Raising money from individuals

Individual donors can be a great way to raise money for your friends group. Below are some recommendations.

1) Network
  • Create a list of all of your members and potentially helpful people you know.
  • Keep in touch. Stay in regular contact with your connections and membership so they don’t forget about you. A newsletter does this job well.
  • Always look for new friends. Have a sign-in sheet at every event and always keep your eyes open. One friends group got a one-thousand-dollar donation from a popular magazine because a member of the group served jury duty with the CEO.

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Image credit Elyse Leyenberger

2) Use Tiered Membership Fees
  • Keep a modest price for basic membership so that it remains affordable to any park user.
  • Offer a larger fee with benefits for potential donors. For example, if your basic membership fee is $10 per year, offer a $50 membership that includes a free t-shirt with the group’s logo.
  • Mail Fundraising Letters after the Group Has Proven Itself
  • People will be more likely to give you money if they know who you are and that you’ve done good things.

3) Have a Party!
  • Many groups immediately think of hosting a fundraising event to raise money.
  • Most of these events are “friend-raisers” more than fundraisers; overhead costs are high and it is often the case that you raise very little money for your group—or even lose money.
  • That said, such events can increase your group’s presence in the community, bringing in new members.
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Image credit Cynthia N Olkie

Additional Resources
NRPA: Park Advocate Handbook
Kaboom: Your Fundraising Strategy
Kaboom: Special Fundraising Events