Tips for a Successful Fundraiser | NAMI

Step 1: Picking The Fundraiser

NAMI makes fundraising easy. Select the type of fundraiser you would like to do below and you can register an online fundraising page. Once your page is up and running, you can begin collecting donations by sharing it with friends and family.

Many different activities can be fundraisers. Some events are large-scale and require a lot of planning and support, while others could be carried out individually or with a small team. It’s completely up to you what works best.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Benefit concert
  • Fashion show
  • Bake sale/bake off
  • Garage sale
  • Talent show
  • Spa day
  • Battle of the bands
  • Car wash
  • Date auction
  • Community sporting event (basketball, football, baseball, etc.)
  • Sports tournament (dodgeball, ping pong, volleyball, bocce ball)
  • Up all night
  • Bingo night
  • Party/gala
  • Charity dinner

You can also do a live streaming event supporting NAMI using Tiltify.

Step 2: Planning

Create A Fundraising Page

NAMI offers personal fundraising pages, which provide an easy option for collecting donations to NAMI. When you set up a fundraising page to promote at your event, your supporters can make donations directly to NAMI, and you can track your progress toward your fundraising goal in real time.

Establishing Goals

What is your fundraising goal? Setting one will help to motivate you. Think about how your event will raise awareness of mental health and how you can motivate people to participate.

Creating A Timeline

Give yourself enough time to plan a successful event. Reserving a location, getting sponsors and doing publicity takes time. Set deadlines and cross items off a to-do list.

Setting A Budget

Consider your expenses. Reserving space and securing a DJ or a caterer can be a significant cost.

Get an estimate of attendance so you can get an appropriate amount of food, decorations, promotional materials, giveaways, etc. The number of people will need to be enough to cover the cost of the event plus provide you with profit for donation. Be sure to keep track of your donations. Connect with local businesses and individuals who can donate goods and services to help reduce costs.

Picking A Location

Find a suitable venue in the community for the size and type of event. Venues such as a JCC, YMCA, town hall, schools or religious buildings might be willing to rent space at little or no cost. Reserve the venue as far in advance as possible.

Consider aspects such as lighting, speakers, tarps, food, security and accessibility and make a back-up plan for bad weather.

Step 3: Getting People Involved

Build a team of responsible people who are passionate about your cause. Their help can make putting on an event much easier.

Consider making committees or assigning tasks to people based on their interests or talents. Work with people with skill sets such as graphic design or food service experience.

Create a sponsorship package that will entice local businesses to contribute. Many businesses have budgets for charitable donations and see the benefits of participating in community events.

Have a short speech or “pitch” prepared for potential sponsors. Follow up in person or over the phone with reminders once people agree to participate.

Promoting The Event

Create a guest list that includes networks of people such as family, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors.

Making a Facebook Event can be an easy to way to let people know about the event, but not everyone is on Facebook, so think of other options to let people know such as flyers and promotional materials. Email and digital invitations like Evite are also helpful. When publicizing the event, be clear about how important our cause is and how they will be contributing to it.

On The Day Of The Event

The event is here, so now what? To make sure everything goes smoothly, create a checklist for the day.

Arrive early and supervise set up to keep everything on track with your timeline and checklist. Staff and volunteers should know exactly what their tasks are for the day.

After the event, thank attendees, volunteers and sponsors (in addition to thanking them in-person at the event) with emails and personal notes. Track attendees to invite them to future events and send the money you raised to NAMI within 30 days.

The last step is to celebrate! You did a great job organizing an event to show others just how important NAMI is. We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).