Fundraising: Some Ideas to Get Started

In order to pay for expenses and grow your local MTA group, considerable fundraising will likely need to be accomplished. Ideas for fundraising include: 1) individual giving; 2) events as fundraisers; and 3) direct-mailing requests.
In order to begin collecting money you will need to first set up a bank account for your group. You can find information about how to do that here.


  1. People give when they are asked, and rarely give when they are not. Even when people are asked, they don't always give. So, you need to ask for more gifts than the number you need to bring in, and you need to be comfortable with people saying "No."
  2. You need to thank them and keep them posted on what your organization is doing with their money if you want them to give more than once.
  3. You can't raise all the money your group needs by yourself. Spend some time building a team of people to help you.

Individual Giving

  1. Goal is to build loyalty among individuals who are willing to donate – your group members, supporters, volunteers.
  2. RELATIONSHIPS are the key
  3. Fundraise with a large base of fundraising volunteers
The personal ask is good because it is low cost and straightforward. Come up with list of people who might be willing to donate. Ask for contribution – make a “strategic ask.” If someone donates, remember to send a thank you note. Make sure they know the donation isn’t tax deductible.


Events can be a good way to raise funds but can be costly and time consuming. Events help mobilize your base, generate public attention, are an opportunity to educate, and set the message for your group/cause.
Types of Events:
  1. Sporting, music, and cultural events
  2. Social events (dinners, dances, quiz tournaments, community picnics)
  3. Auctions and raffles
  4. Exhibitions, festivals, fairs, marches, demonstrations
Check out June 2011 Webinar Recording for creative event ideas that could be fundraisers (

Direct-mailing requests

  1. Recruit others for a fundraising team – the more people, the more potential contacts and donors.
  2. Draft a sample letter and response form.
  3. Make sure volunteer/recruit team is consistent on wording of letters/phone calls.
  4. Send letters and make follow up calls.

Other ideas (non events)

Phonebanking, door-to-door fundraising. Both can require more resources, more time, and more training.