How many extra pounds have you added to your frame during the past year simply by, “doing your duty”, at frequent bake sales for various worthy causes; and, how often, in the name of charity, have you and your friends traded and re-traded clothes at church sponsored rummage sales?
Unfortunately, worthy causes usually outweigh available cash in non-profit organizations by such a large margin that fund-raising activities are almost imperative.
Although rummage and bake sales have been successful fund-raisers for many years, and do have an important place, I submit that there are more interesting, (and less fattening), ways to add cash to the coffers of your organization. Why not try something different for your next fund raising venture?
Request Night is an activity requiring a high level of audience participa-tion, but one that is almost guaranteed to draw a crowd; especially if you announce it several weeks in advance. Recruit volunteers to collect requests and to check with potential performers ahead of time concerning their willingness to participate. You will be amazed at the interesting ideas that will surface, and at the things people who are usually quite reserved will do if they know they are helping to earn money for a good cause.
The requests should be collected on 3×5 cards, and should include the request itself, the name of the person who is to perform it, the amount to be donated to the cause if the request is fulfilled, and the name of the person making the request. Requests will vary. One person might pledge $5.00 to hear Mrs. X whistle “Fishers Of Men”; another, (a teen-ager, of course), might cough up $2.50 of his hard-earned cash for the privilege of watching the youth leader push a peanut across the gym floor with his nose; the first young person to stand and recite the Twenty-Third Psalm might net $7.50 for the fund; and an elderly gentleman’s solo could be worth a ten-dollar bill. The variety of requests is limited only by good taste and the imagination of the group involved.
On the big night, you may wish to take additional requests from the floor if time permits, and, to insure co-operation in future projects, be sure that you publicly thank the participants and announce the total amount of money their joint efforts have raised. And don’t forget to have someone taking pictures. These, posted in a prominent place in your church or other meeting place are guaranteed to draw a crowd.