10 WAYS TO RAISE MONEY
1. Increase membership contributions
- Mail Membership Renewal letter to all members at the start of each fiscal year, follow up with a reminder 3-4 months later to those who have not yet responded.
- Use a remit envelope which lists giving levels – basic membership and up
- Cultivate Business Memberships with merchants who depend on healthy lakes
2. Establish an Annual Appeal
- This is a regular mailing event, separate from your membership renewal. Proceeds will grow over time as the organization fulfills member expectations about mission.
3. Seek large donors for discrete programs like Courtesy Boat Inspections/LakeSmart
4. Hold a Silent Auction at your Annual Meeting
- Requires 3-4 months lead time
- Requires volunteers to secure donations of auction items, set up the auction, tally the results, announce the winners, deliver the goods, etc.
- Needs good pre-event publicity, benefits from having a named purpose for the fundraiser (fund Youth Conservation Corps, Buffer Brigade, rebuild dam, etc.)
- Benefits from an exciting item or items that will stimulate competitive bidding at the auction and generate pre-event buzz.
- Requires Annual Meeting Agenda to include sufficient time for mingling and viewing the auction items – sufficient time for bidding
5. Hold a Barbecue or Lobster Bake at your Annual Meeting (can augment Silent Auction)
6. Hold a Raffle*
- Requires at least 8 months lead time and good relationship with merchants
- Potentially, a lot of $, depending on items (Can have 1,2,3,4 items).
- Requires commitment to marketing via newsletter, web, posters, word of mouth
- Requires printed tickets you can mail out to your members and sell in a public venue
- Strengthens branding if raffle item matches your mission (for example, auctioning a rain garden including plants and labor reinforces runoff prevention.)
7. Produce a Cook Book
- Requires 12-18 months lead time
- Great outreach tool and branding device
- Requires good marketing to make a profit
8. Organize an Entertainment Event and Charge Admission
- One-time event, limited funding
- Requires at least 6 months lead time
- Engage performance artist, high school drama dept., movie
9. Hold a Run for the Lakes
- Start a year in advance
- Go to www.mainecola.org for detailed instructions
10. Hold a Help Your Lake Day: ask local businesses to give a certain percent of profits from that day to the lake association for a special purpose
- Not hard to do, probably a slow starter but would grow over time
- Could fit into other activities as part of Lake Appreciation Month (July)
- Cultivates relationships with merchants who depend on healthy lakes.
*NB A raffle is a “Game of Chance” and is regulated under Maine law. Important things to know: any nonprofit which has been incorporated in Maine for at least two years may hold a raffle without getting a permit if the raffle prize is worth less than $10,000. If the prize exceeds $10,000, a permit from the Maine Department of Public Safety, and a monthly fee of $60 for the duration of the raffle is required. A nonprofit may not raffle a prize worth more than $75,000. More info at www.mainecola.org