Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who is currently serving a 42-month sentence at the Yerwada Central Jail in India, took time out of prison chores to perform a stage drama for a state prison fundraiser. Dutt, along with four dozen inmates, was chosen to participate in the fundraising event, which is conducted every year for the benefit of the jail staff and their family.
Fundraising events need not involve convicted prisoners to become successful, but such unique ideas to raise money could potentially attract donors, depending on the cause. In this particular case, the organizers injected a mixture of entertainment and controversy to spark interest—a good enticement for some people or organizations who simply want to be part of the main activity—and used the actor’s popularity to capture a wider audience.
Not everybody can dance or appreciate pop culture though. Aside from putting on an extravagant event, taking your efforts online is another unique way to start projects dedicated to fundraising for nonprofits. Online fundraising tools can make campaigns more accessible. Whether it’s collecting donations or holding an auction, you can reach more than just your local community. The eBay Giving Works program is a great example of an online platform that has encouraged a significant number of supporters to aid nonprofit organizations worldwide.
If your efforts on the Web have been fruitless thus far, you can set up marathons, triathlons, or themed yard sales that will allow you and your friends to sell rare or special items. Don’t be afraid to be creative in order to catch public attention. Sometimes, setting a silly goal or challenge, such as shaving your head once you reach the donation target of a thousand dollars, becomes an exciting way to motivate others to donate more while spreading awareness for your cause.
Unique ideas attract people, organizations and sometimes the media. Therefore, it is important to be as creative as you can if you want a fundraising event to reach its goal. Be colorful and be bold!
(From: Sanjay Dutt to act, dance for jail fundraiser, dna India, September 23, 2013)