How to Plan Fundraisers That Don’t Leave out the Fun

Organizations and individuals have fundraisers as well as politicians have fundraisers, why? To earn cash for their cause, whether that cause be for a child with cancer, to raise needed funds for campaign trail expenses, or to raise money needed to purchase choir robes, or school band instruments. You see signs all over for this fundraising event or you answer the knock at the door from a student raising funds for some school project. Fundraisers are a popular way to raise money needed for just about any cause. The key to a successful fundraiser is participant involvement and a product that is appealing to the customers and the participants.

Types of fundraisers vary, from expensive dinners, candy sales, car washes and bake sales. You can even find the creative fundraisers like dance-a-thons and kissing booths. Fundraisers can be a single event or a month long contest to see who can sell the most product. Fundraisers can take the form of door-to-door sales, telephone solicitation, ticket sales or even a backyard carnival. A fundraiser or company whose products are being sold at the fundraiser can professionally do fundraisers or you can design a fundraiser yourself by offering a service to raise funds like a car wash, cutting lawns, or walking dogs.

Individuals and organizations make money when they sell tickets, perform a service or sponsor an event for a price that will bring in enough cash to cover any expenses and leave enough profit to achieve the goal or reason for the fundraiser. To achieve the financial goal of the fundraiser, it is best to have a plan based on number of participants and number of products/services sold to meet that goal. An example would be if you wanted to earn $10,000 for a medical procedure and you knew that you had 100 persons interested in participating in the fundraiser, and a product with a cost of $1.00 (perhaps candy bars); you would calculate that you would have to ask each participant to sell the bars for $2.00 and attempt to sell 100 bars each. Once you have your goal and plan in place, then you need to motivate your participants. Some fundraisers use contests with prizes to motivate. Some fundraisers use the cause as a motivator like in the case of a child needing surgery. The participants care about the child and want to sell so that enough money can be raised for the child to have the surgery.

How to make the fundraiser fun and unique enough to stimulate high sales? Let’s take the candy bar example again; how can we make the candy bars unique or fun for the participants to sell as well as appealing to the customers? One idea might be to have a designed wrap cover each candy bar that would draw attention to the particular fundraiser. The colorful wrap would announce the fundraiser purpose and give legitimacy to the person selling the candy. The wrap could also be used to solicit additional funds for the cause. The picture with this article gives an example of what a wrap looks like before wrapping it around the candy bar. An idea to make a car washing fundraiser is to have your participants dress up in character of a popular movie, television Program, music group or era – like the 70’s. Instead of just an ordinary bake sale, make it an international bake sale with goodies from different countries, or time periods. I’ve known some church youth groups to have a rocking chair fundraiser where youth obtain sponsors who pledge a certain dollar amount for every hour they rock without stopping. While the youth are rocking, music is playing or they watch a DVD movie while eating pizza and other goodies. Prizes can be awarded for the top sellers in a fundraiser, to motivate and make participating fun. The prizes can be toys, tickets to a popular music teen idol, or some other desired item, like skates, brand name sneakers, or a bike.

You can keep the work of the fundraiser fun, by being as organized as possible. Have order forms, delivery bags, pens, and product ready before the participants arrive. If product is to be delivered at a different time from when the items are sold, have receipts made up to give to the customers with detailed contact information and when to expect delivery. Make sure participants receive detailed written instructions as to the When, How and Where of the fundraiser to eliminate confusion. Fundraisers are much more fun when everyone knows what is expected of them and instructions are simple and written down for an easy reminder. If products not only need to be sold but also need to be packed and distributed; reward your participants with a fun celebratory party after all the work is accomplished. If you exceed your monetary goal the excess funds can be used for the party. Plan to have fun and any fundraiser can be successful as well as enjoyable by everyone involved.

Fundraisers can be fun, unique and participants can have an enjoyable time if you put just a little bit of planning into your fundraiser design. Take the time to decide on what type of fundraiser would suit the group who will be actively soliciting funds. Make the goal known to the customers in a fun, informative way, like using wraps when selling candy bars. Motivate participants by providing awards to top sellers or awarding participants with a party afterwards. You can keep the fun in fundraisers and achieve your monetary goal, if you plan, motivate and remember to have fun.

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