‘Background’ or Passive Fundraising

‘Background’ or Passive Fundraising

What is passive fundraising?

I call it background fundraising, others call them passive fundraising, and they involve a benefit to your organisation when somebody purchases or takes some other desired action (eg test drives a certain car). These loyalty programs require a one-time sign-up, communicating the offer to your families and the occasional reminder in your newsletters or via email. They are ongoing and can provide handy extra income.  You can be signed up to any number at the one time.

So how do they fit into your fundraising calendar?

When you are looking at your fundraising strategy, it is very important to have a multi-faceted approach. I suggest one fundraiser per term which include a mix of:

  • 1 major event (such as a fete, family day or evening)
  • 1x product drive (anything from books, cookbooks, cookies, chocolates, seeds, lunchboxes),
  • 1x ‘something for the kids’ such as melamine plates, tea towels or calendars with children’s artwork (great at term 3 or 4 for Christmas)
  • 1x community building event such as a comedy night, trivia night, Christmas carols etc.
  • Mothers and Fathers Day stalls, free dress days, election BBQs and student disco nights are extras in the calendar.

On top of this calendar, are the passive fundraisers that sit in the background.


What passive fundraising is available in Australia?

Most are easy to access as they are available online.  If you are lucky enough to live near an IGA they have a great passive fundraising program.

Examples of passive fundraisers include:

  • Online shopping rewards programs.
  • Label fundraising or school book cover fundraising (particularly useful as families prepare for the coming year)
  • Collecting bottles via your community program eg Return and Earn (NSW), Containers for Change (QLD) for schools  and for clubs and charities or CDS Vic (VIC)
  • Store promotions such as IGA or Athlete’s Foot.
  • Ask your school if they have an arrangement with a local school book supplier for your back to school books.
  • While not really a passive fundraiser (just ask anyone who coordinates school banking!) school banking can provide a commission per deposit which can add up!

When you come across these type of fundraisers, you don’t need to agonise too much over it. Don’t be pushy, but you can let your community know that if they decide to use this supplier, to make sure they use the code or mention your group.

Do you have examples of passive fundraisers or other ways to fundraise? We would love to hear from you.

Originally published: Feb 26, 2018.

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