Fundraising Calendars: A Quick & Easy Moneymaker

While it's not common for quick and easy fundraisers to turn into successful moneymakers, fundraising calendars just might be the exception to that rule.

With fundraising calendars as your annual fundraiser, at the beginning of each year, raising a significant amount of money is fast and easy because everyone is looking for a new calendar to put the wall to welcome in the new year – and if you sell your fundraising calendars in December, your actually fundraising at the most opportune time as far as calendars are concerned.

For the most efficient fundraiser you'll probably do all year long, just follow these steps to quickly raise the funds you need with charity calendars.

Here's how to do it:

1. Preparation

The first week of your fundraising calendar campaign should consist largely of prep work. You will need:

  • To do some market research to determine who you will sell your custom calendars to – and the prime locations for sales (example: door to door, shopping malls, markets, etc.).
  • To decide on a custom calendar theme (research will help to determine your theme as well as your audience and their likes and dislikes).
  • To gather materials for your calendar design (such as images, necessary computer software, and design templates all best suited to your target market).
  • To get volunteers to help with your calendar design (example: a willing graphic designer or skilled illustrator).
  • Volunteers to help you compose the wording of your calendar (you will want to feature a blurb about your charity organization, its fundraising campaigns, and contact details).
  • Lastly, feedback from friends and family as to your calendar theme and design ideas. This feedback will give you suggestions on how to improve and refine your calendar's theme to make it a successful fundraising product. Your calendar's design will be final once you integrate all of the feedback.

Once you have all of these areas taken care of and decided, it will be time to develop and define your fundraising calendar's design.

2. Designing your calendar

Designing your fundraising calendars can be done fairly quickly if you have experienced volunteers or someone with computer know-how. We recommend a week to design and tweak your calendar. During the design phase you will:

  • Develop your fundraising calendar's design – using either the skills of a qualified graphic designer, or
  • A pre-designed calendar template (that you can download for free online), or
  • Your own desktop publishing software (example: Photoshop or Illustrator).
  • If you are using your own photos (of a school team or professional organization) take special care to make sure you are using high-quality, enhanced images in your calendar's layout.
  • Lastly, be sure to proofread any text and double check the dates with a 2011 calendar so there are no mistakes in your content or layout. It's wise to have a few drafts of your calendar printed out so that colleagues or family members can proof read it to make sure it's error-free.

3. Printing your calendar

Once you are ready to print your fundraising calendars, you will find that you have a few options available:

  • You can choose to print your calendars online. This will take approximately one to two weeks depending on your time limit, and you can request rush printing orders as a more expensive option.
  • You can choose to have your calendars printed by a local printer, which can be the quickest printing option – and  a better one if you want to be more hands-on (you can select your paper in person and talk one-on-one with printer staff).
  • Regardless of what printing option you choose, be sure to check the quality guarantees and printing options.

4. Selling your calendars

Once your calendars have been printed and delivered, you can determine your selling method and start fundraising. But don't forget to:

  • Advertise your calendars proactively – by informing your social networks, local community and local media.
  • Set a reasonable price for your calendars – depending on the time and work put in, and the material costs (you want to make a profit after all).
  • Sell well-ahead and before the start of the New Year (calendars make ideal holiday/Christmas gifts).

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