Thank you for your interest in raising money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New York (a.k.a. New York Civil Liberties Union or the NYCLU). In response to the many requests we are receiving for information about holding fundraisers on our behalf, we have developed the following toolkit to make it as easy as possible for you to be an NYCLU fundraising ambassador. Feel free to pick and choose which parts of the toolkit to use.
No fundraiser is too small (or too large), and we do our best to provide support to all fundraisers in any way we can. Whether it’s a lemonade stand that raises $15 or a dance party that raises $5000, we cannot wait to hear what you have in mind!
Fundraising tip: You don’t need to be an expert on our work to hold a successful event. We have provided some talking points on our work, but the most powerful way you can be an ambassador is by sharing how your own experiences and passions connect to our mission. Make sure your audience knows what inspired you to take action.
Thank you so much for being a partner in the ongoing movement to protect and defend civil liberties.
STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER
Choose an Event Type
You can turn almost any event into a fundraiser; here are some examples of what other New Yorkers have done:
- Film Screening
- Theatrical Production
- Lemonade Stand
- Bake Sale
- Art Show
- Dinner or Happy Hour
- Dance Party
- Neighborhood Party
Name your event
Choose a name that is easy to remember and descriptive. For example, “NYCLU Fundraiser” is very generic, but “Playwrights for a Cause” or “Liberty Circus” are intriguing and describe the event.
Select the date and time
Choose a date that does not conflict with any major holidays or other events in your community. The NYCLU requires at least one month of advance notice in order to provide any support, so be sure to fill out the online form as soon as your date is set!
Decide on Your Fundraising Goal
Set a reasonable fundraising goal based on the type of event you are hosting. Sharing your goal with your supporters is a great way for them to align with your mission and help you get there!
Find a location
Depending on your event type, you may be able to hold your fundraiser in your home or in a public space like a park. If you need a larger space, we recommend asking friends and family if they have connections to a bar, restaurant, theatre, etc. Many businesses are willing to donate their space for a good cause! Some of our fundraisers even found a corporate underwriter.
Promote your event
If you are planning on sending invitations for your event, make sure you send them at least a few weeks in advance — 4 to 6 weeks is ideal. An invite template is at the end of this guide. We recommend creating a Facebook event so you can easily share with your network on social media. Designing a poster that you can distribute in your community, and sharing your event in your local newspaper’s calendar of events or community calendar online, are both great ideas. Be sure to include that your fundraiser will benefit the New York Civil Liberties Union in your promotional materials.
Execute your event
We have provided a few templates that will be useful, including a sign in sheet. We are also able to provide each event with a few materials, such as brochures, posters, and stickers. Once you submit the form, you will hear back from an NYCLU staff member who will coordinate what type of support we can offer.
Post Event: Share your success
- Share your story and photos via social media and email – tag @NYCLU so we can thank you
- Send a follow-up thank you email to attendees and recap the highlights of the event
- Take our Post-Event survey to share with us what went well and what we can improve
- Send donations by check (make check out to NYCLU Foundation)
New York Civil Liberties Union
c/o Development Department
125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004
The NYCLU is NOT responsible for:
- Coordination of ticket sales and/or corporate sponsorships
- Funding or reimbursement for event expenses
- Providing mailing or email lists
- Event promotion, unless agreed upon by the NYCLU in writing