Determining which fundraising incentives will garner the most return in charitable donations will likely be dependent upon how well you match the incentives with your target audience. Trying to appeal to a large base of people can be difficult so it’s a best practice to keep the incentives as generic as possible to reach a wider range of potential buyers.
Depending on the type of fundraising activity you are promoting you could be offering a prize to the holder of the ‘winning’ ticket(s) pulled or to the person who collected the most pledges or made the most sales. Occasionally, you’ll be offering incentives to both.
When school children are involved, the incentives will need to appeal to both the children and the adults involved. Incentives and prizes involving the whole family are a terrific idea. Some common fundraising incentive ideas include items such as…
- Family trips for four
- Weekend getaways
- Home entertainment systems
- Cash/Gift Cards
- Pizza Parties
- Ice poles
- Tuckshop vouchers
If it’s a sports team that is raising funds, prizes could be tailored more to the sports enthusiast. For example, offering tickets to a particular sporting event is always well received. Other popular incentives may include:
- Gift certificates to local sporting goods stores
- Free round of golf at a local golf club
- Spa package
- Dinner vouchers
If you are approaching the general public for funds and want to give away a prize, you may want to include some of the following items:
- Vehicles – Especially, if you are able to get a car dealership to donate one for the weekend for your charity
- Trips for two to anywhere a particular airline flies (makes it much more inviting to everyone when there is a choice of destination)
- Free weekend stay at a nearby hotel or resort
- Cash/Gift cards
If large expensive items are difficult to have donated or purchased, try heading out into your community to solicit items from local vendors especially service companies. You may be surprised that many businesses actually have a budget for donating their products and services to local charities. Lawn care companies, restaurants, home cleaning services and home improvement stores are excellent sources for less expensive ideas.
Some kids are very competitive by nature. If you say that the class that raises the most money (or sells the most tickets) gets a pizza party, you will be surprised how quickly the money starts flowing in. Kids love competing against each other and feel so special when it is their class who has won overall – and they never forget it! Sometimes keeping it simple is the best incentive.
Above all, try to remember what appeals to your target donor base and customise the prizes and incentives directly towards them. If all else fails, cash or gift cards always work.