If your ministry has many members, volunteers or congregants, volunteer projects that raise money are a good idea. Typically, the entire infrastructure for the project is in place and your group need only provide the manpower to generate cash.
Have you ever seen people wrapping gifts for tips or a small fee at Barnes and Noble or the local mall at Christmas? Many large chain stores and shopping malls will invite charities in during the holidays to perform this customer service. Make sure the location will provide the materials (paper, tape, bows, scissors, tags, pens); if not, buy them in bulk. Consider training for your volunteers to make sure everyone knows how to wrap a package attractively. As a general rule, don’t start your gift-wrapping project until December 15. American’s don’t Christmas shop that far in advance. Schedule this type of fundraising event closer to Christmas if possible.
Gift-wrapping calls to mind other seasonal sales projects. Your church youth group could sell Christmas trees or wreaths. For a Christmas tree sale, secure a site in a high-traffic location. You might need to obtain a permit, so check with City Hall first. If your church is in a good, well-traveled location, you could simply use the church parking lot. Talk to two or three local tree farms to compare prices, then place your order. Set your prices above what you are paying the tree farm; you might check other lots to make sure your prices are comparable. Set up your trees and your cash box, and make sure you have adequate lighting. Also consider offering coffee, cocoa and Christmas carols to make your sale more festive. During the fall season, your group could use this same model to sell pumpkins.
Food sales are also popular. From Girl Scout Cookies to candy bars, cheesecakes and Thanksgiving turkeys, your group can sell almost any food item at a profit. A simple Internet search using the terms “food, sales and fundraising” will turn up many sources. For those who want to avoid food items, novelty gifts, magazine subscriptions and candles are other options. The possibilities are endless.
One important note: the key to these projects is to use volunteers, not staff time. If staff members are implementing the project, your group will not generate much income. Staff time is costly, and when staff members are implementing sales projects they are taking time away from their other activities.
To give a kick-start to your business, you need funding assistance. Getting a business loan is a tough task in today’s competitive world. Besides, loan processing requires a good amount of time and you may have to undergo through a lengthy paperwork process too. For budding entrepreneurs, it is relatively easy to obtain business funding from their close friends or family members. However, you should not step forward with a casual approach while borrowing a business loan from your relatives or friends. You should go through the loan borrowing process in a professional manner.
Here are 4 tips that you can follow while procuring a loan from your friends or family members.
Draft a Foolproof Business Plan
A business plan helps your lender clearly understand your ambitions and whether your business is going to be a successful one or not. With banks and other lending institutions, you have to submit a business plan beforehand. It is a crucial part of the loan borrowing process. With relatives and friends also, you should consider submitting a business plan so that they have a fair idea of your business goals and strategies. It will also help them know how you are going to use the loan and how you are going to make profit. It gives them an assurance that they are going to invest in a right project.
Borrow Only the Required Amount of Money
You should not hesitate to ask for a huge amount of money from your parents or friends. Remember if you go for a lesser amount, it will not suffice your funding requirements. You may not even start your venture if the amount is less than the required amount. Do not forget that in any business you will require money not for just starting the business only, but also to run the business and for dealing with various expenses like electricity bill, room rent etc. On the other hand, you should also not take them for granted and borrow excessive money unnecessarily.
Determine Your Repayment Plan
At the time of borrowing money, you should also decide precisely as to how you are going to repay the money. Consider making a plan that is feasible for you as well as for your investors. You can plan to repay the borrowed amount on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. You should also have alternative options for repaying the loan in case your business does not perform well. For that matter, you can prefer to have a legal document too. Make sure that the interest rate, loan repayment tenor and other terms and conditions are clearly mentioned in the document.
Take Inputs from Your Family Investors
You should consider giving an active role to your friends and family members from whom you are going to secure financial assistance. They might provide some invaluable suggestions about how you should start your business or how you should carry out your day-to-day business operations. Sharing ownership with your family investors is not a bad idea. It can help you efficiently run your business.
Once your business is established, make it a point to reward your friends or family members for providing funding assistance when you required the most.
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