If you're looking for a way to raise money for your nonprofit organization, consider setting up a brick fundraiser. Since brick fundraising focuses on gaining donations using personalized bricks, these fundraisers are ideal for parks, museums, universities, and any other kind of nonprofit organization that might be seeking funding to construct or renovate a building or exterior space.
What Is a Brick Fundraiser?
Raising money with a brick fundraiser involves allowing supporters to sponsor bricks that will be used to build a wall, patio, sidewalk, or other type of structures. Donors pay a pre-set dollar amount to have a saying engraved on a brick. Most often, the brick will be used in the construction of the special project the fundraising campaign is raising money to support. Brick fundraising campaigns are popular with donors for many reasons.
- Individual bricks are usually available for sponsorship at an affordable price, so it's possible for donors who don't have a lot of money to give to participate.
- Purchasing fundraising bricks is a way that donors are able to leave a permanent mark on causes that they participate in.
- The engraved bricks become a permanent testament to the individuals who donate to the campaign.
- Many donors purchase bricks to engrave with their own names or the names of the members of their immediate families.
- Some donors also purchase bricks in the names of their children and grandchildren, laying the groundwork for younger generations of their families to become part of the history of their favorite charitable organizations.
- Others purchase bricks as memorials, inscribing them in memory of loved ones whose lives were touched in some way by the charitable organization.
How to Organize a Brick Fundraising Campaign
If you're interested in organizing a brick fundraising campaign for your nonprofit organization, you'll need to make decisions about how much money you need to raise, how many bricks you need to sell, and what you'll charge for each engraved brick. You'll also need to find a supplier for your engraved bricks. A few companies that specialize in providing bricks for fundraising efforts are Brick Stone Graphics and Fund Raisers, Ltd.
Some charitable groups offer engraved bricks for as little as $30 each, while others charge more than $100 per brick. When deciding how much to charge, consider all relevant factors, including your target audience, budgetary needs, competitive fundraising events, and more. If you'll be using a large number of bricks in your construction project, you may want to keep the price relatively low. However, if only a limited number of bricks are available, you may be able to command a higher price. These are some first steps you can take to prepare for your brick fundraising campaign.
1. Create a Committee
Perhaps the most important first step to having a successful brick fundraising campaign is creating a committee within your nonprofit designated to the task. First and foremost, you want to select individuals who're excited about the coming event and who have experience with program development as they'll bring the right attitude and experience to get your fundraiser off the ground. Most nonprofits have some staff who specialize in fundraising or donor outreach, and these are the types of individuals you want to seek out for putting on the committee.
2. Get Financial Estimates
Every construction project has different costs, so you'll need to estimate yours to know approximately how much you'll need to fundraise. This can be completed by a local contractor and submitted to the fundraising committee where they can use that information when they reach out to brick engraving businesses to give them a ballpark idea of the number of bricks they want to have donated.
3. Establish a Timeframe
Once you've figured out your financials, it's important for the brick fundraising committee to establish hard deadlines for the length of this initiative. Not only will this be a necessary component of any proposals that need to made to the executive board (should your nonprofit require that sort of procedure) but it will also give the engravers the chance to prep for your order in time to have it ready.
4. Contact Brick Engraving Businesses
Touch base with brick engraving businesses for their rates/processes, so that you've got all the information before you start collecting donations and can choose the right business for you. In general, bricks aren't sold at these fundraisers for less than $50-$100, though you can create a price tier that encourages people to purchase more. For example, you can set one brick to cost $100 but three bricks to only cost $200 as this might be an incentive to people to donate more to your cause. Here are a few brick engraving businesses to help get you started on getting the ball rolling on organizing your brick fundraiser:
5. Get the Word Out
The most important step is letting people know about your campaign, and this can end up looking differently for every organization. You can post on your social media accounts, send in radio or written press releases, create interesting flyers or brochures, and even reach back out to previous donors to see if they're interested in any further partnership. After all, the more people who know about your brick fundraiser, the more donations you can receive and the closer you'll get to your financial goal.
Ideas for Marketing Your Brick Campaign
Once you've set your pricing and established the quantity of bricks available, you'll need to market them to prospective donors. There are several ways to make potential donors aware of your campaign. Here are some of great techniques you can use to market your brick fundraiser:
- Write a press release for the media in your area to circulate.
- Publicize the upcoming event on your organization's website.
- Contact potential donors by telephone.
- Solicit corporate sponsorships of engraved bricks.
- Distribute brick campaign brochures through local organizations.
- Speak at civic organizations about the campaign.
- Enlist the assistance of board members to spread the word.
- Send sales letters to previous donors. You can use this editable template. If you need help downloading, check out the Guide for Adobe Printables.
Don't Forget Old-School Fundraising Tactics
Sometimes in-person fundraising events are the most effective ones at building lasting donor relationships and getting the biggest number of donations for a single initiative. Ranging from hosting donation booths at local civic centers or community spaces to sending representatives to small businesses in the surrounding area that might be interested in making a large donation, the possibilities of in-person campaigning are only as limited as your resources and imagination. Don't be afraid to put a personal touch to the donating process; in the end, people want to donate to other people and reaching out to them personally assures them that they are.
Lastly, Keep Detailed Procedural Reports
It's important for every business to take the time to evaluate how well any new initiatives they're undertaking went. Even if the fundraiser isn't as successful as you'd hoped, keeping a detailed list of your process can help you identify where you can improve in the future. Executive board members are particularly interested in having this type of data, as they can use it when they're planning the next year's budget to determine if it's worth allocating more resources to another fundraiser of this kind.
Indulge in Post-Fundraiser Fun
Once you've sold enough bricks to reach your fundraising goal, you'll have the peace of mind that you'll be able to see your project through to completion. After the construction has been finished, you can organize a grand opening where you can invite both the media and the donors to in order to help show your appreciation for the donor's efforts as well as spread awareness of the positive changes being made in your community. There's so many ways for you to use the resources in your surrounding community, and brick fundraising might be your next biggest hit.