AskDefine | Define fundraisers

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of fundraiser

Extensive Definition

A fundraiser is an event or campaign whose primary purpose is to raise money for a cause. See also: fundraising. A fundraiser can also be an individual or company whose primary job is to raise money for a specific charity or non-profit organization. Fundraisers often benefit charitable, non-profit, religious, or non-governmental organizations, though there are also fundraisers that benefit for-profit companies and individuals.
Individuals who raise funds for charities are often directly employed by the charitable organization and are called directors of development. More often, charities rely on individuals and companies who are expert in the complex field of fundraising.


Fundraisers are just like any other money-making operation in that they work by exploiting the difference between the cost of producing the event or campaign and the amount of revenue it takes in. Successful fundraisers generally have a wide gap between the production costs and revenue, and unsuccessful fundraisers have a small gap or no gap. Fundraisers may actually lose money when their costs exceed projected revenues.
Because the main purpose of a fundraiser is usually to raise as much money as possible, they commonly employ techniques to keep their costs as low as possible. Costs are kept low by using one or more of these techniques:
  • Charging inflated prices for products (usually: goods, services, entertainment, or affiliation).
  • Charging competitive prices for products that are secured at low-cost or no-cost.
  • Encouraging individuals or corporations to give money without receiving anything material in return.
  • Using volunteer labor.


There are many common kinds of fundraiser events. All of these events employ one or more of the techniques above:
  • Meals and Entertainment (e.g. campaign dinner)
  • Sales Drive (e.g. product sales)
  • Capital Campaign (e.g. campaign to finance new building)
  • Membership Campaign (format of low dollars - high participation to bring in new donors)
  • Competitive or Sporting Events (e.g. golf tournament, walkathon)
  • Services (e.g. partnering with a carwash company on a specific day)
  • Online fundraisers (e.g., charitable web-search freelanthropy and online product sales)
  • Person-to-Person Fundraising Page
  • auctions (e.g. silent auctions of donated items, often accompanying a charity event such as a black-tie dinner)
  • Sponsored walk

Product fundraisers

In addition to fundraising events, schools, sports leagues, and community groups often sell products to raise money. Nearly 1.7 billion dollars was raised using product fundraisers by U.S. organizations in 2005. 83% of sales were from school and school-related groups and the average US product fundraiser sale generated more than $2,500 for the organization raising the funds.
The most popular products are:
  • Cookie dough
  • Candles
  • Gift wrap
  • Ornaments and novelties
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Candy and confections
  • Other perishables
  • Candy bars
Such product fundraisers by IRC 501(c)(3) educational, charitable or religious organizations in the United States may not be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax unless a business is regularly carried on.

See also

sisterlinks fundraiser


fundraisers in Czech: Fundraiser
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