1. Online Pool: The best example I have seen of this is the “Madness for a Cure” March Madness bracket/pool at http://www.madnessforacure.com. CBS/Sportsline (www.cbssports.com) lets you manage fantasy/bracket style pools for various sports. Anytime there are major playoffs, you can set up a pool at CBS/Sportsline and charge an entry fee to your participants. Half of your proceeds will go to the pool winner, and the other half to your event.
- Advantages: This sort of thing goes viral fairly easily: ask your friends to send it to their friends and coworkers. It’s not just asking participants to donate money, and people don’t have to feel like they know you to support you through this method.
- Challenges: Technologically a little complex (setting up PayPal, domain names, etc.). Administering the pool might involve some overhead. Getting the word out.
- Profit: $10 per person (half of a $20 pool entry fee)
- Advantages: Easy to set up and coordinate, not much more work than a regular party. Quick way to make some money in one evening. You may also get additional donations from attendees.
- Challenges: The size and scale of your event can be limited, depending on where you host it. If you don’t want to have to host it in your home (or it’s too big to host in your home) see if there’s a neighborhood clubhouse where you can hold the event.
- Profit: $5 per person (half of a $10 ballot fee)
- Advantages: Great way to publicize your event while you get donations. Lots of fun, and you may get additional donations/leads for fundraising.
- Challenges: You have to be ready to go into customer service mode! If you are at all uncomfortable doing a service industry role, this probably won’t be fun for you.
- Profit: Variable (but 100% of your tips can go to your event)
- Subject Line: Gimme 5
Hi everyone! I wanted to send out this email on behalf of my good friend Sue Smith. I have known Sue for X years, and she has really outdone herself this year. You see, Sue is running a marathon to raise money to fight leukemia and other blood cancers! If you know her like I know her, this would be astounding news to you; her love for ice cream and martinis is legendary, as is her dislike of gyms. But Sue has taken on this challenge for her friend Samantha. Samantha is only five, and she's a precious little girl who is battling leukemia right here in Springfield. Samantha needs a bone marrow transplant, and Sue is bravely running to make sure you all know about Samantha, and to help find a cure for her.
So I'm asking you to "Gimme 5" for Sue and Samantha:
- 5 minutes of your time to visit Sue's page at http://yoururl.here to read about why she's doing this and more about Samantha.
- 5 dollars to her cause. Click on the donation link on her website and donate just $5 (less than the cost of a meal at McDonald's!) to her event. And if you want to give more, that's great too!
- 5 friends of yours. Forward this email on to 5 friends, and ask them to do the same to help out Sue and Samantha!
- Advantages: Easy to do, no out of pocket costs.
- Disadvantages: It really all depends on your friends to "go viral" with this. I'd suggest you send this on to people who you know love to forward stuff, and ask them to make sure they send it on to people who forward them stuff all the time.
- Profit: Variable, $5 per person who chips in.
- Local television stations, including cable access stations
- Local newspapers, the big ones and the small regional city/town/county ones
- Local radio stations and magazines
- Your HOA newsletter, bike or running shops, YMCA, gym
- Advantages: Little to no monetary investment. Can be done in your spare time. Pretty simple to execute.
- Disadvantages: While you don’t invest money, you’re investing time, and possibly a fair amount of time if you don’t know how to do this already. If you’re not comfortable with writing, it can be intimidating. The return on your investment may end up being minimal.
- Profit: Highly variable (could range from nothing to a lot, and you can also get other publicity/sponsorship opportunities from this)
And here’s a wildcard fundraising idea, thusly named because I’m still trying to hammer it out. If you have done this successfully, please leave a comment about how you did it so we can all benefit!
Guitar Hero/Rock Band Battle of the Bands – Rocking for a Cure
If you or someone you know has Guitar Hero or Rock Band, host a tournament! Teams of 3 form bands and compete against each other. Each participant pays a $10 entry fee. Bands “battle” each other, with each band performing one practice song and one Competition song. The band who posts the highest score in each round wins the round. You can score this in a bracket form (if you have lots of bands) or with an overall winning score.
The entry fee is split, with half going to the winning band, and the other half going to your event.
I haven’t yet figured out the advantages or challenges for such an event, but some questions that come to mind:
- Getting an even distribution of band members across teams.
- Registering participants ahead of time – You don’t want to have to handle all of that during the event.
- What to do about no-shows. Do you collect payments prior to the tournament?
- What’s a good number of participants for this event? You don’t want it to go on for hours and hours.
- If you limit the number of participants to keep the actual competition down to say, 3-4 hours, do you make enough money off the event?
- Where to host the event? It can be done in your home but would likely be more fun/profitable/easier to manage in a public place like a restaurant.
Good luck and GO TEAM!