4 Reasons to Have a Halloween Fundraiser Next Year, 8 Ways to Get Started

At nearly $7 billion in sales, Halloween is a frighteningly successful holiday - second only to Christmas in consumer spending. But for fundraisers Jack Skellington's Halloween is #1.

Halloween is social. Halloween isn't the family holiday that Thanksgiving and Christmas are. Parents parade their kids out in neighborhoods, and costume parties for all ages are everywhere. Halloween is the holiday of weak ties and you should capitalize on its casual, fun and social nature.

Halloween is packed all into one exciting night. The major holidays seem to drag on forever. But Halloween has a zombie-like following that kids and adults crave like the undead love BRAINS! Feed the need with your halloween fundraiser.

Halloween is non-denominational. You're not stepping on any toes by having a Halloween fundraiser. It's not a religious holiday that's going to exclude anyone and ruffle some feathers. It's kind of like Thanksgiving with candy instead of turkey. Most people love it!

Halloween is part of everyone's business model these days. I'm looking at this from a cause marketing perspective and the potential for you to work with businesses. Department stores, convenience stores, party stores and supermarkets, they all sell Halloween costumes, candy and decorations. They are all potential partners for your Halloween fundraiser.

8 easy ways to get started with Halloween fundraisers

1. Seasonal Halloween stores pop up everywhere this time of year. Find out which stores setup in your area from your local chamber or town hall and plan a fundraiser. Spirit Halloween, which has 900 temporary stores from Labor Day to early November, has already raised $2.5 million for children's hospitals this month. It's worth looking in to.

2. Collect candy for the poor, homeless or troops abroad. The Good Scout Blog has some good suggestions on who you can help.

3. Collect food and coats. Just give people a heads up before you drop by. I participate in a great program with a local college that collects canned and packaged good for the needy on Halloween. The day before Halloween they drop off a flier letting us know when they'll be buy for a pick up. I love giving back Halloween night!

4. Wear your cause on your sleeve. If you favor a particular cause, pick a costume that reflects it. How about a doctor or nurse from your local cancer hospital. Support the local zoo? I always wanted to see a giraffe costume! Check out this HuffPost slideshow for other ideas. You can also buy a gently used costume from Goodwill and support their mission.

5. Try reverse trick or treating. Instead of asking for treats, two Boston kids are delivering an informational card to homes to bring awareness to child labor in name-brand chocolate factories. A heavy topic for Halloween, but I bet they'll will get people's attention because it's so unexpected and definitely frightening.

6. What's stopping you from collecting money like UNICEF? If you show up at a neighbor's door with a homemade coin canister for your favorite cause, will they really say no because you're not toting an orange UNICEF box? Of course, you could just raise money for UNICEF.

7. Zombie walks are dead and growing! The Chronicle of Philanthropy had a good article last week on how these lurching, gory walks are becoming popular in many cities

8. If you already have a Halloween event recruit forget sponsorships and focus on cause marketing partners. You'll raise more money. Read up on how I used cause marketing for Halloween Town.

Good luck tonight and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!