20 Money Saving Tips for Fundraisers

We all have our little tricks for making do, for getting by with less. Here are mine. What are some of yours? Leave a comment!

1. Marketing: Go to the same printer every time, negotiate a lower price based on your loyalty and the urgency of your cause.

2. Ask a major corporation if they’d like to sponsor the publication of your annual report, and put their logo in it. Great exposure for their brand tied with yours.

3. Use the downturn to negotiate a lower price for t-shirts, pens, buttons, etc.

4. Get interns to do graphic design for you.

5. Free Publicity: Try getting an interview on your local community radio station, KOOP in Austin Texas, or Kaos in Olympia, Washington. If you’re in England, try University Radio York, and if you’re in Vancouver, Canada, try CO-OP Radio.

6. Go to your local tv station and get a free interview with your nonprofit leader. Portland Community Media is one place I’d recommend for Portland Oregon.

6. Appeals: Batch your fundraising appeal letters. Send out 150 at a time. Test out different messages, graphs, charts, quotes, pictures, see what works with who. This way you can avoid an appeal letter that bombs.

7. Get volunteers to stuff envelopes for you. If you’re in Canada, post an opportunity at If you’re in England, post what you need at this site. Try Workforce Solutions in Austin, Texas, and Steps to Success is a good one for Portland, Oregon.

8. Get a pitney bowes machine to put the correct postage on your letters and packages. This will save you money in that trip to the post office.

9. Events: Get space and food donated for events. Use your board member connections.

10. Getting things done: Get free advice from wise people at SCORE, the Service Corps Of Retired Executives, everything from starting a nonprofit to running a marketing plan. You can take a class or get free counseling. I’ve used their services and I recommend them!

11. Grants: Need to research grants? You can view the Foundation Center Database for free. Go to your local cooperating collection to view grants for your charity.

12. Major Donors: Get free annual reports from similar nonprofits and find out which corporations care about your cause.

13. Also, get the Business Journal’s Book of Lists to find out which new companies to approach for supporting your cause.

14. Data entry: Do you need a database? How do you choose which one to use? Check out NTEN’s unbiased free survey of donor management databases to see which ones have the features you need.

15. In-Kind: Get a local coffeeshop to donate meeting space or coffee to your next meeting and promise to put their logo in your newsletter.

16. Get free yoga for your nonprofit by asking a local yoga studio to give a demo at your next staff meeting.

17. Negotiate with a new bakery or office supply store to tell people about their businesses, and give discounts to your employees or donors, and get free baked goods or office supplies.

18. Get donated auction items.

19. Post volunteer opportunities everywhere you can (local high schools, colleges, universities,, etc). Each volunteer hour is worth $18!

20. Use a new avenue for messages: If your nonprofit is almost at its goal, text message your most loyal supporters, asking for help in this last push.

21. Bonus: Get reduced price software from TechSoup!

Thanks for reading!

What are some of YOUR money saving tips?

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