Brainstorm inventive ways to raise cash

If you run or even work for a nonprofit you know you already devote a large chunk of your calendar each year to brainstorming new ways of raising money for your cause.

Donation management software makes giving and receiving funds a breeze, however, how do you come up with new and exciting ways to entice and engage your donor base? Thinking up novel approaches and making them a reality is easier said than done. However, organizations cannot rest on their laurels. There are only so many times you can get the public fired up over the same old tired fundraising events.

Putting on a show
When coming up with new ways to get donations, think about what kind of service your organization provides to the community and infuse your cause and goals with it. This way you can teach and better tie your nonprofit's goals and objectives to your events. It might be time to enlist the help of entertainers such as actors, writers and comedians to see if they'd be willing to help your nonprofit raise some money.

Many organizations find injecting a little bit of showbiz ushers in greater awareness for their nonprofits as well as more donations. Take a couple of reading awareness nonprofits, for example. Joel McHale, the former host of the TV show "The Soup" and an actor on the sitcom "Community," tweeted out an offer two fans couldn't refuse, The Nonprofit Times noted. The Screen Actors Guild tried to raise money for the Children's Literacy and Assistance nonprofit by giving two tickets to a taping of "The Soup" for a $60 donation. However, a small donation bidding war began, raising the price to several hundred dollars after McHale tweeted he would give the ticket winners a hug.

Novel ideas
Another nonprofit also found using actors and comedians could raise money as well as awareness for its organization. The Los Angeles branch of the 826 National nonprofit, 826LA, which provides writing and tutoring workshops for children, receives money raised at the door from performances of Dead Authors. Put on by Paul F. Tompkins and held at the Upright Citizen Brigade Theatre in LA, the comedian impersonates H.G. Wells, the author of "The Time Machine" and interviews other actors who dress up as famed authors such as Truman Capote and Edgar Allan Poe. 

The stage show also has its own podcast and Tompkins lets listeners know each episode that proceeds raised for every performance go to support the reading and writing nonprofit.

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