FRIDAY 5: Fundraising Tips for You

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Whether you’re starting your own project, or want to support a cause you care about, you have to have some cash on hand. Wondering how to get started?  Get inspired by these tips from teens activists and entrepreneurs and other experts who know what it takes!

ONE: Be Realistic: Every entrepreneur needs to have a money plan, advises Dani Ticktin Koplik, principal of dtkResources: “You may not need a lot but it’s important to 1) know where to get it 2) factor it into profitability and 3) understand that you have to pay back what you borrow. Don’t fall into the lemonade stand trap: even if the lemons come from your refrigerator, they’re not free.”

TWO: Start Small: Think of things you can do with little overhead, like bake sales, car washes, and yard sales. Then think about ways to tap into even more cash. For example, to beef up your car wash offerings and the amount you can charge, throw in a little detail action – vacuum interiors, wipe down seats and dashboards, and Windex the inside of the windows. Top off the service with a handmade air freshener (you can fill coffee filters with dried flowers or potpourri and tie them shut with a simple ribbon and voila!) and a thank you! Read here about how Like a Boss featured Changemaker Jessica Markowitz uses this technique to raise money for her charity.

THREE: Use Your Connections: Social networking is a powerful (and free) tool that’s right at your fingertips. Beyond your Facebook network, think of other groups you can reach out to – even just to spread the word about your project. When Sarah Cronk founded The Sparkle Effect, she became her own publicist, talking to national sports and volunteer organizations, as well as disability-focused groups. Eventually, she even appeared in People magazine and on Oprah. She said in an interview with Ypulse that the support she got was “both humbling and awe-inspiring.”

FOUR: Dream Big: Look for opportunities to win funding from national organizations, like Do Something. In 2009, more than 800,000 teens took action through Do Something programs, and young people received nearly $400,000 to fund their community projects! And Do Something’s not the only big-time organization supporting putting young activists and entrepreneurs; MTV just offered a $10,000 scholarship to the winner of its Pretty Amazing contest. Keep following this blog – and Like a Boss’s website and Twitter feed – for more opportunities to win big.

FIVE: Think Unique: People love to buy things that are unique, collectible, and have limited availability…like a souvenir, but one that’s specifically related to your issue. Take teen writing organization WriteGirl. Each year WriteGirl publishes a collection of writing from participating teens and sells the anthologies as a fundraiser. The books are like nothing you’ll find in a Barnes & Noble, and purchasers have the additional satisfaction of knowing they’re getting a unique keepsake while supporting a good cause (read our review of WriteGirl’s latest anthology Beyond Words).

Keep the conversation going and the ideas flowing! Check out Like a Boss’s recent article, 10 Creative Fundraising Ideas To Get You Started for more great advice – then tell us what fundraising ideas have been successful for you!



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