Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creative Fundraising Ideas (for madmen only)

Tired of trying to come up with that great fundraising idea? After rolling around the internet for about an hour I became frustrated with the lack of ideas out there. My question is: why search for other people's ideas in the first place? It's time to get creative.

First, I'll tell you some of my ideas I've thought up, then I'll tell you how you can come up with some custom fundraising ideas of your own.

  • The Restaurant Idea
    • Partner with a local fine dining restaurant, in my case, the Metropolitan, who will supply the location and the food for the fundraiser. 
    • You, the organizer, identify a contact source. This is somebody who has the contact information for a lot of people. This should be an organization that is bigger than you, more influential than you, and is aligned with your values, but may also be interested in fundraising. Form an alliance, which is valuable in and of itself.
    • Utilize the resources of your contact source ally. Use them to get the word out.
    • Book attendees at a price that far exceeds the cost of the restaurant, otherwise you will not raise any funds for your cause. 
    • Create a fun and exciting night. Get creative! Have fun! Have some live music. You can hire a local band for less than $200, which will be more than worth it if you raise several thousand or more.
    • Don't skimp on materials. If you need to design a website for the event, do it with posh and pizazz. Flyers? No way. Go full on with invitations. If you want to save money, go minimal. Minimalism looks expensive, but really isn't.
    • Everything should be prepaid and non-refundable, after all, it's a donation. There are no refunds for donations. People understand this. 
  • T Shirt Idea
    • Design bad-ass tees and sell them around town and online. 
    • Pick a theme. Ideally the theme should be centered around your fundraising cause, but please do not put your logo or name on them! This is the worst mistake. Nobody want's to buy your ill-designed swag.
    • Design a cool graphic. Get creative and clever. Need inspiration? Check these out:

    The first critical part of doing some fundraising is identifying a cause. So important! If you're raising money for your own pockets get the hell away from my blog and go chop your own head off! Ass. So what is your cause? Are you raising money for homeless pets? A school? Your business? An art project? Music? Whatever it is, make it big! The bigger and more altruistic your cause the more people will be willing to participate in your fundraiser. (Something to keep in mind: If you're raising money for a business, be sure to try to tie it to something social, needs-based, or really cool. Otherwise you won't have to chop your own head off, somebody will do it for you.)

    The second critical part is to identify somebody to foot the bill. You can foot the bill initially if you want, but this is less than ideal. You want a fundraiser that is free to you but makes money for your cause. Here is where your fundraiser partner comes in.

    What is a fundraiser partner? It is the person you team up with that also benefits from the fundraiser. If it's a restaurant, the restaurant needs to make a profit, unless they are donating their services. However, you'll have more of a chance of getting them to do the fundraiser in the first place if you make it beneficial for all parties.

    The last part is to make it fun, energetic, and creative, but to always remember your audience. Think about what you are bringing to the table for the people giving you money. If you're giving them a sweet sweet T shirt, they will give you money, but the T shirt has to be awesome. If you're doing a restaurant event, the night has to be fantastic and fun and very social.


    Needs-based and Social Business

    Coming Soon!

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Good Quote

    “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” Winston Churchill

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    NY Times article. Colleges are "Failure Factories"

    An excerpt:

    ...Yes, inadequate precollege education is a problem. But high schools still produce many students who have the skills to complete college and yet fail to do so. Turning them into college graduates should be a lot less difficult than fixing all of American education.
    “We could be doing a lot better with college completion just by working on our colleges,” as Robert Shireman, an Education Department official who has read an early version of the book, says....
    - David Leonhardt, New York Times

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Entrepreneurs are Puzzle Solvers

    So what is an entrepreneur?

    A puzzle solver.

    Any entrepreneur worth respecting utilizes vision as his greatest resource. The job of an entrepreneur is to put together the pieces, in any order, to create his vision. That's it, simply put. There's a large range of flexibility with puzzles and the same goes for visions of businesses or movements.

    The process of a puzzle is exploratory by nature. You try, you do something wrong, you try again, and eventually you complete the puzzle. The pieces may be set, but you don't know what they look like until you find them. You need X, Y, and Z pieces, but you only need them eventually.

    The same principle applies to entrepreneurship. Do you have a vision for something? Take one step. Then take another. Keep going like that and you'll be far ahead of the pack.

    Now look at the picture on the box and pick up a piece.

    New Idea School Blog

    The Idea School blog has been set up and you can find it here. The progress of the school will be posted there and this blog will remain focused on education, learning, and entrepreneurship in general.

    Please stop by the Idea School blog and follow it. We'd love your support and feedback on the school's concepts and actions. Thank you!