Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Buy A Brick

Posted on 13 November 2007 at 11:37 am
Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Anonymous
    13 November 2007 at 11:37 am #3003

    Please can anyone give me some background information about setting a Buy A Brick scheme up. I am looking to fund our new school chapel and business centre and thought it may be a good ideas to get the community involved to.

    Any information/advice would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks

    Sarah Gildea
    Fundraising Co-Ordinator
    St Wilfrid’s School
    Tel: 01293 421421 ext 238
    email: s.gildea@stwilfrids.com

    Anonymous
    13 November 2007 at 11:42 am #10009

    We did it many years ago at my old church.
    £5 a brick, raised a few grand. Pretty sure we could have got more if we hadn’t charged so much, £5 being a lot of money in the 1980s.
    A few grand when target was about 1/2 million. Wasn’t the best idea.

    Things may have tightened up since but back then we touted the idea to other churches in the area as well as local community.

    Anonymous
    13 November 2007 at 11:45 am #10010

    We did it many years ago at my old church.
    £5 a brick, raised a few grand. Pretty sure we could have got more if we hadn’t charged so much, £5 being a lot of money in the 1980s.
    A few grand when target was about 1/2 million. Wasn’t the best idea.

    Things may have tightened up since but back then we touted the idea to other churches in the area as well as local community.

    Thanks for that – we were thinking of not having a fixed price per brick – starting at £1.00 and then people could donate what they could.

    Anonymous
    14 November 2007 at 4:07 pm #10011

    There are a few variations on this theme. If you are going to acknowledge your “brickies” in some way, it’s not a bad idea to name a price – £5 is very reasonable in today’s market, but you know your local circumstances.

    A recent one which I set up had £5 per brick, with a nicely printed brick as a donor card – ticky box for Gift Aid, of course, and the option to buy multiple bricks with your credit card!

    You do need to be slightly careful to ensure that each brick covers its costs – every acknowledgement and every GA claim is a cost.

    But B-a-B has the wonderful benefit of simplicity, which is a major selling point.

    There are some general tips on running collection schemes on my old website – http://www.beldons.co.uk under Funraising Ideas.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Anonymous
    16 November 2007 at 3:59 am #10012

    Please can anyone give me some background information about setting a Buy A Brick scheme up. I am looking to fund our new school chapel and business centre and thought it may be a good ideas to get the community involved to.

    Hello Sarah: You did not say, but I expect that the “Buy-A-Brick” component in your plan to raise funds for your new school chapel and business centre is a cap— and a small one—to the major gifts you are raising which must make up about ninety percent of what you plan to raise, with that amount coming from about twenty percent of your donors. That is probably old ground I am covering which you have already traveled, but I take that risk in the event you are in fact looking to the brick-buy campaign as being the source of a great deal of money—even to rely upon it for most of the money you need. That approach would most likely result in the failure of the project to raise anywhere near what is needed.

    If you do have the assurance that you will reach very near your goal with those required major gifts, then you can expend the time and effort to bring more of the community into the project. However, you will consider that funding a school chapel would most likely fail to attract money from the community-at-large, but only from the community you serve. It will do no good to extend your campaign to boundaries outside of your sphere of service and influence.

    And, I suggest it be not favorable for you to offer bricks for those who could donate what they choose. Again, however, if you are near the end of your successful campaign with the receipt of those very large contributions, then you may have the luxury of making the bricks available in that way to engender good public relations and the feeling of ownership by those in your school “family” who could not otherwise afford to donate an amount which is usual for such campaigns. If that is not the case, then I suggest that you must have a fixed required contribution amount to make the effort worthwhile, and to be serious about the raising of serious money.

    Here in the US, with the several such campaigns with which I was involved, they were all set at $500 USD, always a good and fair “price” here.

    Lapsing as I cannot help into thoughts that perhaps you were putting all, or most, of your “bricks in the total fund-raising basket,” you need not be reminded that undue focus on those much smaller contributions sets up many opportunities for failure to fund the entire project. They are (as we, for example, in your case, set the price per brick at £50):

    (1) For just £50,000 (of what must be a much greater total amount) to help pay for the cost of the new school chapel and business centre, you would need to find 1,000 donors. When banking (literally) on smaller gifts to do big work, I always encourage such simple math, and that quick exercise with the calculator does it every time when one sees the daunting numbers.

    (2) You could be getting £50 each for brick donation, when the donors could actually give you many times that amount if they were asked.

    (3) You inadvertently set the pattern for asking small, should you place heavy emphasis on mainly seeking donations for bricks, and especially when you are leaving it up to people to pay what they wish. Thus, when the time may come you need to solicit much larger donations, there would be no habit or acceptance to the new strategy, and your volunteer solicitors will not be comfortable asking big, when they were previously in a culture of asking for little.

    Of course, the value or the lack thereof, to this essay, has everything to do with your plans and the resources to raise the major gifts you must have in such capital endeavors, and that money will never solely, or mainly, ever come from selling bricks.

    Let us know the other details to your funding of the project. We are happy to help every step of the way, whether treading on bricks or not as we walk along with you on the fund-raising path.

    Tony

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