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Lessons From Brewing Opportunities; What Everyone Ought to Know About Small Group Fundraising

Written by: Cathy Porto, FUNDrive® Regional Development Manager, December 05, 2019

For an example of total community backing, we look to the nonprofit Brewing Opportunities Foundation. Brewing Opportunities is a community-driven business raising funds to open Gerry's Café. Gerry's Cafe will be a coffee house that offers employment and competitive wages to exceptional individuals with intellectual disabilities. This organization is led by the community leaders and fundraising Rockstars Natalie Griffin and Amy Philpott. When identifying their next fundraising opportunity, they looked to FUNDrive®. By getting creative and utilizing their extensive network of supporters, they were able to secure the help of numerous volunteers to guarantee their success. Here's how they did it:

Advertise early

When it comes to a successful FUNDrive collection, advertising timing is critical. Alert your supporters too soon, and they may forget. Alert your supporters too late, and they don't have enough time to prepare. Brewing Opportunities started their FUNDrive advertising campaign at the 3-week sweet spot. They made a Facebook post announcing fundraiser details and for the next three weeks, dispensed the information in the community and made follow-up posts all the way up to their collection days.

Multiple collection locations

The absence of a physical location made single collection days the best option for Brewing Opportunities. Instead of collecting for a week or more, supporters would bring their items to designated sites on a set date and time. Thankfully due to all the connections they've made in the community, they were able to secure not one but TWO collection locations. How did they go about obtaining these locations? They simply asked. Brewing Opportunities included the collection information in their advertising and even offered up their own homes.

Seek community volunteers

A large FUNDrive collection can reach several thousand pounds; that's a lot of manpower. Brewing Opportunities again looked to their community and sent out the call for volunteers. Through personal communication and posts on social media, they appealed to general volunteers, students looking for volunteer hours, scouts, and more. The tactic worked, and they were able to rally over 40 day-of helpers.

FUNDrive Blog BrewingOpportunities Image 03

Donated delivery trucks

The last factor of a FUNDrive®, after everything is collected, is delivering all the items to the final drop-off location. Most organizations don't own delivery vehicles, and while it's possible to rent a truck, don't want to see the cost cut into their earnings. It only took a couple phone calls to secure vehicles and drivers. A local high school, auto center, and realtor company were happy to help. These three trucks were loaded with over 8,000 pounds by volunteers across two days.

Through this tremendous opportunity by organizers, volunteers, and other community organizations, Brewing Opportunities was able to double their fundraising goal and raise close to $2,000.

Brewing Opportunities - FUNDrive Check