Fundraising opportunities come in many different shapes and sizes. You may be looking for a suitable occasion for a sponsored run, or wondering how you can fit fundraising into your daily life. This page should give you some ideas.
Community/ national events
Many charities provide regular fundraising opportunities in the form of national fundraising events. Different states usually hold their own version of the national event, although occasionally a big national fundraising event takes place in a central location. One example of an event which takes place in different locations all over the country is the Komen Race for the Cure, a 5km run/walk in aid of breast cancer. Komen races happen in many different states at various times of the year. Click here to go to the Komen site and find a race near you.
The New York Marathon is one of the most famous races in the country. It is usually held on the first Sunday in November. Entrants come from overseas as well as many US states, and run the marathon for many different reasons, but it is increasingly being seen as a fundraising opportunity, and many charities are represented among the runners.
Regular fundraising opportunities
Fundraising doesn't have to mean selling cookies, holding a collecting tin or doing a sponsored event. If you're prepared to make a small but regular time commitment (for example, a few hours a week) you will be able to raise hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for your favorite charity by being a volunteer. Do one shift a week at a charity shop, or ask an organization if they need someone to stuff envelopes for appeal mailings. Be proactive when looking for this kind of opportunity; think about what you'd ideally like to be doing, and then call the organizations most likely to let you do this. Most nonprofits are very grateful for volunteers. Another advantage of this kind of fundraising is that it lets you raise funds without a lot of face-to-face work, which can be off-putting for many. Shy people should see our page of fundraising ideas to find out how it's possible to fundraise without being pushy.
Fundraising for businesses
Many for-profit companies offer "fundraising" opportunities, but you should be aware that the money you raise will not be going to a good cause but towards the company's profits. Because of this, for-profit companies usually pay fundraisers rather than expecting them to work on a voluntary basis.
However, some unscrupulous for-profit companies advertise sales jobs as "fundraising opportunities" and try to give the impression of being charities so that fundraisers will work for little or no money. The only way to avoid being tricked like this is to check whether or not the company you are thinking of working for is registered as a nonprofit organization. See our page on the legal issues of nonprofit fund raising for more information. Always be suspicious if an organization asks you to hand over money before being allowed to begin work. For more information about working in the fundraising sector, see our fundraising jobs page.