Have you realized just how much fundraising is going on these days? There is fundraising for little league, school fundraisers, and the college fundraiser, as well as church fundraisers. Day cares need more funds, hospitals need new equipment, and cheerleaders need to fundraise for their costumes. And to think up new fundraising ideas that will be successful is becoming more challenging every day.
On a good note, it shows that people do care how others live and cope with their lives. However, it also means that, because we are always being asked to donate to one good cause after another, we are not always able to help. Despite our best intentions, our own funds simply will not stretch that far.
However, if we request the donation of items instead of cash, that is often a relief to a potential donor. People will often gladly donate a can of food for a food drive, or a kitchen item they have never used for a sale, whereas they would not donate cash. And there are many kinds of fundraising ideas you can use to hold sales based on items collected.
For example, you could hold a toy drive that would give your organization toys to sell to support your work. Or what about a gardening sale? If you have some volunteers with green thumbs, they could easily grow some plant cuttings or start some seeds or bulbs growing ready for a plant sale in the spring or early summer, when the general public is looking to restock their garden after the winter.
Book sales are always well attended, but of course you will need to collect a lot of donated books to make this a success, as books do not generally sell for a high price. You could approach local publishers to see if they have any books that they could donate to support your cause. If they do give you some books, don't forget to write them after your event to thank them and also to let them know how successful you were and how much their donation helped you. Donors like to be thanked, and they are more likely to support you in the future if they know their gift has been appreciated in the past.
Some groups like to ask for donated items and then they use these to make up some themed gift baskets which they then raffle, usually at another fundraising event. For example you may make up a bath basket containing some soap, hand towels and bath salts from your donated items. The trick here is to keep raffle tickets affordable, especially if you are expecting those that donated the items to be buying the raffle tickets!
You may find that some people are willing to volunteer their time rather than funds. For example an electrician may prefer to spend a half day checking the wiring in the new offices your non-profit group just moved into, rather than donate cash. As long as this benefits your non-profit organization, any donation is welcome, whether it is time or money, but make sure your donors know what the goal of your organization is, and how their assistance will help you. They may then mention it to their circle of friends, and this kind of promotion is very valuable.