People were raising money way before crowdfunding ever became an option. You probably did some of that offline fundraising yourself when you were a kid, right? Who can forget going door to door selling overpriced candy bars or collecting sticky, smelly beer bottles to return for nickels.
You can do it in addition to a crowdfunding campaign, (or as a way to fund your online crowdfunding effort. There are often expenses you’ll need to make before you receive the money for your successful crowdfunding campaign), and as a way to boost funds once you’ve already started your project and times are lean, or just as a standalone thing.
1) Ask for money instead of gifts on holidays. Put it out in your network that you don’t want gifts anymore but would love some cold hard cash for your birthday or Christmas or whatever other holiday you celebrate that includes gift-giving. Don’t be afraid to ask for that money in advance of your actual birthday or holiday.This can be a nice little supplementary stream of cash and also a great way for your family and loved ones to get involved in your project.
2) Run a bottle drive. It’s old school, but it works. Every bottle is five cents more toward making your dream a reality. Get a team of helpers and start going door to door asking for bottles. Include a little pamphlet explaining what you’re doing and you’ll get the added benefit of expanding your tribe while raising money.
3) Bake Bake sales are great! You can make delicious desserts and the markup is awesome, meaning you bring home a nice little chunk of change. Obviously this one isn’t going to bring in thousands of dollars, but it can be a good way to fund smaller parts of your project and is also another opportunity to get out the word about what you’re doing and connect with your community, so don’t forget those pamphlets.
4) Create and sell merchandise for your project. Does your project have a hot logo? Or do you have artist friends who could create some great imagery for you? Plaster it all over everything from t-shirts to tote bags to jewelry and sell it to your friends and supporters. Obviously this method has a bit more cost up front than some of the others but if you buy your blank items in bulk, you can really reduce costs.
5) Do a restaurant or bar percentage night. You can set up an arrangement with a bar or restaurant so that with mention of your organization, locals will get a discount if they eat or drink at the establishment on a set date. You can also work out deals where a percentage of all sales for a certain night go toward your organization and then hype it up so that the bar or restaurant is filled. The bar or restaurant benefits from having a packed house, while you raise money and get even more connected to the community. Check out this post from Restaurant-Fundraisers.com for more details