How to Start a Charity Fundraiser

by Sophie Southern

Charities and fundraisers bring needed attention and monetary relief for important causes and issues ranging from homelessness and poverty to animals and the environment. Starting your own charity can be a good way to raise awareness or funds for a cause that sparks your passion. There are many different types of charities and fundraisers; all fall under the nonprofit business category. Starting your own charity and holding fundraisers requires you to be organized, motivated, passionate and effective at networking.

Select a cause that you are passionate about and is close to your heart. It helps to choose a cause or issue that is specific, such as helping rescue animals in your area as opposed to raising awareness about abandoned animals in general. When choosing your cause, evaluate the services that your charity will provide and the current need.

Learn the facts. Once you choose a cause or issue, learn as much as you can about it. You must be able to answer questions accurately off the top of your head when promoting your cause and soliciting donations. The more informed you are, the easier you will find it to get people interested and enrolled in helping your charity.

Establish a board of directors. Find people in your community who have relevant experience or share a passion for your cause. Putting together a board of directors gives your charity credibility and extends your network.

Manage legal structure and business logistics. You need to obtain a business license under the nonprofit structure and apply for state and federal tax exempt status. Write bylaws and articles of confederation for your charity, then file them with the department of state. Taking care of the legal paperwork and necessary logistics in advance will allow you to focus on helping people.

Create promotional materials for your charity. Print flyers, brochures and business cards. Give information to anyone you meet who may be interested in your cause. Create a website where visitors can read about your cause and give donations online, then promote your website through social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Organize a fundraising event. Fundraisers are one of the most common methods that charities and profits use to raise money and gain support. These events can range from formal dinners and auctions to charity circuses and carnivals. Decide which type of event would be appropriate for your charity and set up a fundraiser for your cause.

About the Author

Sophie Southern has been a freelance writer since 2004. Her writing has been featured in "JPG" magazine and on Zlio.com. Southern holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from the School of Visual Arts.

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