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Earth Friendly Fundraisers

Most fundraising efforts are done for a good cause, right? Then how can we combine doing something for a good cause with 'doing the right thing?'

What exactly is 'doing the right thing' anyway? Think about it.

When you conduct a fundraiser, you are sending a message to your volunteers and your supporters. That message contains a value statement about your organization.

Doing the right thing means putting your organization squarely behind a bigger need than just your own cause.

That doesn't mean that your group necessarily gives up a portion of the net from your fundraising efforts, but rather that you direct those efforts to also accomplish a greater good.

After all, what type of message are you subconsciously sending your community if the only cause your organization advocates is satisfying your own group's monetary need?

Your fundraising activities should periodically give something back to the community. You can support another worthy local cause or support something larger by being 'earth friendly.'

What are some examples of Earth Friendly fundraising?

1) A candy fundraiser where a portion of the proceeds are earmarked to accomplish a noteworthy environmental goal.

2) A recycling fundraiser that raises funds on an ongoing basis while reducing landfill waste.

3) A cleanup effort that produces visible, tangible results that benefits your community.

Organic Candy Fundraiser

A specific example of an Earth Friendly product sale are the Newman's Own Organics chocolate bars and chocolate cups offered by CrunchTime Environmental Fundraisers.

These delicious 1.2 ounce chocolate bars come in six different, but equally scrumptious flavors.

On each candy bar, your group earns a minimum 55% profit margin, compared to the usual 45-50% offered elsewhere.

In addition, 35% of the profits generated for CrunchTime by your fundraiser will be used to 'adopt' tropical rainforest acreage in your group's name.

If you're worried about the taste of an organic chocolate bar,'fahggedaboutit.' This candy is delicious!

It's just one more example of how Newman's Own has brought great quality to other consumer products like spaghetti sauce and popcorn.

You'll be pleasantly surprised how profitable 'doing the right thing' can be with an environmentally friendly candy bar.

Toner Cartridge Recycling Fundraiser

Recycling printer cartridges and old cell phones is another way that your group can raise money on a year-round basis.

Keeping the plastic parts and the toner/ink residue out of your local landfill may not seem like much, but Americans dispose of more than 100 million laser printer or inkjet cartridges each year.

It's easy to set your organization up. Participation is free with the largest recycling firm, FundingFactory.

Collection boxes are supplied at no cost and prepaid shipping labels are already attached to boxes. Your group's name, address, and account number are included on labels.

Your group places the collection boxes at local businesses and other convenient locations such as at retailers that sell new printer cartridges. Many times a person buying a new cartridge brings in the old one to ensure a perfect match.

Every time a box is full, you call UPS and arrange for the box to be picked up. Then you replace it and start the process all over again.

Your group can collect cash or earn technology prizes for your recycling effort, demonstrating once again that 'doing the right thing' pays handsomely.

Cleanup Fundraiser

The third type of Earth Friendly Fundraiser, organizing a community cleanup project, is yet another way to fundraise and send a positive message at the same time.

This type of one day or weekend fundraising event is very similar to the Athlet-A-Thon or Fun-A-Thon concept. Here your group's participants solicit pledges from the usual suspects - family, friends, and neighbors.

Pledges are tied to a specific attainment goal such as the number of pounds of trash collected or the number of road miles cleaned of debris. You'll need to create a one-page overview of your cleanup program and a pledge signup sheet.

It works best if your overview specifies a suggested range for donations, say anywhere from a penny to a dime a pound for a large project.

An amazing amount of garbage can be collected from a local stream or an illegal dumping area, so it's not a bad idea to also put a maximum limit on a pledge amount of say, .

Do the math and you'll be surprised at how much money you can generate. A ton of garbage, or 2,000 pounds, can really add up to some big fundraising profits.

At a penny a pound, one ton is worth per pledge.

Assuming 100 participants, each of whom has five pledges of a penny a pound, if you collect a ton of garbage, then your group will raise 0 per participant or ,000.

That's not bad money for 'doing the right thing!'

Give some serious thought toward inspiring your group to put together an Earth Friendly Fundraiser this year.

You'll be proud of what your volunteers' hard work will accomplish and you'll have plenty of proceeds to put to good use for your own cause.

About the Author: Kimberly Reynolds writes about earth friendly fundraisers and tips on school fundraisers on her website. Find hundreds of fundraiser ideas on her website.

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