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Your Foolproof Nonprofit Fundraising Plan with Ideas

Fundraising is a time-honored tradition, a wonderful way to bring attention to your own nonprofit or to benefit a charity you hold dear to your heart. After all, you don’t have to be a nonprofit yourself in order to support one you care about; even for-profit businesses can hold fundraisers to benefit schools, wildlife organizations, food drives and more. All you need is a willing heart and a game plan.

We humbly submit that having the right product on hand is one of the best ways to ensure the success of your nonprofit fundraising event. Everyone likes to be reminded of the difference they made, and a branded bag that harks back to the day of can be the perfect addition to your plan.

In addition to being a good-for-the-Earth product, branded bags are one of the best ways to get attention from clients, customers, prospects and citizens. Fill them with goodies for a raffle or give them away when people make donations. Whatever the case, bags are a great addition to your next fundraiser. Here’s how to use them well.

Decide What Type of Fundraiser You Will Hold

Depending on what cause you wish to support, you can choose from a wide range of fundraising ideas. These include:

  • Auctions
  • Art exhibits
  • Galas
  • Competitions
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Raffles
  • Dinners

… and more. If you are a center for the arts, obviously, you’ll want to choose a crafty approach such as an exhibition or an auction of illustrations, paintings, sculptures or other artistic creations. On the other hand, nonprofits devoted to kids’ fitness might hold a field day or healthy farm-to-table dinner.

Of course, your fundraiser doesn’t really have to have anything to do with your business type. Perhaps you’re a law office raising money for the local wildlife preserve, in which case a sit-down dinner where attendees pay per head is a perfectly good approach. Or you might host a concert to raise money for a local zoo habitat.

The best approach is to pick an event that your company will have fun creating, which will make it the most successful it can be.

Dress Up Your Event

Perhaps you’re one booth among many at a trade show, convention or race day. Or maybe you’re holding your own gala at company headquarters or a nearby ballroom in town. Whatever the case, it’s important to create a beautifully branded effect by dressing up your event.

Start with colors, deciding on a scheme that matches your company’s brand. At a booth, that might mean tablecloths and bunting. At a gala, your color scheme will be a little more elaborate, with napkins and floral centerpieces, balloons and streamers.

Design Your Artwork

Time to get your bag going. That starts with artwork, which in turn begins at your designer’s desk. If you already have a logo, you’re good to go. Now all you have to do is choose branded colors. On the other hand, your business might not have a recognizable mark yet, in which case that’s your first step. Once you have it, you can send it off to your bag company for printing.

Create Your Branded Bag

If you want to make the best impression, a beautiful bag is a must. Your products speak volumes about the kind of company you are, so take care in ordering. If you want to design the perfect branded bag, you must first choose the right material, bag style and colors. Your bags should not only mesh well with your business, but complement the event as well. Nature-inspired event? Green, blue and white are good colors. Art Deco-themed gala? Silver, gold and navy are always good.

Make sure the reusable bag company you work with will proof the artwork for you before sending it to the press. It only takes one bad experience with a business that doesn’t do their due diligence, and all of a sudden you’re in a bind right before the big day. Talk to the company ahead of time to learn what their artwork review process is like so you can be sure of getting the best product.

Order Your Bags

Obviously if you’re going to use your bags at your event, you’ll have to order them in time. A good company can turn bags around quickly (we need about a week of lag time, for instance), but it’s better to give yourself more time than that. That way, you have plenty of room to proof the artwork and make corrections if need be. Even if you don’t need to adjust the artwork itself, you’ll want enough time to fill your bags and integrate them into your efforts.

Get Started by choosing from any of these material types:

Decide How You Will Use the Bags in Your Fundraising Efforts

Once you have your bags, it’s time to decide how exactly you’ll use them in the fundraiser. Will you sell them as trick-or-treat bags at Halloween, offer them as reusable grocery bags, combine them with prizes or fill them with books? Perhaps you will sell them as beach totes, with the proceeds benefiting an ocean cleanup, or maybe you’ll get people interested in the local school’s gardening club with bags full of organic supplies, gardening tools and seeds.

No matter what, if you’re going to sell or raffle off bags, you’ll need to fill them with something interesting. Ideally, since the bag itself has an environmental spin, you would fill them with green items. Think energy-saving products, fair-trade chocolate and coffee, which can be paired with a range of activities.

Clarify the Rules!

Now that you’ve decided how you will distribute bags, it’s time to make that clear to your clients and customers, prospects and business partners. If you’re raffling off bags stuffed with goodies, then you’ll want to label them and set them out so that people can buy tickets or write down their number and offer at silent auction.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re giving them away with purchase of a certain number of products (say, four bottles of wine at a charity event to benefit a local shelter).

Perhaps you just run a simple fundraiser right there in your store. For instance, you might donate a dollar to a local nonprofit for each bag you sell. In that case, you simply want to hang your bags at the register and make a cheerful sign letting people know how they can jump on board and help the needy.

Diversify Your Fundraising Efforts

Now that you know how to incorporate bags into your efforts, whether day-to-day or routine, you can continue to raise money for local charities or your own business over time. As just discussed, some fundraisers are an easy matter of collecting a small donation at the register, while others take months of planning.

Whatever the case, don’t forget to give attendees something to remember the event. If you’d like to learn more about custom imprinted reusable grocery bags, please feel free to get in touch with us at 1-877-334-5323 to ask questions or get a free quote. We can’t wait to help you make your event a success today.

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Douglas Lober

Author: Douglas Lober

Douglas Lober grew up in Southern California and is an environmentalist at heart. He donates his time and finances to helping children better understand how they can become fine stewards of the Earth. He is he co-Founder and Chief Sales Professional at Reusethisbag.com with over 15 years experience as an overseas importer and exporter of fine eco-friendly promotional items.

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