Earth Friendly Fundraisers

I don’t want this article to sound like a Dennis Miller rant, but we really need to focus some of our fundraising energieson doing the right thing.
What exactly is “doing the right thing” anyway?

Think about it.

When you conduct a fundraiser, you are sending a message to your volunteers and your supporters. That message contains a value statement about your organization.

Doing the right thing means putting your organization squarely behind a bigger need than just your own cause.

That doesn’t mean that your group necessarily gives up a portion of the net from your fundraising efforts, but rather that you direct those efforts to also accomplish a greater good.
After all, what type of message are you subconsciously sending your community if the only cause your organization advocates is satisfying your own group’s monetary need?

Your fundraising activities should periodically give something back to the community. You can support another worthy local cause or support something larger by being “earth friendly.”
What are some examples of Earth Friendly fundraising?

1) A candy fundraiser where a portion of the proceeds are earmarked to accomplish a noteworthy environmental goal.

2) A recycling fundraiser that raises funds on an ongoing basis while reducing landfill waste.

3) A cleanup effort that produces visible, tangible results that benefits your community.

Organic Candy Fundraiser
A specific example of an Earth Friendly product sale are the Newman’s Own Organics chocolate bars and chocolate cups offered by CrunchTime Environmental Fundraisers.

These delicious 1.2 ounce chocolate bars come in six different, but equally scrumptious flavors.

On each $1 candy bar, your group earns a minimum 55% profit margin, compared to the usual 45-50% offered elsewhere.

In addition, 35% of the profits generated for CrunchTime by your fundraiser will be used to “adopt” tropical rainforest acreage in your group’s name.

If you’re worried about the taste of an organic chocolate bar,”fahggedaboutit.” This candy is delicious!

It’s just one more example of how Newman’s Own has brought great quality to other consumer products like spaghetti sauce and popcorn.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how profitable “doing the right thing” can be with an environmentally friendly candy bar.

Find out more at CrunchTime Fundraising

Toner Cartridge Recycling Fundraiser
Recycling printer cartridges and old cell phones is another way that your group can raise money on a year-round basis.

Keeping the plastic parts and the toner/ink residue out of your local landfill may not seem like much, but Americans dispose of more than 100 million laser printer or inkjet cartridges each year.

It’s easy to set your organization up. Participation is free with the largest recycling firm, FundingFactory.

Collection boxes are supplied at no cost and prepaid shipping labels are already attached to boxes. Your group’s name, address, and account number are included on labels.

Your group places the collection boxes at local businesses and other convenient locations such as at retailers that sell new printer cartridges. Many times a person buying a new cartridge brings in the old one to ensure a perfect match.

Every time a box is full, you call UPS and arrange for the box to be picked up. Then you replace it and start the process all over again.

Your group can collect cash or earn technology prizes for your recycling effort, demonstrating once again that “doing the right thing” pays handsomely.

Find out more at Funding Factory.

Cleanup Fundraiser
The third type of Earth Friendly Fundraiser, organizing a community cleanup project, is yet another way to fundraise and send a positive message at the same time.

This type of one day or weekend fundraising event is very similar to the Athlet-A-Thon or Fun-A-Thon concept. Here your group’s participants solicit pledges from the usual suspects – family, friends, and neighbors.

Pledges are tied to a specific attainment goal such as the number of pounds of trash collected or the number of road miles cleaned of debris. You’ll need to create a one-page overview of your cleanup program and a pledge signup sheet.

It works best if your overview specifies a suggested range for donations, say anywhere from a penny to a dime a pound for a large project.

An amazing amount of garbage can be collected from a local stream or an illegal dumping area, so it’s not a bad idea to also put a maximum limit on a pledge amount of say, $20.

Do the math and you’ll be surprised at how much money you can generate. A ton of garbage, or 2,000 pounds, can really add up to some big fundraising profits.

At a penny a pound, one ton is worth $20 per pledge.

Assuming 100 participants, each of whom has five pledges of a penny a pound, if you collect a ton of garbage, then your group will raise $100 per participant or $10,000.
That’s not bad money for “doing the right thing!”

Give some serious thought toward inspiring your group to put together an Earth Friendly Fundraiser this year.

You’ll be proud of what your volunteers’ hard work will accomplish and you’ll have plenty of proceeds to put to good use for your own cause.




Dance Fundraiser

The Dance-a-Thon is not an original idea, but using it as one of your primary fundraisers might be. Kids love it, especially at the middle school and high school level. Whether your group holds many fundraisers throughout the year, or relies on one large fundraiser, this might be a good solution.

A Dance-a-Thon is probably most suited to school fundraising, but it could also be adapted to other groups as well. If you are investigating a Dance-a-Thon for a school fundraiser, a word to the wise, do it early in the school year.

That is, within the first three months of the school year. If you go too late in the year, apathy can set in not only with students, but with the volunteers you’ll need to pull it off.

The main expense for a Dance-a-Thon is the DJ. It’s best not to use live music with a band since you will want to have a variety of music and it’s hard to do that with a live band. Don’t skimp on the DJ!

 Choose one with good references, a large music collection, and good equipment. This will be the primary focus of your event, so don’t cheap it out.

The profits will come from ticket sales and concessions. To make sure your event is well attended, publicity is the key. Publicize the event well in advance, and keep the push on until the day of the Dance-a-Thon.

To make concession sales a big part of your profits, have the good stuff. Give ‘em what they want! Pizza, popcorn, candy, bag chips and not the cheap kind, even fast food brought in from a nearby eatery work best.

Additional profits can also come from having a raffle at the event. Tickets can be pre-sold and sold at the event for prizes that people really want.

Depending on the size and age of your group, small electronics work well. Raffle off a CD player, DVD player, MP3 player, and so on. Local businesses may be willing to donate prizes or sell them to you at cost.

Another way to make sure you get the most profit from your Dance-a-Thon is to sell Shout-Outs for about a dollar. A shout out is a message that is read by the DJ to the crowd between songs.

For example, “Here’s a Shout Out from Kimberly to all her soccer team buddies. Wildcats Rule!”

You’ll need to have slips of paper pre-printed so the Shout Outs can be submitted that include:


Give a few to every teacher about a week before the Dance-a-Thon and ask them to distribute them to deserving students. Once the first few Shout Outs are done, everyone will want a piece of the action. Be sure to have lots of volunteers working the Shout Outs table after that!

One last note about Dance-a-Thons; they can be pretty labor intensive so be sure to line up your volunteers early. One middle school in North Carolina had a Dance-a-Thon and the promise to the volunteers was this:

We hope to make enough money with the Dance-a-Thon that we won’t have to have another major fundraiser for the rest of the school year! That’s right, no wrapping paper, no magazine sales, no selling fruit baskets.

Watch the volunteers clamor to help and watch your groups profits soar.

Fundraising Ideas

Dance Fundraiser