Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Aussie non profits are getting creative. Their hands have been forced. With an uncertain world economy contributing to a sluggish local retail sales and job growth, people are not exactly lining up to donate their hard earned dollars. With competition for a limited pool of resources, NPOs are constantly finding new ways of engaging potential donors.

Fun runs, team building boot-camps, cocktail functions, privately hosted themed parties, auctions, crowd funding and other active challenges are all being used more commonly by NPOs as inclusive fundraising techniques. Social media is now indispensable for NPOs - Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others are used often exclusively to communicate, connect and organize all these creative activities.

Larger NPOs are strides ahead - with highly promoted and supported events like Wear Pink Day for Breast Cancer Research, Movember and Oxfam 100km Trailwalker all examples of creatively operated fundraisers that all have coveted long term brand value attached.

The key is to build value into the fundraising activities beyond simply asking for money. When businesses and individuals alike can get something out of the planned activities, it adds to the feeling of doing something fun to that of the satisfaction of achievement.

Traditional fundraising methods still do have a role to play though - especially with recent figures from Britain showing people are hoarding up to 30billion pounds of unused clothing and furniture. This UK figure is indicative of the excesses of developed nations.

Kerryn Caulfield, the CEO of the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations, the peak industry body representing over 2,000 charity op shops around Australia is always keen to tap into this huge resource.

In launching an awareness week in September for the op shop industry, she stressed that “Charity op shops are currently experiencing the lowest stocks on record. When the economy is tight, most people hold onto their possessions, yet demand for charitable assistance increases.”

In this type of environment, creativity is especially important for smaller non profits to fight for attention and funds. A local NPO in Melbourne recently launched a campaign called 'The Chupa Chup Exchange', with the hope of using the ancient art of bartering to raise funds.

It's an unusual campaign which started with one lollipop and has already made four exchanges. Currently a charitable local young lady is offering a date to benefit this cause.

While the concept is not unique (think One Red Paperclip of Canada), campaigns like The Chupa Chup Exchange taps into the ingenuity and networking abilities of people on social media. They can take a small creative idea, and turn on the free PR! People are certainly more likely to get involved and open their wallets (and hearts) when a fundraising event is interesting, fun and social.

Contact Profile

The Charity Nursery Incorporated

The Charity Nursery Incorporated is a Melbourne based NPO which provides other non profits and micro-enterprises with free work space and fundraising services.
David Chen
P: 0421 023 266


Non profit, Charity, Fundraising, Movember, The Chupa Chup Exchange



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