Looking for an Idea
I am looking for a unique fundraising idea. I am the Administrative Coordinator for Camp Willie a grief camp for children ages 7-14 in Whatcom County, Bellingham, WA. We have been trying to come up with a uniqe fundraising idea to do year after year to help send kids to camp. Do you think your readers could help?
"Make Them Fly Away"
In reply to the quesiton about unique fundraising ideas, I just saw on a television 'news magazine' the other night a VERY unique (& quite humorous) way that a church youth group raised money.
They bought about 10-15 plastic pink flamingos (those horridly tacky yard ornaments) and then had people pay to get someone's yard decorated overnight. Everyone involved seemed to have great fun, and if I recall, the youth ended up raising more than twice what they'd initially needed. Of course, the youth came out the morning after decorating someone's yard to remove the flamingos, only to park them on their next victim's front lawn!
A Patriotic Flair
Something that I've seen groups do for an annual fund raiser is to sell a 'Flag Service.' For a set amount, say $15 per year, the group members come by on each Federal holiday and place a US Flag in your yard. After the holiday they remove it and store it for the next event. These are nice large flags mounted on PVC type poles. The group members pound a stake into the ground and slip the post on. The initial investment isn't too much and after the first year is hardly anything at all. Once a few neighbors get one, everyone else wants one too. It looks great and adds lots of community spirit around all the Federal holidays.
From a Band Director
Fundraising ideas from a band director:
- If the kids are able to participate, have a Rock-A-Thon. The kids take pledges for rocking in a rocking chair for a certain number of hours. They rock together for, say, 10 hours and become closer friends while making the money in an easy way. Do crazy things for the kids during the Rock-A-Thon like throwing around water balloons around 3 am. After rocking, they collect the pledge money.
- Have a silent auction. Get local businesses to donate items/services. It is beneficial for the businesses to donate to you, as they can write it off on their taxes. Then invite the community to view the items and write a bid on a sheet of paper in front of the item. Highest bid gets the item.
- Sell poinsettas at Christmas and/or Easter Lillies for the holidays. Take preorders, purchase from a local nursery, and add a profit for you.
- Sponsor a golf tournament. Get businesses to donate prizes and charge for the tournament play.
Here's one we're getting ready to do ourselves. When the kids have craft time, have them finger paint on some small clay pots that can be purchased inexpensively at craft stores or possible collected over time at garage sales. Once decorated, purchase seeds and grow some nice flowers or herbs. Many parents or people in the community would cherish these little plants and it would help raise money for your organization.
Your Wish, My Command
I was once an assistant director for a kids camp. One of the "fundraisers" we did that the kids thought was pretty fun was "Slave for a Day". We posted around town, schools, etc of a "slave" auction and the names of the "slaves" you could bid on. There was a minimum bid requirement and certain things (of course) were a no-no to have the "slave" participate in.
So, siblings, aunts, uncles, parents, and friends all came to bid on their favorite "slave." Some of the kids just had to wash their Grandma's dog for $20, but others had to organize the garage for Dad for even more money (or a little less, considering the auction price). And still others had to clean their little brothers room for his three weeks of saved allowance ($10!), which humbled the "slave" and made the little brother smile for months! It worked out quite well, and made quite a profit.
"Free" Car Wash
Our youth group once raised funds by taking pledges on a car wash. Instead of charging to wash the cars, each member went to family and businesses and got pledges. For example, my grandma pledged 10 cents a car and a business pledged 25 cents. Each member was encouraged to get 2$ in pledges, but many received more. A local grocery store let us use their hose and donated soap. On the big day we washed way over 100 cars for FREE!!! (Yep, free. We even had a sign "No Donations Please!" Each person in our 35 member youth group raised at least $200! WOW, that's a lot of money for a free car wash!
Your camp sounds wonderful. I wish there had been something like that when my mother died and I was just 6 years old. One idea that might work is to have a celebrity auction. Write to celebrities ( addresses on the net) and tell them what you are doing. Ask them to send something that they sign. Pictures, clothing, books, tapes, CDs, sports items, etc. really work well. Don't forget to include your local celebrities like newscasters, TV personalities and so forth. Ask for donated space in the most popular mall around. Request public relations time on the media. Include the parents of those who have attended. You might even want to contact those celebrities who have suffered a loss. They might be interested in helping. How about contacting local adult grief support groups. Maybe they would help as well.
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