Writing for The Guardian, Duncan Green explores how more attention needs to be focused on helping third sector organizations find financial independence through local fundraising instead of depending on government contracts or “without borders” organizations. Mr. Green is a strategic adviser for Oxfam Great Britain and author of the controversial blog ‘From Poverty to Power’.

The case for fundraising without borders

local fundraising ideas

Members of Clowns Without Borders in Hebron, Palestine in 2004.
Photograph: EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images

By Duncan Green | The Guardian | 7/22/15

There are an extraordinary number of “without borders” organisations (see here, or an even longer list here) – every possible activity is catered for, from chemists to clowns (and that’s just the Cs). But one seems to be missing, and it may well be the most useful. Why is there no “fundraisers without borders”?

Mike Edwards argues that “we should focus as much attention as possible on strengthening the financial independence of voluntary associations, since dependence on government contracts, foundations or foreign aid is the Achilles heel of authentic civic action”.


Local Fundraising Ideas From Within Your Own Borders To Strengthen Your Nonprofit

“Without Border” organizations have grown in popularity and now have gone beyond the medical services provided by Doctors Without Borders, to cover every imaginable need from chemists to clowns. And while these foreign-based organizations are filling a need in some of the neediest areas of the world, because of intrinsic differences, the

However, without financial independence, third sector organizations face issues that could be better overcome through local fundraising instead of depending on government and foreign aid organizations. Organizations like Inyathelo, who understand that cultural and historical context specificity make raising funds locally the best choice, are working to strengthen civil society organizations in Africa.


The article also cites the rising trend of mobile phones and the internet, which present new fundraising opportunities, but ones that could prove costly, depending on the fees that cellular communication companies retain for themselves.

Local Fundraising Ideas To Strengthen Your Nonprofit

Luckily for U.S. nonprofits, raising funds locally can be much easier and cost effective. Plus local fundraising ideas strengthen your organization by helping you to fulfill your mission to serve your community. Not only will your organization be making a positive impact right where it lives, but you will be building relationships with the supporters and local business partners you mobilize to raise funds for your cause.

Here are just a few of the local fundraising ideas your nonprofit can use to start getting stronger:

  • Family Movie Night – Set up a mobile form to capture donations in return for entrance to an entertaining family movie night you can hold at a local community center or gymnasium.  For extra fun, ask your local movie theatre to donate the popcorn!
  • Partnering for Pizza – Connect with a local pizza parlor or other local eatery to hold a fundraising event with in-kind donations/discounts that benefit your organization. You can also set up a text to donate campaign to ask supporters for help to pay any expenses or to encourage supporters who can’t attend to “buy” virtual pizza slices for the cause.
  • Community Scavenger Hunt – Send SMS text hints to hunters’ phones who are searching your town/city for items worth different points and have them post their finds to your social media page every step of the way.
  • Battle of the Garage Bands – Contact your local radio station or music store to provide an in-kind prize for local talent who create custom crowdfunding campaigns then post videos on YouTube of their best garage band performance with a link to their donation page. The band with the most votes (donations) at the end of the contest period wins.

MobileCause cloud-based mobile communications solutions, like text-to-donate and crowdfunding, can help your organization to implement fun, creative and effective local fundraising ideas that can strengthen relationships within your community and help you raise more money for your cause.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This