Are you looking for new ways to fund your nonprofit, while at the same time getting the word out about your cause?
What will a strawberry shortcake fundraiser do for you? It will allow you to create a better connection with your local grocery store, it will help many new people learn about your cause, and it will help your nonprofit raise money from the community.
When I worked at a domestic violence nonprofit, I organized this fundraiser many times with our local grocery store, New Seasons. Our domestic violence nonprofit helped mothers and children escape dangerous situations, so it was appropriate that we would hold our fundraiser on Mother’s Day. We chose this date because we wanted to remind people to cherish not just their own mothers, but mothers that needed support in the community.
How did we do it?
1. We reached out to New Seasons to ask them if they’d be willing to donate the sponge cake, the strawberries and the whip cream for a Mother’s Day fundraiser. (Depending on your mission, you might want to pick a different day.)
2. We found volunteers who were willing to tell people about our nonprofit while taking money and serving cake for a couple of different locations on Mother’s Day.
3. We put together a banner, flyers, and reminders to our email list to come out and support us and eat some tasty cake too!
4. We served up hundreds of servings of strawberry shortcake outside the store from 11am to 2pm, with all proceeds going to our nonprofit.
What were the results? We got an awareness building event, plus $5,000. The grocery store got good marketing exposure by associating with our cause. They could also write off the cost of the supplies. It was a win-win nonprofit-corporate partnership event.
To take this concept even further, you might want to:
- Ask the grocery store to help you engage in a marketing campaign about this fundraiser, using their corporate media partnerships with local newspapers, radio stations, TV shows, and more.
- Flyer your mailing list about the strawberry shortcake fundraiser at these stores, to get people to come out and support your nonprofit while they shop
- Partner with a local radio station on Mother’s Day to tell people to come down and get your strawberry shortcake at the selected grocery stores.
- Train your volunteers to ask for a donation along with selling the cake. Say something like, “The strawberry shortcake is only $5.50. Could you give just $4.50 and round it up to ten dollars to help support mothers who need us this Mother’s Day?”
- Add a remit envelope, annual report, or other piece of take-away for the people buying and eating the cake
- Add an e-newsletter signup for everyone who buys cake
- Create a cause-marketing opportunity by getting the cashiers to prompt people to get $7 cash-back at the register so they can buy cake quickly outside.
- Setting up a small series of outdoor tables and umbrellas so people can sit and eat their cake,
- Do a strawberry shortcake fundraiser at a strawberry festival.
Any other ideas for how to make this a success?