Barter and fundraising for non-profits

I recently had a great experience doing some fundraising for my kid’s school that I wanted to share.  The school is putting together gift baskets that they are going to give away as prizes in a raffle.  I started calling my barter contacts to purchase items for the gift baskets.  I’d call and say something like: “I’d like to buy a gift certificate on barter for a school fund-raiser.”  The results were fantastic!  Not only did I get quite a few great items, but I also had folks offer to just donate the items outright.  I have to be honest;  as a small business person I don’t feel comfortable calling other small businesses and asking for donations.  To call and ask to purchase something and be offered a donation is tremendous.  If you have some credit in your barter account that you don’t already have earmarked, considering using it to help a non-profit this holiday season.