July 28, 2017

15 utterly insane fundraising ideas people actually thought would work

We’ve all encountered people who, with no prior experience, believe they can help you do your job. This list mocks those well meaning Americans, whose fundraising ‘ideas’ are sometimes harder to deal with than the task of fundraising itself.

2 min read

1. “Just call Bill Gates!”
Anyone have his number? He’s surely waiting by the phone.

2. Collect and sell slightly used airplane toiletry kits on eBay.
Amazing! With shipping and fees, we could make approximately $0.10 per kit. Let me grab that gently-used pillow the guy next to me sneezed on for three hours.

3. Become a medical or recreational marijuana dispensary.
(This idea was suggested to a church)
Good idea! We could also become ANY type of retail business and then… wait.

4. “We have an anonymous syringe exchange program that works primarily with homeless substance users. It was once suggested by a funder, that we take pictures of all of them and make a coffee table book.”
This is genius. Can we also teach them to dance for a flash mob at the mall as part of the book launch?

Related article: Your nonprofit colleagues as F.R.I.E.N.D.S characters

5. Host a naked cycling race for sponsorship.
For those of us headquartered in Portland or 1969.

6. “Have you ever heard of crowdfunding!??!?”
Yes, yes we have.
Fundraising Ideas Humour

7. Hold an onion peeling competition with sponsorships to see who can last the longest without crying.
Hmmm… and who is going to pay whom to sign up for this? Or do we charge admission to the most boring competition ever? Or, how about we get an onion farmer to be our title sponsor?!

8. “Hire only very attractive young women with nice bodies…it works for pharmaceutical reps?”
Dear Human Resources,
This person should be monitored for violation of a number of basic company policies and for offending everyone reading this post.

9. “Just write a grant!”
Let me grab a pen and write this down. A grant you say. Hadn’t thought of it!

Fundraising Ideas Humour

10. Create a heartwarming animated film about cats to make some extra cash.
Step 1, successfully fundraise for production costs for said heartwarming film…

11. “What if you challenged people to dump ice over their heads?”
Sounds oddly familiar…

12. Make an indoor pool “nude” for one night only and charge admission.
I’m more scared of seeing my neighbors in line to buy tickets than I am of losing my fundraising job.

Related article: Imagine if we talked to everyone like they worked at a nonprofit

13. “Just ask [sponsors] nicely.”
I suppose we can all take a break from our typical boorish sponsorship calls and give this a shot!

Fundraising Ideas Humour

14. Offer lap dances to your biggest donors.
Oh. My. Goodness. Really?

15. Agree to be tasered, charging $1,000 for each second of shock.
Good idea! Maybe we could charge $15,000 for backing over their toes with a bus after that!

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Wild Apricot. You can view the article here.

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