Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Time is Fundraising Time

During the current economic turmoil, one thing is constantly on most people's mind---money. Money is an integral part of advocacy - whether you run an organization or are dedicated to a cause - and it "doesn't grow on trees" (though we all wish it would). Many times, particularly in the non-profit world, money is raised through fund-raising. There are some innovative and non-invasive ways to approach fund-raising from a grassroots level.

One of the best ways to raise money is to time your campaign to an annual event - like a holiday or a season.

The American Cancer Society has run a highly effective campaign for over 35 years called Daffodil Days. Daffodil Days is launched each spring. So, watching the first daffodils poke their heads out of the frozen ground not only reminds me that spring is here, it also reminds me to give to the Cancer Society. As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal - the hope that the future will be cancer free in America. Daffodil Days has raised upwards of $250 million so far.

Another great campaign is Trick-or-Treat for Unicef. Linked to Halloween- a holiday that revolves around kids - they raise money for impoverished children around the world.

Both of these campaigns not only raise money but also raise awareness in the community about the cause they are supporting. They are both examples of long-standing, traditional door-to-door campaigning that have now also adapted themselves to the growing trend of e-philanthropy.

A more recent campaign success story is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Alexandra "Alex" Scott was diagnosed with a type of childhood cancer before she was even a year old. She decided to set up a lemonade stand in her front yard and donate the money toward childhood cancer research. Alex’s Lemonade spread like wildfire and people started to hold their own lemonade stands all over the country, donating the proceeds to her foundation. Alex’s Lemonade even became a Rita’s Water Ice flavor...yum!

All three campaigns involve simple ideas - a flower that represents hope, kids raising money for kids and a little girl's lemonade stand- but contain powerful messages. Whatever approach you decide to take, always remember to stay true to your mission.

We wish you good luck raising funds (and awareness) for all your worthy causes.

Happy Spring!

By: FlyGal & Emily Norton

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