NAMI Minnesota’s Fundraiser Guidelines

Getting Started

Almost any event can be turned into a  fundraiser. Some events are large scale and require a lot of planning, while others are small scale can be carried out individually or with a small team.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Benefit Concert
  • Bake Sale / Bake off
  • Garage Sale
  • Talent show
  • Spa Day
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Car Wash
  • Sporting challenge (5K, marathon, triathlon)
  • Sports Tournament (Dodgeball, ping pong, volleyball, bocce ball)
  • Up All Night
  • Bingo Night
  • House Party
  • Progressive Dinner

Please run your idea by us! We may be able to help you think through the details.

Establish Goals and Objectives

Make a fundraising goal to keep yourself motivated. Identify what you are going to do to bring awareness to mental health and how you are going to motivate people to come and participate in your event.

Create a Timeline

Make sure to give yourself enough time to plan a successful event. Reserving a location, acquiring sponsors and doing PR takes time. Set dates by which you want specific things finished and cross them off a to-do list.

Set a Budget

Consider your expenses and get a solid estimate of attendance so that you can get the appropriate amount of food, decorations, promotional materials, giveaways, etc. Make sure the cost of the event will still leave you with profit for donation.

Pick a Location

Find a venue in your community that will suit all of your needs for size and event type. Consider community venues such as a JCC, YMCA, library, nonprofit, park rec center, school or religious building who may be willing to rent space at little or no cost. Secure your venue as far in advance as possible.

Consider additional things necessary at the venue such as lighting, speakers, tarps, food, etc. and accessibility for people attending the event. Be mindful of complications like weather (have a rain plan if necessary,) ticketing, and/or security.

Get Support

Build a team of responsible people who are just as passionate about your cause to assist you in planning the event.

Consider creating committees and assigning specific tasks to different people based on their interests or talents. Work with people with specific skill sets such as graphic designs or food experience.

Create a sponsorship package that will entice local businesses to contribute—many businesses have room in their budgets for charitable donations and see the benefits of participating in community events.

Please run your list of businesses you plan to solicit by NAMI Minnesota’s fundraising staff before you begin fundraising. This will avoid duplicating efforts or jeopardizing current corporate partnerships.

Spread the Word

Create a guest list that includes multiple networks of people such as family, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors.

Making a Facebook event can be an easy to way to let people know about the event but not everyone is on Facebook so also  create flyers and other promotional materials that you can hang up in your community. Email works as well as digital invitation options like Evite.

Make it very clear what exactly your guests will be contributing to and how important of an issue it is.

On the Day of the Event

To make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible create a checklist of everything you need that day and check things off as they happen.

Arrive early and supervise set up to make sure that everything and everyone is on track with your event timeline. Make sure your staff and volunteers know exactly what their tasks are for the day.

Take pictures – we may be able to share them in our newsletter or social media!

During and after the event, don’t forget to thank attendees, volunteers and sponsors in person and later with emails and personal notes. Keep track of who attended in order to invite them to future events.

Please send the proceeds from your event to NAMI within 30 days of your event.

You can mail them to:

NAMI Minnesota
Development Department
800 Transfer Road #31
St. Paul, MN 55114

Celebrate your successful event! NAMI Minnesota thanks you for your efforts and a job well done!