Looking for a cool way raise funds at shows, non-profit events, and fests?

Here is how the eMerge Alumni Council sold 100 buttons to raise $2,000 for the DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center.  Keep reading to win buttons and do the same!

Step 1:  Get Everyone on “Board”

Your purpose is sell buttons and raise money!   A “pin-spirational” diagram like this helps explain the idea to your group.

Step 2:  Set Your Goal


Set a financial goal, and work backwards to figure out how many buttons you have to sell at what price.

If you’re a band with a $100 goal, choose to sell 100 buttons for $1 each at a concert and offer your new album as a Grand Prize.

eMerge Alumni Council set a $10,000 goal, so it made sense to sell 500 raffle buttons for $20 each and a Hawaiian Vacation Grand Prize.

Step 3:  Organize Materials


Your quantity of supplies depends on the financial goal calculation.  Here’s a sample list of materials:

• Raffle Prizes

Prizes are incentives for multiple raffle tickets.  Ask for prize donations from your community!

DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Board Members donated generous gifts like a  Food for Thought Gift Basket, Loop Capital Markets counsel, a collectible Hubert cookie jar from Harris Bank, a GREENOLA Fair Trade gift basket, Soma Institute massage gift certificates, Staples gift certificates, Chicago Bulls tickets, and a Grand Prize trip to Hawaii.

Button Board Buttons

Design buttons that people want to wear, and represent your cause.  You can order 100 one-inch buttons for as little as $30 with free shipping from Busy Beaver Button Co. here.

“Ask Me” Buttons
Design big buttons for representatives that say, “Ask Me About the Raffle” to promote your button board at the event.  You can order a fifty 2.25-inch buttons for $26 with free shipping from Busy Beaver Button Co. here.

Display Board

A 23×30 inch foam board displays 500 1-inch buttons, and a printed grid makes it easier to organize.  This costs $1 to $14 an you can even substitute it with any “pin-nable” material, like fabric, or cardboard.

Roll of  Double Raffle Tickets

When you sell buttons at the event, give each button-buyer a raffle ticket and save the duplicate ticket to call winners later.  You can substitute this step by designing individually numbered one-inch buttons, too!

• Computer, Printer, Paper

Use helpful tools to design buttons in the Busy Beaver Button Co. Templates, order materials, and print signage for your board.

• Easel

Want your board to stand up and attract attention?  Stand up your display on an easel.

Step 4:  Make the Board!

You organized your purpose and materials, so now it’s time to have fun!

eMerge Alumni Council members helped make this board possible.  Allegro Dance Boutique owner Victoria Lyman and GREENOLA founder Jen Moran assembled this Button Board in under an hour.  Here’s how:

1. Lay your board on a flat surface, like a table.

2. Organize buttons into position on the board.

3. Stick the button pin into the board until it’s full.

4. Make a sign with prices on the board.  Now you’re done!

This is how 500 one-inch buttons look on a Busy Beaver Button Board!  Victoria and Jen did a great job organizing it.

Step 5:  Sell Buttons!

Put on your “Ask Me” button at the event, prop your Button Board on its easel, and start selling!  Let people know their donations are going to a good cause, hand them a button, and a raffle ticket.

People will see how many raffles are selling by the gradually depleting quantity on the board.  This “limited-edition” approach creates a sense of urgency that sells buttons effectively.

Call out raffle winners later that night and pat yourself on the back!

Step 6:  Win Buttons from Busy Beaver

In two hours, 100 of the 500 buttons sold for $20 each, the group raised $2,000 and a lucky raffle winner goes to Hawaii.

Save the board and continue reaching toward your fund raising goal.

Now you can do the same!  Comment below with how you would use a Busy Beaver Button Board to raise money, and for what cause.  A winner will be selected on June 30, 2010 and receive 100 custom one-inch buttons and 10 “Ask Me” buttons to do this project.

<<Go to BusyBeaver.net