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Grassroots Fundraiser Advice


The Grassroots Fundraising campaign is a great way to support Nevus Outreach. We asked Melissa Rexroat and Deb Weidman, who have had successful fundraisers, for their tips. We know you will find their advice inspiring and helpful.

Melissa Rexroat:

After doing our Winter Wonderland fundraiser, I thought I would share some tips on how to make a fundraiser successful.

There is a lot of work involved but it pays off big time in the end!!

Tip #1:

Start early!!! This is very important!  Gather a group of close friends and family who are interested in helping and start brainstorming. This is a good time to set goals for what you would like to see the fundraiser bring in. Pick a place where the event will be held. If someone's house can be used, this saves a lot on cost. If not, try to find a place that is willing to work with you. Decide on things like admission price at the door, if you will offer a pre-sale price, what will be included in admission, ect. We typically include dinner and non-alcoholic beverages in admission price.

Tip #2:

Collect as many raffle items as possible. I've done a few fundraisers now for multiple different reasons and every single time, the raffles drive the fundraiser. Sometimes business owners will donate products but for the most part, friends and family will easily donate items. In addition to collecting raffle items from family and friends, it can be successful to choose a bigger item as well to raffle. We started our Winter Wonderland fundraiser off by raffling an iPad mini. We sold tickets for $10 each and only sold a max of 100 tickets. We started this early so that we would have plenty of time to sell the tickets and then picked the winner at event. A helpful tip is to tell people that they don't have to be present at the event to win any of the raffles. This opens up access to selling to people on a much bigger scale!

Tip #3:

Advertise, advertise, advertise!! Use social media such as Facebook to start an event. (Do this early to give people lots of notice to check their calendar). Ask friends and family to share the event and invite people they know. Also make sure you email people and talk to them in person as well.  Sometimes people don't always check their social media and may miss it. Create an event flyer to post places and hand out! Make sure to talk about the event often as reminders help people!

Tip #4:

Make it fun! Think about your target audience and some activities that will be well suited for them. Don't over do it though!! Come up with a theme and follow accordingly. Pinterest is a big help in getting ideas! If children are allowed to come, plan activities for them to do! Cash bars have been a huge hit for us for the adults and we have also done bake sales as well. These are all things that help bring in extra money for the event!

Tip #5:

Be sure to include stuff about the charity. Get brochures or make signs that let people know why they are here. Spreading awareness is extremely important in addition to raising money. Providing this information will help accomplish these two very important tasks.

Hope this information is helpful and good luck!!!

Deb Weidman:

What makes a good and successful grassroots fundraiser?

Here are the key points in my mind:

  • Find something that is exciting to you - whatever fundraiser you choose to do (sale, bike ride, dinner/dance, in lieu of birthday gifts), choose an event that seems fun to you and not a chore. Have an idea no one has done? Give it a try! See an event someone else is doing? Duplicate it!
  • Every dollar counts - small events are just as important as large ones. If each of us could do a $100 or $200 event a year, it all would add up.
  • Set a reasonable goal and time frame - people seem to respond best to a set goal that is during a certain period of time.
  • Involve your friends and family - since Nevus.org is important to you, it will be important to those you love as well.
  • Ask for help - ask other Nevus families to help with getting the word out. Every one has a different group of friends who might be interested.
  • Communication - keep your donors/contributors up to date on where you stand with your goals.
  • Involve Nevus.org - keep Nevus Outreach up-to-date, in case they have some great ideas or need you to structure reports in a certain way.

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