Written by Samuel Wong
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One of the most effective ways to supplement a tight budget for any extracurricular activity is through fundraising. Simply by selling candy bars, washing cars, or holding a bake sale, many schools are now able to continue programs that enrich any student's academic experience. When the responsibility of raising funds falls on the students themselves, they take a greater interest in the outcome of their projects or programs.

We live in a time where money is tight, especially at schools and non-profit organizations. Fundraising is a great way to provide needed funds for donation and outreach programs that benefit the whole community. An added benefit of fundraising programs is that it gives your organization's needs and causes a great deal of exposure.

Fundraising for Today

Fundraising does not have to be the monotonous door-to-door salesman experience that it once was. Many chain restaurants across the country can help your organization raise needed funds by donating a percentage of a day's profits to your organization. This is a great way to provide your organization with the money it needs and your family with the food it needs!

Fundraising programs you may be familiar with feature seasonal gifts and accessories. You've probably seen them at the front desk at your office or hanging on the bulletin board in the break room at work. This is an effective form of fundraising because it offers customers a wide variety of items to choose from.

Fundraising for Students

Many high school and junior high school teams carry out their fundraising by organizing charity car wash events or rummage sales. The benefit of these programs is that very little capital is needed to get the ball rolling. All you need is a few hoses and soap for a car wash, or excess junk or items that people are usually more than willing to donate for a rummage sale.

If you want to be a little more upscale with your fundraising activities, you can partner with a local arts program and put on a show to benefit your organization. This method is even easier if your organization happens to be young musicians or dancers. All you would need is performance space, and usually the manager of the space is willing to donate the space or offer it at a greatly reduced rate.

Fundraising for Non-profits

A few years ago, I worked at a non-profit organization that donated used computers to schools and other charities. We had an endless supply of equipment, but we lacked the funds to implement training programs and increase staff. Needless to say, we had to come up with many different fundraising ideas in order to keep the program afloat.

One of the most effective ways that this non-profit was able to sustain itself with fundraising was by partnering with large corporate sponsors and donors. Once these businesses were aware of what the program offered to the community at large, they were more than willing to lend a hand. Corporate sponsorship may not be the easiest solution to your school's or youth group's funding problems, but it shows that people are always in favor of supporting a good cause.

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