Tips & Tricks

Putting the Fun in Fundraising

I’m studying in Amsterdam this summer!

In typical Callie fashion, I made this impulse decision less than eight months from the day I would be departing from the states and six months from the time I needed to begin paying. For somebody who is notoriously early to everything, it’s probably surprising that I am also almost always last minute at decision making. Anyways, I signed up and committed to a month in Amsterdam without considering my financial stability (I currently have roughly $2.75 in my purse… in quarters) and it has left me fundraising like crazy so that I can afford to go.

Fundraising isn’t always fun, but I have tried to think of creative things that you’ll enjoy doing to raise money for your cause!


1) Collaborate with local businesses that will donate a percentage of sales to your cause.

Luckily, my friend Cheyenne owns Ruth & Co., a boutique I’ve mentioned in a previous post! I reached out to her about collaborating for a fundraiser. She eagerly offered to allow a portion of sales, both online and in store, to go towards my fundraiser. This was one of my most fun fundraisers! I got to spend time in the boutique, talking with folks who came to support me. This fundraiser also worked well because folks from out of town were able to order online. I have heard of several restaurants that also do this type of fundraiser with individuals and organizations! Reach out to your local entrepreneurs and collaborate. The worst they can do is say no!

2) Have a bake sale downtown.

People in my town usually have bake sales at our mini mall, but I opted to have one downtown instead! Even on a cold, rainy day, several of the folks that work in the law offices and courthouses stopped by to grab some lunch. By the end of the day, we had sold out of everything! Once we had about an hour to go, I went door to door asking if anyone was interested in buying our remaining baked goods. They key to a successful bake sale is to promote it! There is power in social media! So many people will go out of their way to drop by and buy something — or maybe that’s just a southern thing 😊

3) Organize a community yard sale.

Find a central location for a large yard sale that will get a lot of traffic! There’s two ways to make money doing this: 1) set up a yard sale of your own and 2) charge a fee for other people who set up at that location too. Say that 5 other people set up at $20 a person, there’s $100! Once again, the more you promote this, the more traffic you’ll receive.

4) Host a painting class.

If you’re artsy enough to do this yourself, then this will make lots of money! But if you’re not artsy and still want to make a little money, contact someone who will collaborate with you on a fundraiser. In the Eastern Kentucky area, I strongly suggest Grace Henderson from Just A Little Artsy. Grace worked with me to create a piece that reflected the cause for my fundraising (tulips in a bicycle — two of the most popular things in the Netherlands) and showed the class how to easily paint it. I will have to say, however, this fundraiser brought more fun than funds! Painting classes can be a hit or miss, but it was definitely worth it!

5) Arrange online auctions.

These were my most successful fundraisers! Together, they brought in over $1,000! We had two separate auctions: one for items donated by local businesses and one for cakes baked by ladies in my community. Both auctions were held on Facebook in a public group. My tips for this fundraiser is to set a minimum bid for things of higher value and to declare a time and place to meet up with the winner of the bids before the auction begins!

6) Host a raffle.

If you don’t want to deal with online auctions, try hosting a raffle instead! Buy — or even better, try to have someone donate — something of larger value. Good examples of this are Yeti coolers, spa packages, etc. What you raffle depends on what time of year it is! Sell chances for no more than $5 each. If 100 chances are bought, you’ll get $500!

Of course there are several other ways to fundraise for your next big event, but these were the ones I chose to do/look into! If you try them out, let me know how they work out for you!