How to Raise Funds for Non-profit Events?

A few years back I had the distinct honor of helping the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). IFMSA is an international umbrella network for all the national organizations of medical students. It has done terrific work since the second world war in mobilizing medical students to provide care and service in many therapeutic, and especially public health concerns. I was helping IFMSA put together a major congress and conference on its 50th anniversary celebrations – it was going to be a re-birth of an organization that had been successful in its first 50 years of xistence, and wanted to grow into the next stage of a global entity serving humanity.

One of the things I realized during that experience was the need in most non-profit ventures to learn about fundraising. That uphill battle becomes even more difficult when it comes to youth organizations that do not always have experienced staff, and where most people’s efforts are largely voluntary. Hence, at that time, a few of us published two documents that we thought would help students organize non-profit activities in their communities, and actually raise funds not just locally, but internationally. We were sort of amateurs ourselves, but wanted to have the knowledge and experience we had gained in the fundraising process to be distributed widely. These documents are given here:

I am reminded of the above because one of the IFMSA colleagues just posted a note on our mail server regarding a nice online fundraising organization tool for small non-profits raising monies. I am posting it in its entirety below:

Probably one of the most discussed topics in IFMSA is fundraising. I have found a tool on the net that can help you fundraise from individuals quite easily and wanted to share this with you. Just wanted to share this with you, it may be of help in funding your project. The tool is called Fundable and can be found at

How does it work: you have a project and have a set fundraising target. Individuals can donate through the web with their creditcard or paypal. The individuals are only charged if your fundraising target is met, so there is no risk for the donors that the project doesn’t go through finally. There is however an options for donors to give you money regardless whether the target is met or not.

The service is not free of charge, if you reach your target, 7% is deducted to cover for the costs. But if you don’t reach your target, it doesn’t cost you a thing. Furthermore you don’t have to pay bank-costs for receiving creditcard payments.

To me this seems a perfect tool for small projects that don’t require a lot of funds. You can promote your project and refer possible donors to this site. You could even split your project in different stages to get funding for each stage. It also helps you to set realistic goals for fundraising efforts as you must reach your target to get your money 😉 This is just a tool, so you still need to approach donors yourselves. You will still need to make a good proposal, find possible donors and ask them for money. This tool just helps you to cash in.

Good luck fundraising!

Yours, Jacco Veldhuyzen
IFMSA Treasurer 2001/2002.


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