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7 Ways To Raise Funds In A Fun Way

7 Ways To Raise Funds In A Fun Way

Unfortunately, many fundraisers face a problem: They’re uninteresting. Nobody these days likes to be bored. Here are a few helpful tips you can use to make your own fundraiser actually fun!

1. Know Your Market

Above all, there’s no point having a fundraiser if what you’re selling isn’t sellable. No matter what your cause is, if what you have to sell at the fundraiser isn’t something people want to buy… Your fundraiser will fall flat on its face.

So get to know your market. Know the community of the town you’re setting up shop in. The key here is communication: let people know how much you want each person to donate, what your cause/product is, etc. Turn on your marketing cap and build incentives for people to show up for a day of fun.

2. Bake Sale

Yes yes, bake sales are tried and true. For $10 you can buy a whole cake. For $1 you can buy a cupcake. You know the drill. So, put a new spin on this traditional fundraising device by hosting a bake race!

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Just like those “chef off” shows you see on TV, where cooks make a meal within allotted time, you can have your bake sale bakers make their treats right in front of everyone! In good racing fashion, whoever makes their cakes, cupcakes, etc. the fastest…

You pick the prize reward. It’s your show! I’d personally suggest that the “winner” gets to dump a bucket of ice water on the “losers.” (For an added twist, get blindfolds for everyone. It’ll be disastrous and hilarious.)

3. Take your volunteers and helpers out for a bite or drink

Nobody likes doing stuff for free – even if it is for a good cause. Taking out your volunteers and helpers out for a meal or an after-hours drink is good friendship. Aren’t you happy when someone treats you to a meal?

This consideration builds good morale and increases the likelihood the group will work with you again. My spouse has a friend who has no qualms being our ride to the grocery store (since we don’t have a car). He knows we’ll treat him to Burger King or buy a bottle of wine for his help and patience. (It’s no fun sitting in a car, waiting on other people.)

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4. Use fun incentives

Have you ever watched the blockbuster DeCaprio flick Wolf Of Wall Street? In it, Jordan Belfort launches a billion-dollar stockbroker firm. In order to raise even more money, he holds a kooky fundraiser: if the company can raise $10,000, one of his assistants will shave off her luscious blonde locks.

Extremes like this fuel our human need for new experiences. You don’t need to go to this extreme, but using it as a selling incentive makes your fundraiser a lot more fun. Get crazy with it: Dye organisers’ heads purple if everyone raises $5,000. Raise $200 in order to see volunteers get pied in the face.

There’s no limit to the amount of exciting things you can do with this. Let your imagination run! (Imagine how you can use a street carnival for raising funds!) You can even rent a theatre screen and host a movie night in the park.

5. Create fun completion activities for your staff

Similar to the last tip, this one involves everyone (without “humiliating” them). It’s simple: raise X amount of dollars in however much time. If the goal is met, everyone gets to play sports in a water balloon fight. Or, to increase selling incentives, the group (or person) who sells the most gets tickets to go rollerblading, kayaking, or some other fun activity that gets the juices flowing.

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An even crazier idea: You’re riding a bike. Every single dollar buys you another minute of ride time. You can ride up a hill or up a mountain to make it really fun for people. Think of fun activities everyone might like to participate in when the fundraiser is over.

6. Be Memorable

The key to a successful fundraiser is to be unexpected. Dazzle. Amaze. Inspire laughter and feel-good emotions. This day an age, most people lead dormant, dull lives. One way to change that? Set a costumed theme and pick a sport. Dress donators and workers up in Halloween costumes and have everyone play a short game of softball.

Or dress everyone up as Captain Jack Sparrow (or another trendy character) and have a sack race. Whatever you decide to do, remember: each sport has an entry fee. People who donated $20, for example, can dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow and race. People who donated $30 can dress in their favourite Halloween character and play softball.

It will be goofy. It will be hard to play like that for long. And it will be so, so funny to see. Making your fundraiser memorable and more likely to pick up word-of-mouth sponsorship. (I’d personally like to see people who donated $50 to dress up as Sumo wrestlers and play volleyball. Or, just have a Sumo wrestling contest! There’s almost nothing you can’t do.)

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Even as something a small as coordinating your event/party around a Holiday helps a lot.

7. Gaming

Legendary YouTube entertainer Markiplier regularly hosts fundraisers (he’s raised over $482k to date). He’s raised $81,000+ for depression and bipolar disorder, and raised $70,000+ for a children’s research hospital. How? By hitting up Livestream and doing what he does best: making people laugh and love as he games.

Run along the same lines as him and set up gaming “booths” for people who donate $10-50 (or however much you decide). Everybody I know lives and breathes games (me included). When we aren’t working? We’re on the PS3.

Last Thought

If you want your fundraiser to stick out among the many, many fundraisers out there… Just remember to think out of the box. Don’t be afraid to be exciting and make a fundraiser to remember.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 4, 2019

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

1. Coursera

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    Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

    Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

    Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

    2. Khan Academy

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      Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

      Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

      3. Open Culture Online Courses

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        If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

        Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

        4. Udemy 

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          Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

          Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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          5. Academic Earth

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            Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

            Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

            6. edX

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              Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

              7. Alison

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                Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                  A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                  Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                  Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                  ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                  9. Stanford Online

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                    Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                    Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                    10. Harvard Extension

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                      Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                      Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                      11. Open Yale Courses

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                        Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                        12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                          Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                          13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                            Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                            14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                              Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                              15. Codecademy

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                                Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                16. Code

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                                  Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                  In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                  Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                  17. University of London Podcasts

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                                    The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                    18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                      Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                      The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                      19. BBC Podcasts

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                                        For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                        Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                        20. TED-Ed

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                                          Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                          Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                          21. LessonPaths

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                                            LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                            22. Memrise

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                                              Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                              Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                              23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                24. Fun Brain

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                                                  Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                  Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                  25. Whyville

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                                                    Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                    Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Dai KE via unsplash.com

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