Fundraisers are a critical source of revenue for schools. At CharityMania, we do our part to simplify the process and maximize profit (70%!) with our fundraising platform. We also understand that one fundraiser is simply not enough. Schools need to use a variety of fundraising methods to prevent fundraising fatigue and bring in the donations needed to fund critical needs.

We work with a lot of schools and often hear about their trials and tribulations with fundraising. To help our school colleagues, we put together a few pros and cons of some of the most common fundraiser ideas based on the successes, and frustrations our school partners have shared with us. One of the ways we work it is with Pickup please, here you’ll learn where to donate clothes and other things to help with the next fundraisers.

Types of Fundraisers

There is an array of fundraising options. To find the right mix for your school, it can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of each fundraising idea and develop a plan for how and when to use them based on the time and resources available.

Events

Events run the gamut from formal galas to casual get-togethers. They vary in complexity based on whether or not you include silent or live auctions and entertainment.

Pros: On the positive side, events are a great way to build relationships with your stakeholders, show them a good time, and showcase the good work that you do with students. Many schools hold annual events that help attendees anticipate the event and look forward to it.

Cons: Unfortunately, events often cost money upfront to secure a venue, purchase food, and pay for entertainment or other incidentals. They also often require quite a bit of volunteer labor to tend to all of the details and help with set-up beforehand, service during the event, and clean-up after the event. In short, they can be a lot of work.

Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes, which is what CharityMania is, involves selling something of value (in our case music downloads) and promotional tickets that offer a chance to win a prize in addition to a not purchase option to enter. A common misconception is that this is a form of gambling, however since purchasers gain something of value for participating, it is not. Raffles are similar in concept, but people are specifically purchasing a chance to win something and only certain types of organizations are qualified to hold raffles.

Pros: Sweepstakes are simple. It simply involves selling an item (such as music) and awarding the prize so there is limited administration required. In some cases such as CharityMania, the profit margin is much higher than most other fundraisers.

Cons: It definitely takes effort to get out there and sell tickets.

Product Sales

Product sales are common among schools with everything from chocolate bars and magazine subscriptions to gift wrap and cookie dough.

Pros: Product sales are pretty easy to implement and potential buyers are often familiar with the process.

Cons: Because these are so common, school families have become reluctant to ask family members, neighbors and co-workers to buy stuff. Another primary drawback is that a good portion of the sales go to paying for the product, which reduces the amount of money raised. These types of fundraisers also typically require two visits to donors – the first to sell the product, the second to deliver it – which means more work for your volunteers.

Discount Coupons

Whether using online tools like Scrip or Shoparoo, or working with local or national restaurants or retailers, the basic idea is that the retailer will sell schools coupon books at a discounted price and let them keep a percentage (~5% of the proceeds).

Pros: These can make for a pretty easy sale if they are aligned with what people already purchase. Additionally, they don’t require too much time and effort to hold. These can be a great supplemental way to bring in some extra fundraising dollars.

Cons: While this can be successful, the profit is often pretty low.

CharityMania: How We’re Different

We want all of our school friends to be successful in their fundraising efforts. That is why we have developed CharityMania to be as simple and effective as possible. Through our easy-to-use online management system, a single person can run the whole program.

We offer many different fundraisers throughout the year based on professional football, baseball, and hockey; college basketball; and major golf tournaments.

Music Downloads and Sweepstakes Game Cards… a winning combination!

To raise money, you sell CharityMania Tickets (prices between $5 and $25 per ticket) and keep 70% of the money you collect. The CharityMania Ticket (i.e. the stub at the top) contains an access code that allows the buyer to download a fantastic set of digital music from our CharityStudio site. Beneath this ticket, a promotional sweepstakes game card gives the recipient a chance to win $1000s in prize money!

Why sell music downloads? Why not just use the Sweepstakes Game Cards?

There is a legal difference between a sweepstakes and raffle. With a raffle, people pay money for a ticket that gives them a chance to win prizes. Only specific types of organizations can conduct a raffle and most states regulate how the raffles can operate. A sweepstakes is not a raffle. A sweepstakes is a promotion that provides extra incentive for people to buy a product that you are selling. The sweepstakes must have a ‘no purchase necessary’ method of entry. In a CharityMania fundraiser, the Sweepstakes Game Cards are promotion only and are not sold directly. Every time someone buys a CharityMania Ticket, they purchase over $5 to $25 worth of premium music downloads (depending on the price of the CharityMania ticket) from our CharityStudio. The Sweepstakes Game Card is a promotion that provides a great extra incentive for a person to support your cause.

Legally, our Sweepstakes Game Cards work much like the game pieces in the Monopoly sweepstakes® at McDonald’s®. You cannot buy a Monopoly game piece directly. Instead, you purchase things like hamburgers and drinks and receive the game pieces for free. The Monopoly game pieces are promotion.

No purchase necessary sweepstakes tst

All CharityMania sweepstakes are “no purchase necessary”. If someone wants a free Sweepstakes Game Card, they can come to your organization and fill out a request form (provided by CharityMania) to get a free Game Card. They mail their completed request to CharityMania along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and then we will mail the person a Game Card. We do not mail them the music download access code (because they are not paying). This process is very standard for all companies that conduct sweepstakes.

What does an example game card look like?

Participants can win $1000s in prizes based on the points scored by teams pre-printed on the back of their sweepstakes game cards. You do not pick any of the teams or need to predict who will win. There is no skill needed to win prizes.

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Watch this quick, 2 minute overview video for the best explanation of how FootballMania works. Trust us, it will save you lots of time.

FootballMania Video
Overview (2 mins)

CharityMania games are all exciting, no-skill necessary sweepstakes based on sports. All game cards have an equal chance to win prize money based on the performance of the random teams pre-printed on the back of the cards. Game card holders do not require any skill or knowledge of the sport. You do not pick any of the teams or predict who will win games. All teams are pre-printed on the game cards and have an equal, and random, chance of winning based on the points they score.

For example, our popular FootballMania game cards contain 3 random teams in each of the 18 weeks of the pro football season (you get 3 new teams each week). A game card's value is equal to the total combined points scored by the 3 teams printed on the card in a given week. Every week, the 15 highest scoring game cards and the 3 lowest scoring game cards all win prizes. There are 4,960 unique game cards in a game, each of which has a minimum 1 in 15.7 chance to win a prize during the season. All of our other fundraisers work similarly, but use different teams from their respective sports.

If you have a game card, make sure to enter the number on the CharityMania website to see if you are a winner. You do not need to take any action in order to win, but you can play along and have fun tracking your card!

Sell electronic tickets (included - no additional cost)

You can sell paper tickets, electronic tickets, or both at the same time with any CharityMania fundraiser. If you sell electronic tickets only, you do not pay any of the printing costs associated with paper tickets (only a $20 setup fee).

With electronic tickets you can raise money from people that are located outside your geographic area with the personalized web page we create for your organization. There are no additional fees and your profit is the same as if you sell paper tickets. It is super simple!

Sell electronic tickets with your personalized fundraising page

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Supporters buy tickets online and get them via email

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Tickets can be printed at home or tracked online

printer-ticket-red

Music Downloads and Sweepstakes Game Cards… a winning combination!

To raise money, you sell CharityMania Tickets (prices between $5 and $25 per ticket) and keep 70% of the money you collect. The CharityMania Ticket (i.e. the stub at the top) contains an access code that allows the buyer to download a fantastic set of digital music from our CharityStudio site. Beneath this ticket, a promotional sweepstakes game card gives the recipient a chance to win $1000s in prize money!

Why sell music downloads? Why not just use the Sweepstakes Game Cards?

There is a legal difference between a sweepstakes and raffle. With a raffle, people pay money for a ticket that gives them a chance to win prizes. Only specific types of organizations can conduct a raffle and most states regulate how the raffles can operate. A sweepstakes is not a raffle. A sweepstakes is a promotion that provides extra incentive for people to buy a product that you are selling. The sweepstakes must have a ‘no purchase necessary’ method of entry. In a CharityMania fundraiser, the Sweepstakes Game Cards are promotion only and are not sold directly. Every time someone buys a CharityMania Ticket, they purchase over $5 to $25 worth of premium music downloads (depending on the price of the CharityMania ticket) from our CharityStudio. The Sweepstakes Game Card is a promotion that provides a great extra incentive for a person to support your cause by using a non profit auction.

Legally, our Sweepstakes Game Cards work much like the game pieces in the Monopoly sweepstakes® at McDonald’s®. You cannot buy a Monopoly game piece directly. Instead, you purchase things like hamburgers and drinks and receive the game pieces for free. The Monopoly game pieces are promotion.

No purchase necessary sweepstakes

All CharityMania sweepstakes are “no purchase necessary”. If someone wants a free Sweepstakes Game Card, they can come to your organization and fill out a request form (provided by CharityMania) to get a free Game Card. They mail their completed request to CharityMania along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and then we will mail the person a Game Card. We do not mail them the music download access code (because they are not paying). This process is very standard for all companies that conduct sweepstakes.

$10 fundraiser profit & costs

Fundraiser-pages-profit-percent-FM10-10

Youth Sports Teams and Leagues

Types of teams using CharityMania:

CharityMania fundraisers are especially great for club teams, high school teams, and booster clubs across all sports. Here are some of the most common sports that use CharityMania: baseball, basketball, bowling, cheer, dance, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, martial-arts, misc, rowing, rugby, skeet shooting, skating, soccer, softball, swim, tennis, track, volleyball, waterpolo, and wrestling.

Why our Fundraisers are a great fit:

We have thousands of sports teams across the US who use CharityMania to raise money. Each member of a team typically sells between 10 and 20 tickets and raises a few hundred dollars. The fundraiser is made for a single coach or parent volunteer to manage, so it is great even for small teams.

Catholic Schools and Churches

Types of Catholic organizations using CharityMania:

CharityMania works with all types of Catholic-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic grammar schools, high schools, churches, Knights of Columbus, Catholic high school grad nights, youth groups, and charitable projects funded by a parish.

Why our fundraisers are a great fit:

We have hundres of Catholic-affiliated organizations across the US who use CharityMania to raise money. Parishes and groups typically give each family or memeber around 20 tickets to sell. Each participant can raise a few hundred. The fundraiser is made for a single person to manage, although a couple extra volunteers works best for a parish with hundreds of people that may be selling tickets.

Charitable Service Organizations

Types of charitable service organizations using CharityMania:

CharityMania works with all types of charitable service organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodges, Moose Lodges, Masons, Rotary Clubs, American Legion, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Kiwanis Club, and Lions Clubs.

Why our fundraisers are a great fit:

We have been working with charitable organizations such as Knights of Columbus since the very beginning. Our sports based fundraisers are unique and simple to run. Each member can sell around 20 tickets raise a few hundred. The fundraiser is made for a person or volunteer to manage, so it is great even for small organizations.

Non-Profit Groups & Causes

Types of non-profit organizations using CharityMania:

CharityMania works with all types of non-profit groups such as Pap Corps Cancer Research, Boys and Girl Scouts, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, animal rescue, theater groups, band, Children's Miracle Network, and police and firefighter unions.

Why our fundraisers are a great fit:

CharityMania is proud to work with so many great causes, from cancer research to animal rescue, to police and fire fighter unions. Our sports based fundraisers are unique and simple to run. Each member can sell around 20 tickets raise a few hundred. The fundraiser is made for a person or volunteer to manage, so it is great even for small organizations.