Fundraising Event Tools

There are a lot of different things that you’ll need to make sure your fundraiser both runs well and brings in as much money as possible. CASA is thankful for any amount of money donated, and anything you’re able to raise will go toward helping kids in need all over New Jersey. So we want to help you however we can. With that, here are some tools that we think will be of great assistance to you in your fundraising endeavors!

Processing Payments

If you’d like to collect payments in ways other than paper bills, you’ll need to do certain things to insure you can do so. You’re going to need to secure a merchant processor, and the first step toward that is obtaining a merchant account. This should take about two weeks, and you should choose the processor that is the most efficient and cost effective for you. Try talking to your bank, or looking into Chase Paymentech. If all else fails, you could always just search “merchant processor” on the internet.

There’s different types of transactions, and fees associated with each, and you’ll have to choose the one that works best for you. There’s a retail card swipe transition, in which the card is swiped into the terminal by the cardholder. This tends to carry the lowest fee and it is the safest kind of transaction. Then, there’s manual entries with address verification services (AVS). An AVS requires you to enter their address and zip code as well as their card information. This is safer than a transaction without AVS. Then, there’s manual entry without AVS, which typically have the highest fees. So, choose your method of transaction and choose your merchant processor, and execute your contract (which means you’d have to give your merchant processor access to your account).

After all this, you’ll have to obtain a credit card terminal. You don’t have to get it directly from your processor, though—you can buy a new or used one, lease it, or get it off of the internet. It has to be a model used by the processor, though. Then, you should set up an appointment with your processor, who will walk you through how to download their software and work the terminal.

Lastly, set up a PayPal account (under Merchant Services) for virtual deposits.


Raffles are a great way to incentivize eventgoers to donate more money. Basically, people buy raffle tickets to put their name in for fun prizes. You can put together the prizes from donations, whether from corporate sponsors, local businesses, or helpful community members. If your fundraising event has a committee, you might want to designate a subcommittee for putting together raffle prizes/baskets.

You have to apply for a gaming license for this kind of event since it is a game of chance, so go through the proper channels to achieve that.

Ways to Maximize Raffle Effectiveness:

  • Make sure that your raffle tickets are a reasonable price, and try offering deals (like 1 ticket for $1, but 10 tickets for $7). Calculate a goal amount of money you want to raise through raffle ticket sales and try to base your prices off of that
  • You can give away a couple of tickets for free with a regular ticket if that works for the structure of your event
  • If you do raffle baskets instead of just raffling off standalone prizes, you might want to make some baskets with fun themes like “beach day” or “relaxing night in”
  • The best way to choose raffle winners is to draw them at some point during your event. This is easier than contacting winners afterward and allows you to quickly repick a winner if someone doesn’t respond

Silent Auction

Silent auctions are great for calmer events with participants with some expendable income. Try to illicit donations from surrounding businesses who may be interested in free publicity and helping the cause. Also think about reaching out to local artists who may want to donate some of their work. Like with a raffle, you may to create a subcommittee for this. People with a lot of connections could be very helpful in creating an array of attractive auction items.

Set the auction up to be as visually appealing as possible. Hand out directions for bidding and general rules. You should include this in the invitations that you send out if you send invitations. You could also attach an item description page, but that information can be shared with plaques by the items as well.

After the auction/event, the winner of each item, a bid sheet, and the item itself should be brought to a front desk to get checked out.

Items with a value less than $100 should be bid in increments of $10.
Items worth over $100 should be bid in increments of $25.
State any minimum bids.

Bake Sale

A bake sale is probably the easiest of these tools and the most often utilized. All you need to do is get volunteers (whether they are already involved in the event or not) to donate homemade baked goods. But, you need to be careful that none of the baked good contain any major allergens. If they do, make sure that you label them very clearly and separate them from the other snacks. Gluten-free and vegan options are always good to have as well, to make sure that as many products are being sold as possible. And bring water bottles/other drinks to sell, too!