Raising money for charity can be difficult at the best of times, but in the current economic climate it's even harder. You will need to come up with an incredibly creative fund raising campaign if you want to persuade people to part with their hard earned, and much sought-after, cash. Here are a few fund-raising suggestions to help you kickstart your charity brainstorming sessions.
1. Recycling - many recycling companies will pay money for everything from glass bottles and drink cans to mobile phones. Instead of asking people for money, ask them for their old junk, and recycle it for cash.
2. Start a website - it costs very little to set up a website, and you could earn a lot for your chosen charity via affiliate programs and advertisements.
3. Start a Squidoo Lens - if you can't afford to run a website, run a Squidoo lens instead, they're free to set up, and can produce good earnings.
4. Write a book - self-publish a book via Hulu and sell it for a profit
5. Do a sponsored event - finishing a charity run is still an admirable achievement. If a charity run doesn't sound adventurous enough for you, consider competing in some other sporting event for sponsorship.
6. Write letters - raise awareness by sending out paper letters. They have a personal effect that other donation requests don't have.
7. TV and Radio - local media can be useful for reaching a lot of people.
8. Cooking - if you are good at making biscuits or cakes, these are always desirable fundraising tokens.
9. Host a party - even in the current economy, people enjoy a good night out. Sell tickets, and donate all the proceeds to charity.
10. Run a competition - get local companies to donate prizes, and charge a token entry fee.
11. Host a yard sale - instead of getting rid of old junk on eBay, run a real-life sale, with all of the proceeds going to charity.
12. Run a charity challenge - instead of a standard sponsored charity run, make it a competition, with a prize going to the person with the fastest time, along with an extra donation to their charity of choice.
13. Just Giving - lots of people struggle to find spare loose change to hand over to people looking for sponsorship, but are happy to donate via debit card or PayPal. Set up a JustGiving page for people to use for donations.
14. Charitable luxury - make handmade candles and soaps and sell them for an affordable price.
15. Christmas cards - sell handmade Christmas cards; they're a popular item and don't cost a lot to make.
16. Vouchers and tokens - ask local companies to donate vouchers that you can use as prizes and fund-raising incentives.
17. Donation matching - find a local company and ask them to match whatever you raise through your normal fundraising efforts. It's great PR for the company, and extra cash for your charity.
18. Donate time - if you can't raise a lot of money, lend your time and skills to your chosen charity instead.
19. Dress down day - ask everyone in the office to donate a pound to charity so they can wear casual clothes for a day.
20. Brand parties - instead of having an Avon party, look for a brand that will help you run a charity party. There are lots of family friendly brands that support charities these days.
21. Nag a celebrity - get a local celebrity to endorse your cause.
22. Put on a performance - if you have musical talent, put on a show at a local pub or community hall.
23. Give guided tours - do you know your area well? Run a ghost hunt or a history tour during the summer.
24. Affiliate programs - join affiliate programs, and ask people in your community to do their usual shopping through the affiliate links.
25. Gift aid - if your local government offers tax breaks on charitable donations, ask people to use that scheme.