Monday, November 8, 2010

Fund Raising: Ebay Auction Style

Veering off in different directions for the benefit of your client often portrays you as a momentary hero. Ride the wave as long as you can.

As a grant writer being on top of any financial need for your non-profit especially recognizing ones unforeseen by the casual bystander makes her worth her weight in gold. A grant writer's experience says to always expect the unexpected. When things go wrong the possibility of the occurrence has already been figured into the financial equation. Remember the rule of thumb, “Murphy was an optimist.”

A small shortfall can occur in almost any nonprofit's budget. Any number of unexpected expenses can upset finances during the budgetary year. Whatever program or project the organization you represent is funding always expect the unexpected and you will be ahead of the game. With experience many signals are telegraphed and recognized well ahead of any approaching catastrophe.

That last statement is probably just BS. As much as each of us would like to walk on water for our clients, we too are able to miss the hand-raising of slow motion, short term problems. Sometime there is not enough money to pay for unexpected expenses. This is especially true for smaller nonprofits unable to tap into some huge ready and waiting pool of emergency funding.

This suggestion is so simple, so easily accessible, so easily started that I hesitate to even mention it; but I will anyway. Sign your nonprofit up for charitable status at Ebay. That is all there is to it. is and has been the most popular auction style site on the net for many years now.

I have personally used Ebay's services to sell hundreds of items over several years. How much money did I earn? Well I did not actually earn any money, so to speak. What I did was get rid of items I no longer needed and put them into the hands of those who wanted them. Any money I realized after the auctions was always a plus. Everybody gets their cut from the sale of the items. Still after all is said and done, money went into my account that otherwise I would not have. Your charitable nonprofit will benefit from the entire percentage of the value of the donation with no risk involved.

If your charitable organization is not set up with ebay for donations, it is an easy and painless operation. Once setup your fund raising arm should notify your entire donating list of your organization's participation in the program. Short term financial needs could be satisfied quickly. Utilizing your membership's list of donors, leave no one out for notification. Send out press releases, post handbills, notify forums, facebook, twitter, even your Aunt Jane about the Ebay participation. Spread the word as rapidly as possible.

When an ebayer puts an item up for bid or sale, there is a section where a choice may be made to donate to a participating charity. In the A listings alone there were 1468 organizations set up for donations the week of November 1st. 10% of anything sold will be deposited into the nonprofits account. This is an easy process to establish hopefully inciting a tremendous amount of activity in a short period of time.

Go to If you are responsible for the funding of your organization simply sign up in moments. Get on the horn and notify everyone in your group to spread the word. You may find you have tapped into an excellent financial resource for almost no cost to your nonprofit.

So get ready to dispose of everything in your over flowing garage. You will have fun doing it and be helping your organization now and into the future with very little effort. As a grant writer you may even be a hero for a moment. After all, time loves a hero!

Translation: Go Ebay!

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