide plastic bags or boxes to help supporters and to remind them to use them;
  8. Have a focal point in your clubhouse, company, school, church etc. that has posters explaining what you are asking for and what for and that is clearly set aside as a repository for donations (don’t worry, we’ll pick your stuff up when you are ready);
  9. Celebrate when you hit milestones (25%, 50% to target) and use it as an excuse to push out your message again;
  10. To avoid despair, keep pushing and simply don’t accept that people have nothing to bring in – at the very least, someone will have an expensive career development textbook that they will not only be glad to get rid of but will be worth a lot more than they think.

Good luck!

The Bigfundraising team

Clubs, subs & pubs

Need a new pavilion?

Need a new pavilion?

It’s bad enough when you are club captain doing the rounds asking for subs, eating into the beer fund. It’s a thankless task at the best of times.

And then, usually when least needed (for example, in the middle of a recession…well maybe the end but you get our drift), the pavilion needs a new roof, or the goal posts are rotten, perhaps the lights need a new junction box, possibly the entire six teams need a new strip.

Where is the cash coming from? Cue fundraising committee, enormous amount of time spent both creating and enacting fundraising activity.

How about you let us take the strain? Build a page with us (let’s face it you’ve already got one with Justgiving or Virgin haven’t you?) and using the same principal, ask supporters to…well, support you.

But instead of asking them to lighten their wallets, ask them to do a bit of a clear-out, a late spring clean, a reclamation of space previously devoted to unwanted DVDs, music albums and video games.

Get them to bring this stuff down to the clubhouse and we at Bigfundraising will pick it up and turn it into cash. At no charge.

What other fundraising effort will yield 10% of your target*?

The Bigfundraising team
* our numbers are not statistically valid but this percentage seems to be eminently doable

A golf club fundraising vignette

bill murray and chevy chase

At bigfundraising we know that despite your desire to raise money, sometimes it feels like nobody feels your pain. Well, we do. The supporter who says he will bring in some old clubs to be auctioned off; the member who keeps ‘forgetting’ to visit your ‘donations’ page.

Bigfundraising was founded out of just this frustration and this tale is a true story.Well, it could have been…

Most club Captains will choose a charity to support during their period in ‘power’ even as their game goes downhill and the vagaries of office conspire to make them realise they have even less authority than they’d thought. One of the frustrating things about choosing a charity of the year for you to support is getting your members on board.

We at Bigfundraising have given this much thought and concluded that if you can get yourself off to a flying start, members will be much more likely to get behind your cause.

So, in no particular order:

1. choose your cause wisely – we’ve lost count of how many fundraising campaigns bite the dust because they just don’t resonate with donors (actually, that one does need to be first);

2. be bold but reasonable, the two aren’t mutually exclusive but there needs to be a raised eyebrow rather than a sharp intake of breath when the goal is unveiled;

3. don’t just go for cash – use Bigfundraising to get your members to bring in their unwanted DVDs, video games (get them to nick their childrens’) and those expensive hardback books clogging up their bookshelves;

4. this allows you to start fast – up to 10% of your target should come from this stuff people have lying around at home.

It takes 2 minutes to set up a bigfundraising page, and you can start getting those dusty items lying around the house turned into cash for your charity of the year.. Start here now.

Whatever happens, you still get the parking slot though, right? The Bigfundraising team