When people think about umbrella fundraisers the first thought that goes through their mind is selling products to keep the rain off the head of potential sponsors. While that might be one umbrella fundraising idea, typically it is not what people are referring to.
When people discuss umbrella fundraisers they are talking about a large fundraiser that handles the needs of many individuals, groups or organizations. For example, a high school might hold a frozen cookie dough sale or bake sale that will act as an umbrella fundraiser for the entire school. Volunteers from the groups and teams that will benefit from the fundraiser get together and plan their umbrella fundraising event.
Once an event is chosen those clubs get together to plan the strategy and timing so it works best for all participants. The difficulty of umbrella fundraisers is the same as any effort shared by a great number of people. Each group will have different needs that they want addressed. Many different ideas will probably be suggested. Many will work well for most groups while others may not be attractive to one particular type of group.
Usually, if all the groups under the umbrella can agree on one product or service to offer for their fundraiser, the rest of the details become much easier by comparison. One of the great things about umbrella fundraisers is the number of people available to help. While large numbers are difficult when needing a consensus during decision making times they are equally beneficial when there are things to get done.
We have found that event type fundraisers like read-a-thons, walk-a-thons, car washes baby sitting and others like that work well for umbrella fundraising. The reason these fundraisers are good is based on man power needs. That is playing to the strength of having many groups that need to raise money working together.
Before embarking on your umbrella fundraiser, though, remember that the early going will be the roughest. Once all involved agree on the destination, the journey will be much more enjoyable.