Being a not-for-profit group does not mean you can’t make a profit, it simply means you can’t…
There are a myriad of ways to fundraise on Mother's Day, particularly for women’s causes such as breast cancer or women’s shelters.
Here are some ideas to help position your fundraiser to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity. It's a particularly good opportunity for schools, helping students to treat their mum whilst supporting a good cause or allowing the school to raise money – a win-win outcome!
Flowers are a traditional and timeless Mother’s Day gift, and they also make for a convenient fundraising opportunity. Contact a local florist and ask about a discount or possible donation of flowers, such as roses, for a Mother’s Day fundraiser. Then set up a stall on the weekend of Mother’s Day, or preceding Thursday or Friday, for your flower sale. Alternatively, you may decide to sell pre-ordered bouquets that will be delivered or picked up in time for Mother’s Day.
Tip: Promote your plans to sell flowers early and often.
Host a cake stall
Second only to flowers, cake stalls are one of the most popular fundraising options associated with Mother’s Day. If you can find volunteers to make cakes and donate them, all the proceeds can go to your school or the charity of your choice. Alternatively, cake-baking can take place as a class-based exercise.
It is important to consider food safety when preparing and running your cake stall, and whether your school allows edible gifts. The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website contains food safety information for charities and community organisations. Further information can be found on our Fundraising Legislation and Regulations page.
Tip: If you are a small school, consider pooling your resources with other schools nearby.
3. Hold a raffle
Ask a local restaurant to donate a gift voucher for a dinner for two, local retailers for small gifts and coupons, or a local day spa to donate a free treatment. Then hold a raffle and sell the tickets for $1 or 6 for $5, for example. During the raffle, also sell drinks and snacks at a profit to generate for extra funds.
Tip: Consider combining a raffle with another of these fundraising events, such as a craft fair, for maximum benefit.
4. Hold a craft fair
Have talented students or parents create and donate items to be sold as Mother’s Day gifts at a special fundraiser or existing market in the local community. Not-for-profit community groups and charitable organisations can usually apply to their local council to have a street stall on council-controlled footpaths, which are typically high-traffic areas.
Hand-decorated cards that can be personalised with a special message are a particularly good choice for a craft stall. Consider also holding a gift-wrapping stall and donating the proceeds from a gold coin donation to a charity (or add it to your fundraising total). You could even make your own wrapping paper, or get the students to help out, to keep costs down.
If you don’t have time to make gifts yourself, there a now a number of wholesale outlets online that provide a range of small gifts that will still allow you to make a profit on your fundraiser. The price of most items can typically be covered with spare change. All you need to do is estimate the quantity to order and decide on a date for delivery.
Here are some tips if you decide to pursue this option:
- Order your stock so it arrives at least a week before your event, preferably two.
- Be careful not to order too much as it is unlikely it will be able to be returned. Leftover stock is one of the easiest way to drain the profits of your fundraiser so it is better to be conservative than purchase too much. If you do order too much, however, you could always use the leftovers at another fundraiser, such as your school fete.
- Promote the date of your stall well ahead of time.
- Keep your pricing to whole dollar amounts where possible (between $2 and $5 is best but definitely nothing over $10).
- Think about holding the stall at lunchtime, but consider taking younger students through during class time to avoid the rush.
- Have a small amount of handmade items as a backup in case you run out of stock.
- Hold a debrief and write a review on the event, so you have a better idea of how to run it next year. Pay particular attention to gift quantities – what worked and what didn’t to assist with next year’s order.
Tip: Let people know what the proceeds will be spent on. For example: “The money raised will go towards our new playground structure that we hope to install in June this year.”
If all else fails or your school doesn’t have the time or resources to host a fundraiser of its own, there are plenty of options for individuals wanting to celebrate Mother’s Day while raising funds at the same time. Encourage your students to give their Mother’s Day card a personal touch by making it themselves or prepare a home cooked meal instead of taking their mother out to a restaurant and then donate the money saved to the school or another good cause.
OUR TIP: For donations, you can list your cause or a Mother’s Day appeal for free using new crowdfunding tool CrowdRaiser™, or consider donating to one of the women’s causes already listed on GiveNow.
6. Host a high tea
For a more upmarket fundraising option, invite mothers to enjoy a decadent afternoon of sweet treats while raising funds for a worthwhile cause. Hosting a high tea is potentially one of the most profitable fundraisers you can hold, as you can charge a higher ticket price (pre-sales are best) due to the quality of the event. By charging $20 per head, even with an attendance of 15 people, you have already raised $300 (get 50 people to come and you’ve raised $1000).
Try to keep costs down by using volunteers to provide the catering and selecting an appropriate venue. For extra funds, consider incorporating an auction or collecting donations for a door prize.
Tip: Leave guests with a thank-you goody bag containing chocolates or donated vouchers.