Our Fundraising Checklist

Posted on 14 Jul 2018 Last updated on 26 Mar 2019

Are you considering all the possible ways you can raise money for your cause or organisation?

This is a checklist of a comprehensive range of methods and techniques for fundraising and income generation.

Many nonprofits concentrate their efforts on a small number of fundraising activities so here is a quick list of the main ways to raise money from the general public, grant-making organisations and through trading activity.


Personal: raising funds from individuals where the relationship is one on a one-to-one basis than social and recreational:

  • Standing Orders: regular donations sent from an individual's bank account.
  • Direct Debits: regular donations withdraw from an individual's bank account.
  • Payroll Giving: money direct from an individuals payroll.
  • Legacies: gifts in wills.
  • In Memoriam: gifts in memory of someone or something.
  • In Lieu of: gifts in lieu of flowers, wedding gifts, anniversary gifts etc.
  • Major Donor Campaign (big gifts): fundraising that targets high income earners for a larger than average donation.
  • Public Appeal: asking the general public for support through a publicly promoted appeal.
  • Sponsorship/Adoption Scheme: typically donations to sponsor a child or an animal.
  • House to House Collections: door to door collections of money or goods.
  • Street Collections: collections in a public place.
  • Static Collections: collections placed in shops etc.
  • Corporate Matched Giving: fundraising by employees that is matched by the company.
  • SMS Text Giving: Fundraising on mobile phones through text donations (which is a developing technology in Ireland).
  • Virtual Gifts: fundraising through the purchase of virtual products like "Buy a Goat" etc.
  • Supporter gets Supporter: each supporters asks other people to become supporters.

Social / Recreational: fundraising that happens through social or recreational events or activities:

  • Challenge Events: events where there is some element of endeavour or challenge involved over and above regular event, for example "Walking the Great Wall of China".
  • Sponsorship Events: for example: marathons, swimathons.
  • Themed Nights: gala balls / dinners / Night at the Races.
  • Auctions: donated items are auctioned for charity.
  • Fundraising Groups: regional or social groups form a focus for fundraising activity.
  • Raffles, Ballots, Lotteries: donated or Special Prizes are used to encourage purchase of lottery tickets.
  • Competitions: like raffles only with an element of skill involved in the selection of winners.
  • Static Collections: collection boxes and tins in shops and other interior spaces.
  • Property or Share Giving: donations of property or shares.
  • Public Collections: street fundraising for spare change.
  • Face to Face: street fundraising - often asking for Direct Debits from members of the public.
  • Venture Philanthropy: involving potential donors in the work of the charity. This is exemplified in the approach of the TV programme "Secret Millionaires" where an individual spends time working with the charity before a donation is given.

Media: media fundraising is often about promoting awareness of the causes and fundraising events/activities but may also make a direct 'ask' for funds:

  • TV: TV Appeals and Direct Response advertising.
  • Radio: radio appeals and direct response advertising.
  • Internet: online donation and sponsorship websites such as iDonate.ie and iFundraise.ie.
  • Social Networking Websites: utilising social networking website to find supporters and promote fundraising events and activities. Key channels are Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
  • Telephone: cold or warm calling potential donors asking for support.
  • Email: direct response email messages.
  • Fundraising Pack: a pack that is available in hard copy and online that outlines all the different ways in which someone can give to or fundraise for your cause or charity. 
  • Press: papers, magazines and other periodicals running stories or adverts for you cause and fundraising activities.
  • Billboard and Adshels: advertising your events or making an appeal for support.
  • Direct Mail: personalised mail to a selected number of recipients or postcodes asking for money.
  • Crowdfunding: online 'communities' of people prepared to give a small amount to see a larger project funded, for example Fundit.ie.


You can apply to grant-making organisations for funding.

Voluntary Grant Makers: these organisations are most often charities themselves, the majority being named Trusts or Foundations

  • Grant-making Trusts: Independent grant-making charities like the Community Foundation for Ireland, JP McManus Foundation, or the Cork Street Fund.

Statutory Grant Makers: government funded organisations who also make grants

  • Central Government: government departments provide a number of annual grant schemes, e.g. Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport's Sports Capital Programme.
  • Local Gov: local councils provide a range of youth and arts grants etc on an annual / cyclical basis.
  • Statutory Agencies: for example, The Arts Council and Heritage Council, both of which provide comprehensive funding programmes.
  • European Union: for example: European Commission, EU Peace Programme, Lifelong Learning Programme.

Private Sector Donors: companies who give grants to nonprofit organisations


  • Fundingpoint: hundreds of funding grants to which Irish community and voluntary organisations can apply to: www.wheel.ie/funding


  • Selling Goods & Services:  Charities can trade within certain limits or establish a trading subsidiary to enable them to operate as a business or social enterprise.
  • Charity Shop: the most familiar form of charitable trading is through a charity shop selling donated items.
  • Core related trading: selling goods and services directly related to or ancillary to the mission and purpose of the organisation, for example: www.rothar.ie 
  • Unrelated Trading: selling goods and services not related to the purposes of the charity - for example Newman's Own Sauces.
  • Merchandise: selling branded goods, novelties and tokens for example the Irish Cancer Society Daffodil.
  • Corporate Partnerships: developing partnership trading agreements with the private sector.
  • Corporate Sponsorship: obtaining sponsorship on a commercial basis from the private sector.
  • Cause Related Marketing: developing joint promotion on products and services with the private sector.
  • Membership Fees: charging for membership of the organisation.
  • Recycling scheme: selling donated items such as clothes, jewelry and mobiles phones to private sector companies.