How to Raise More Money with Back of the Envelope Fundraising

You need to do this ONE THING and start your fundraising right now.

This is real simple.  And it will not cost you a dime.

Have you heard of “back of the envelope calculations?”

This is called “back of the envelope fundraising.”

There’s no need for fancy software, spreadsheets, data entry people, no need to spend more money.

Just an old envelope (remember those), note sheet, spiral notebook, notepad, or if you really want to, go purchase a cheap journal at Office Depot or Staples.


Back of the envelope fundraising is really simple and works like this. Take an old envelope or sheet of paper and draw three lines down the sheet top to bottom.

You want to divide the sheet into four equally sized columns.

In the first column write the name of a close friend, associate, colleague or family member that you think could give your campaign money.

In the next column, column two, write the amount you think that person is reasonably capable of giving to your campaign.

In the last column (on the far right side) take the amount in the second column (the amount you reasonably think that person can give) and divide by three (so $300 becomes $100.  $1000 becomes $333, etc., or 33%).Keep doing this until you come up with 12 likely donors.

The fourth column you don’t need to worry about now.  Just put the header on it “End of The Day”. You will use this column when you are ready to start asking people for money.

This is a good start.  Like any big project just take it one step at a time.

Total the number in the third column and this is the amount that you can easily raise to start your campaign.

Remember, these are all friends, associates, colleagues and family members.  They probably already know you are running and if they are your friends they should be willing to help you to some extent.

A lot of people don’t have disposable cash or are uncomfortable giving money so do not get upset at those that can’t or won’t give you money.

The point of back of the envelope fundraising is to brainstorm those that can and will give you money.

You need, to be honest with yourself about what these people are capable of and willing to give, as well as your relationship with them.

It is best to have a friend, family member, colleague or trusted associate help you in this brainstorming session to create your back of the envelope fundraising list.

Spend a few days on this and it will pay off tremendously.

The next step is to get on the phone or go see each name on your list in person.  Ask them for the amount you wrote down in the second column.

Again fundraising is really hard.  Back of the envelope fundraising should help you get started with the initial money you need to jump-start your campaign.

Fundraising is daunting.

If you are social and live an active life. If you are involved in the community and know a lot of people you should be able to raise enough money to successfully run a local campaign in most cities, districts, or communities across America.

Fundraising takes focus and determination.  Approaching fundraising in chunks – small pieces broken down so that you can manage it – like any project you approach in life will help.

Your Back of the Envelope Fundraising list will make it easier to do that.

Throughout your campaign cycle as you raise more money and you can keep building on this list.

Back of the Envelope Fundraising is modular and you can apply it to a larger and larger circle of donors.

You can download our PDF. Jump Start Your Fundraising Now!, that is included with this blog that can help you with this simple approach to fundraising but you don’t really need it, this exercise is so easy to do on your own.

Again, you really just need an envelope, not paper, etc but if you want to use our form or just copy the format onto something else go ahead and get started today.

So start right now and see how many potential campaign dollars you can come up with in the next hour.

Here’s a PDF you can use to jumpstart your fundraising now.