Car wash fundraiser ideas

Car wash fundraisers are a proven money-maker in virtually every community. All you need are willing volunteers, a high-traffic location with good visibility, and some attention getting signs. You can put a car wash fundraiser together on short notice, but they work best with a little planning. Here's how to get started... Things To Do List 1- Line up a location with good main road frontage 2- Ensure it has suitable water access 3- Assemble supplies list – hoses, buckets, wash towels, dry towels, squeegees 4- Assign each volunteer an item from the supplies list 5- Make 8-10 poster board signs in high-contrast colors 6- Arrange your volunteers in 2-hour shifts 7- Get advance publicity, if possible How To List 1- Organize your group into teams - Promotion, Sales, Wash, Dry 2- Promotion team attracts new clients with signs 3- Sales team explains offer (use flyer for quick info) and up-sells clients 4- Wash team soaps, scrubs, and rinses each car 5- Dry team gets water residue off, vacuums, does tires, etc. 6- Have at least two lines so you can wash two or more cars at once 7- Wash cars for six to eight hours (Saturday 9:00 to 3:00 preferred) Your fundraiser’s success will depend on the weather. If you can wash 12 cars an hour (one every 10 minutes in each line), you can raise $500- $1000 in one day. Remember to put together a quick flyer that includes the reason why you’re raising funds and clearly states the price. You can even offer some extra services such as providing high-gloss tire treatment or vacuuming interiors for an additional fee. Car Wash Fundraiser - Success Tips 1- Location, location, location! 2- Sell car wash fundraiser tickets in advance 3- Use a flyer that clearly explaining why you're raising funds 4- List all prices concisely in large, bold type 5- Up-sell to include additional services 6- Partner with another group if your head count is low 7- Increase revenue with an extra offering such as a 2-for-1 pizza savings card Alternatively, you can advertise a free car wash and just ask for donations for your cause. Often, this can raise more cash than stating a specific price, because people will see a group of volunteers working hard and having a good time, and may part with their money more easily. Final Advice Make sure to keep the event fun for all your participants and your customers. Play upbeat music. Provide soft drinks and snacks to keep the energy level up. Keep safety in mind. Be sure to get volunteers to hold and wave signs toward passing traffic, not just volunteers to wash cars. If you have time, get your car wash fundraiser some publicity coverage in the local newspaper, or by posting signs a day or two in advance.

How can fundraising consulting help us raise money

If you need to hold a fundraiser and don’t know where to begin there is help out there for you. It is time for you to seek fundraising consulting advice especially if your fundraising event is going to be on a larger scale. Fundraising consulting will help you organize and take you through the steps to ensure your fund raising efforts will be successful. A fundraising consultant will advise you where to start and the process you will have to go through to get where you’re going. Usually you know what you need the funds for but don’t know where the money will come from. All fundraising events start the same way regardless of if they are already established or something new. Using fundraising consulting services will help you add a professional look to your fund raising campaign. The first advice you will get from a fundraiser consultant is that to start asking those closest to your organization for help. Depending on the size of the fund raising and your organization you will need the following: a board of directors, staff, volunteers, vendors, community businesses and individuals and finally a foundation. The second most important bit of advice you will receive from a fundraising consultant is never lose sight of the ones that started this with you. Start with those that are the closest to you to ask for help and stay with them throughout your fundraiser, these are the people that will get you through. They are your donors and will be critical to the success of your fundraiser. A fundraising consultant will tell you that if you approach a new person for help, the first thing they will ask is what other sources of funding do you have.

They will check to make sure where your support is coming from. If you have a strong support group it can go a long way in convincing someone that the fundraising is worth it. Through fundraising consulting, you will learn whom you can do business with. You will learn what vendors give donations and which ones don’t. If they don’t care to donate to your fundraising directly, they may give you a discount on your purchases. Fundraising consulting is the only way to go when trying to organize on a large-scale project.

The advice you will get from your fundraising consultant will mean more dollars in the end for your project. Once you establish a connection with a fundraising consulting service, you can use them for all your fundraising needs in the future. How can fundraising consulting help us?

Fundraising and the business of relationships

The golden key to effective fundraising is an organizations ability to manage relationships. While some may consider this an oversimplified explanation of a complex non-profit business model, our experience has shown us that this is one of the most overlooked, yet lucrative, elements of our fundraising efforts. The backbone of any fundraising campaign is the appeal to donors for contributions. The problem many organizations run into during this phase of their fundraising efforts is that they have neglected to keep their donors engaged with their organization since their previous appeal for support. The donor no longer feels engaged by, or attached to, your organization in any meaning way. What distinguishes your organization or non-profit from the next?

We advise all of our clients to develop strong relationships with their donors and supporters. In the non-profit sector, these relationships play a significant role in the success of any given campaign. In some cases, these relationships can make or break an organization. Keep in mind that appeals for support are not always of the monetary type. Organizations of every type need support staff, and your donor list is an ideal place to search for new recruits. One of the most important elements of fundraising is strategic planning, and your donor list can provide you with a lot of useful information.

For instance, a well organized donor list can provide you with information about the types of causes a certain individual tends to support. By studying the types of initiatives an individual supports, you can make relatively educated guesses about their receptiveness to your current efforts. By organizing and tracking this data, you can save your organization valuable time and resources that could be used more effectively in another area. A number of organizations purchase their donor lists from a third party. While this may be the most convenient solution, it is certainly not the most effective. It is imperative for any organization that is serious about fundraising to develop a proprietary donor list.

This is a significant point that is often overlooked. By building your own donor list, you become engaged with the people in your community. These are the people that will support your organization over the long term, and the ones most likely to get involved.

Fundraiser candles for your group

Looking for a good fundraising idea? Candle sales are easy and profitable. What, exactly, is a candle fundraiser? Candle fundraisers are your basic order taker fundraiser. You need to do more than just show pictures of candles. Showing fragrant samples will dramatically boost your candle fundraiser's results.

The basic concept is the same as all order taker fundraisers. You equip your sellers with a brochure, an order form, and a basic sales script. The brochure describes the various candle selections and provides details on color, aroma, size, shape, weight, and container type. Price points are usually on the order form itself.

Unlike candy or cookie dough, it's easy for your sellers to carry samples. Their non-perishable nature makes them a great fit for weeklong sales efforts. One of the great things about candle fundraisers is how the aroma of your samples makes the selling process so much easier. Most buyers will sniff several samples and imagine how the candles will fill their homes with their pleasant smells. Perennial favorites are french vanilla, bayberry, apple, pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, holiday pine, melon burst, and citrus breeze. Candle sizes range from small two-ounce votive candles all the way up to giant three-pound ball or bell-shaped versions with multiple wicks. Several fundraising companies have candles in decorative shapes like various fruits, animals, wizards, trees, and figurines.

In addition, large rectangles, cylinders, half-rounds, and tapers are always readily available. Some companies also offer container-based candles which burn more slowly and safely. They also avoid messy cleanup problems. Popular styles are Mason jars, jars with handles, jars with screw tops, and square glass containers.

Profitability Most fundraising companies offer their candles at a 50% discount. Some suppliers also offer a larger discount for higher volume sales. The average seller makes five to seven sales. Many of these sales are multi-unit buys, so they average about $80 in revenue. That translates to roughly $40 in profit per seller, which is quite good. Factors affecting your candle fundraisers profitability include freight charges, quantity discounts, quality of the brochure, number of available candle choices, the motivation level of your sellers, and the duration of your fundraising activities. And of course, the most important factor is having fragrant samples in the hands of your sellers. This product works well for both elementary school and high school fundraising. Larger groups can easily earn a quantity discount above 50%. As always, do an RFQ fax quote to the candle supplier list and lock-in your best possible discount up front.

Mostexpensivedomainsold com announces official launch with domain charity raffle

: MostExpensiveDomainSold. com has announced its official launch in February 2008 with a raffle that will further assist the worthy causes supported by this project. Never before has a charity drive been created to sell a domain for charity. Buyer of this domain held by this domain charity will be certain to receive substantial media attention, as is always the case in a worthy charity drive. Therefore, participants will benefit not only from taking part in the Most Expensive Domain Sold raffle charity drive, but they’ll also be able to take advantage of a few notable moments in the spotlight. Most Expensive Domain Sold is an online domain charity which makes a donation from the sell of this domain for charity. Anyone can sign up as an affiliate to help this noble cause. It allows people to donate their time and creativity in order to collect necessary funds for commendable charities. Charities currently include: Feed the Children, Seacology, and the American Red Cross.

The number of list charity benefiting from the charity drive will grow with the program. The Most Expensive Domain Sold raffle will allocate 50 percent of the price of the domain sold for charity for to the worthy cause. Then, 25 percent will be awarded to the first place winner, 10 percent will go to the second place winner, and 5 percent will be won by the third place winner. The remaining 10 percent will be applied to the development and upkeep of the Most Expensive Domain Sold domain charity. Each raffle winner is free to spend their winnings however they wish. Official receipts and final totals will be disclosed on the website upon completion of the raffle.

In order to earn raffle tickets, participants must sign up for the Most Expensive Domain Sold affiliate program. Membership in the affiliate program is entirely free. It is then up to the participants to begin producing traffic to the MostExpensiveDomainSold. com website. For every referral sent by an affiliate, that affiliate is awarded one raffle ticket. Therefore, the greater the referral efforts, the better the chances of winning the raffle.

Participation is simple, free, and good for the heart. Anyone can take part and build funds for charities in ways they’d never otherwise be able to achieve. For more information about Most Expensive Domain Sold and its domain charity raffle, visit the website at mostexpensivedomainsold. com.

Fundraising tips the follow up

The key to continued fundraising success is to follow-up afterwards: Supporters and participants need to be thanked. Merchant contributors need to be debriefed on their results from participating. Records need to be gathered, copied, and stored. Communicate the results to everyone involved. Informing everyone who took part in your most recent fundraising is of utmost importance. Nothing charges up your organization for the future better than a group celebration. Give recognition to your volunteers. Enjoy the sound of "We did it!" Conduct a post-mortem analysis of the fundraiser just completed. Gather information and record impressions while everything is still fresh. Make notes about supplier relationships, any process problems, and what aspects need fine-tuning for the next time around. Gather those recommendations for future fundraisers. Brainstorm with your team and write down all the possible ways to improve. Circulate a written evaluation form to gather multiple viewpoints for the permanent file. Make plans while everyone is still excited from this success. Strategize how to increase the number of volunteers. Plan to promote those who excelled this time around to positions with more authority. Ask your merchant supporters what you could do better. In the long run, it's important to help them even more. Now is a good time to ask them for increased participation during your next big drive. Review all records for completeness. Work up the statistical analysis covered in the section on Goal Setting (in my book Fundraising Success!). That will save time in the future when you want to set your benchmarks. Post the results on your website. Let everyone see how ell you did along with multiple pictures of your team in action. When describing your success, be a shameless namedropper. Everyone likes to be thanked publicly. Most importantly, put the funds you've raised to good use. Your fundraising follow-up is the foundation for your future success. Don't give this area short shrift. Pave the way for even better results next time.

Free easy fundraisers

When your youth group needs to raise money quickly, you need a fast free fundraiser that you can rely on to generate the necessary revenue. The amount you make on these free easy fundraisers will depend on how much time you have to prepare and how well you execute your plan. Here are three time-tested projects to raise some fast cash: 1 - Car Wash 2 - Yard Cleanup 3 - Community Cleanup Car Wash Fundraiser Car washes have proven to be great fundraisers in virtually every community. All you need are willing volunteers, a high-traffic location with good visibility, and some attention getting signs. You can put your car wash fundraiser together on short notice. Here’s what you need to do: 1 - Line up a location with good main road frontage 2 - Ensure it has water access 3 - Assemble supplies list – hoses, buckets, wash towels, dry towels, squeegees 4 - Assign each volunteer an item from the supplies list 5 - Make 8-10 poster board signs in high-contrast colors 6 - Arrange your volunteers in 2-hour shifts 7 - Wash cars for six hours (Saturday preferred) 8 - Have dual lines so you can wash two at once Your car wash fundraiser’s success will of course depend on the weather. If you can wash 12 cars an hour (one every 10 minutes in each line), you can easily raise more than $500 in one day. Remember to put together a quick flyer that includes the reason why you’re raising funds and clearly states the price. You can even offer some extra services such as Armor-All tire treatment or interior vacuuming for an additional fee. Alternatively, you can advertise a free car wash and just ask for donations for your cause. Often, this can raise more cash than stating a specific price, because people will see a group of volunteers working hard and having a good time, and may pay more than you would hav asked. Keeping safety in mind, be sure to get volunteers to hold and wave signs toward passing traffic, not just volunteers to wash cars. If you have time, advertise your car wash event in the local newspaper, and post signs a day or two in advance. Yard Cleanup A yard cleanup fundraiser is extremely fast and easy to put together. Simply create a set of instructions for your group detailing what to offer, what to say, and how much to charge. Like most fundraisers, the target market is family, friends, and neighbors. Depending on the age of your participants, your offerings can range from simple lawn care all the way up to mulching flower beds or pruning tree limbs. In many climates, autumn is a great time to do this fundraiser, because leaf clearing is always a needed service during those months. Create a flyer describing your fundraiser and clearly list your prices for the various cleanup options. Assign a fundraising quota to each participant. Offer some individual and group performance bonuses. There’s nothing like a team pizza party or movie passes to motivate a youth sports group. Community Cleanup A community cleanup, also known as a trash bag fundraiser, performs a valuable community service while also providing a significant revenue opportunity. Organizing a community cleanup project is a way to raise funds and send a positive message about your group at the same time. This type of one day or weekend fundraising event is very similar to the Athlet-A-Thon or Fun-A-Thon concept. Here your group's participants solicit pledges from the usual suspects - family, friends, and neighbors. Have local businesses donate trash bags and recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect. Pledges are tied to a specific attainment goal such as the number of pounds of trash collected or the number of road miles cleaned of debris. You'll need to create a one-page overview of your cleanup program and a pledge signup sheet. It works best if your overview specifies a suggested range for donations, say anywhere from a penny to a dime a pound for a large project. An amazing amount of garbage can be collected from a local stream or illegal dumping area, so it's not a bad idea to also put a maximum limit on pledge amounts of $20. Have local businesses donate trash bags. Recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect. Do the math. You'll be surprised at how much money you can generate. Assuming 50 participants, each of whom has five pledges of a penny a pound, if you collect a ton of garbage, your group will raise $100 per participant or $5,000. That's not bad money for a free fundraiser! You’d be surprised at how easy it is to collect a ton of garbage. Each of these fundraisers is fast, easy to put together, and a reliable revenue generator for your group. As with any youth group event, an adult should be in attendance at all times for safety purposes. Get started on your free easy fundraisers today!

Fundraising for youth groups

Youth Groups are almost always in need of funds. Holding fundraisers to finance important trips like tournaments, museums, and musical events are just some of the needs that have to be met through fundraising. Others include the need for uniforms, sports equipment, art supplies, musical instruments, and more. There are a lot of different ways your youth group can raise the funds they need. In this article, I will explore some of those with you and try to help you avoid some of the pitfalls. I will let you benefit from my experience and I will help you avoid some of my mistakes. Let’s start right off with candy. I have tried to use candy as a fundraising tool on more than one occasion for more than one youth group. Pros and Cons of using candy as a youth group fundraiser.

Pros: Candy is cheap and can be sold for a great profit for your youth group. Everyone likes candy, so it’s a fairly easy sale, especially if you go with name brand candy. The candy is cheap enough that most people have enough money in their pocket to purchase it. Cons: Candy melts. Trust me on this. Candy melts and when it does, your profits melt with it as you try to clean whatever it melted all over. The members of your youth group eat Candy and when the parents have to pay for all the candy YOU let their child eat, you get phone calls. Trust me on this. You get a lot of phone calls. Candy smells. Trust me on this. Wherever you store the candy will smell like candy forever. Bigger children steal candy from smaller children and again parents end up paying for the candy and you get the phone calls. Coupon Books are another commonly used Youth Group Fundraiser. Pros: Some coupon books are filled with free stuff and everyone loves free stuff! Your youth group can raise as much as $10 per coupon book so they need to make less sales to reach their goals. Cons: Everyone still has last year’s coupon book. None of the coupons have been used. They never have it with them whenever they go somewhere they might have been able to use it for. I have been to a door to sell coupon books and had a guy hand me 7 unused coupon books as his donation. He said if I resold those, I would be able to raise more money than if he just bought one again this year. Coupons expire. They usually have a cost of about $10 to $15 per book, but of course the children in YOUR youth group will never lose any of them and their parents won’t be calling YOU, like with the candy. Basically, every fundraiser your youth group takes on will come with responsibility and they all have their pros and cons. However, if you look for a product that has the following features, I believe you will have a more successful fundraising opportunity for your youth group. 1. Choose products that do not melt, expire, rot, or otherwise perish. 2. Choose products that do not have a large cost per unit, no matter what the profit. 3. Choose products that everyone uses and will get a lot of uses from. Something they will remember being very useful will get them to continue supporting your youth group. 4. Choose products that do not require a lot of storage space. 5. Choose products that are popular like things with the donor’s favorite major league baseball or football team logo on them. If you follow those simple rules, your youth group fundraiser will be easy to manage, you won’t end up stuck with a lot of leftover product to store, your storage area won’t smell, you won’t need to clean up messes, and best of all, the parents of your youth group participants won’t be calling you.

New and unusual fundraising ideas

Need some new fundraising ideas? When your organization or group needs to raise money for a trip or project, there's nothing wrong with another bake sale. Do something a little different, though, and you may get more volunteers for the event. You might also get more media exposure, meaning more people will participate, which means more money raised. Why not try one of the following ideas. Mobile rummage sale. Having a rummage sale is a common fundraising idea, but how about a mobile rummage sale? It requires collecting donations of things to sell, and the cooperation of someone with a pick up truck. Sort the things as neatly as possible in the back of the truck, then go door-to-door, explaining to the residents that you are raising money for your cause, and asking them to take a look at your sale.

Maybe they'll also want to donate things to sell. Take the sale to the beach or other busy places too. Dog wash. A car wash is one of the most common fundraising ideas out there, but a dog wash is less common. Find a place where many people walk their dogs. A brush, dog shampoo, and a source of water are all you need. You could also sell dog toys, dog snacks and other pet-related things for even more profit. Business clean-up. Many businesses need to have the area around them cleaned up. Restaurants might have trash around the edges of their parking lots, some businesses may need their signs washed, and others could need their sidewalks and lots swept. A crew of young people could clean up a property in an hour for a set fee, and the business could write off the contribution on their taxes. Online donor recognition. When you collect donations for a project or regular event, you can promise donors that they'll be recognized on your group's official website. They get a bit of internet immortality as one of the people that made your event, trip or project possible. It is common that donors get their names put on a plaque, but the website is accessible to all their friends anywhere in the world, so they can show them how they helped. Treasure hunt. This could be a big event, even an annual one if your organization needs a regular fundraising event. The basic idea: Rope off an area of a beach, bury silver bars and coins in the sand, and let people hunt for them for an entry fee. Let's say you bury 4 quarter-ounce gold coins, 20 one-ounce silver bars, 1000 various foreign coins (some coin shops sell these for ten cents each), 500 dimes and 2000 pennies. At today's prices it would cost you about $1,000, which you might first raise through donations. With 3524 coins, almost eveyone would find something. 300 people paying $10 each would net your group $2,000, plus you could sell hotdogs and drinks during the event. Except for the last one, these are all relatively cheap events to plan. Tell the papers about your plans, of course. The more unusual fundraising ideas are more likely to get some free press coverage.

Wreath making fundraisers

Wreath making and selling can be a fun project and a money maker for almost any organization; however it is going to take some careful planning to make sure that everything runs smoothly. You’re weekly get together group may be all in favor of making wreaths, but as with any group project, you will have members who will be at different levels of capabilities. Some members may already be proficient wreath makers, others may be rank beginners. You will also want to decide if all of the wreaths will be alike or will they be different? If you decide to make five different kinds of wreaths, you will want to have your members divided into five different groups. You will also want to have a leader or leaders for each group, a person or persons who know how to make the wreaths that their group is going to make and are willing and able to share this knowledge with others. Printing out descriptions and directions for each type of wreath is a good idea also and will give those who have never made wreaths before a basic idea of what this entails. You will also need a committee to buy or procure materials. Possibly more than one. You may need one group to be in charge of gathering natural supplies while the other group will be in charge of buying the embellishments which will be put on the wreaths. If you are not going to sell the wreaths the same day you make them, you will need to be able to store them properly and this will include seeing that they get proper care.

You may also want to take orders for wreaths before they are made, so that you can be sure that each of the wreaths being made has a customer waiting for it. This will mean that you will want a sales committee who will go out and take orders for wreaths prior to your craft meeting. If you are going to sell your wreaths at a particular time in a particular spot you will need to let this become public knowledge. You will want to arrange for a selling place, if you do not already have one, you will want to have people make posters and people distribute them. You will also want people who can arrange the wreaths the day of the sale and people to maintain the sales tables. With careful planning, this can be a fun and a money making project for any group, careful planning is the key and hopefully this will be a fun and a productive and profitable project for your group and one which will be repeated in the future.

The real thing about fundraising

Fundraising is both challenging as it is rewarding. Raising the needed fund for a worthy cause is indeed spiritually and emotionally satisfying. Every school organization may want to extend a helping hand to those folks who are in dire need. The prospect beneficiary could either be a charitable institution, an orphanage, a community project, and the likes. However, no matter how pure the intention is, school funds can be exceptionally tight. Even the school itself needs aid from people who have a kind heart to give out donations. When your school organization aims to help out through whatever possible means regardless of who or which is the beneficiary, fundraising is just the most precise thing to do. Is it not much fulfilling on your part to put out the best possible effort you can in order to earn money for a specific cause or if you’re earning money to help others?

Of course it is! Confused of which fundraising strategy to go for? There are a lot of fundraising ideas to opt for which may either be simple or a bit complicated. As a matter of fact, it is usually the simplest plan which works best. What can fundraising do for you? Due to the fact that fundraising stirs the best out from you, the feeling of being able to help the needy is particularly spiritually and emotionally gratifying. Fundraising campaigns are as well beneficial for your organization as it heightens the return of good and positive feedbacks that your group may get. Apart from all other glorifying aspects which fundraising generate, one’s creativity, organizational skills, communication dexterities, and firmness as likewise enhanced. During fundraising ventures, you and your group mates get the chance to interact with people from all walks of life and be able experience for yourselves the real score outside of the world which you are traditionally confined in. Fundraising Ideas There are a number of fundraising ideas that your school organization can choose from. The most common fundraising ideas are selling sandwiches, candy and chocolate bars, shakes, beverages, meal coupons, concert tickets, basketball game tickets, discount coupons, personalized shirts, mugs, pens, and other collectible items, and so on. Cooking and then selling the output from the recipes you have collected can also be effective. You can try selling them to the school’s population or to the outside community. Your organization can even team up with the school’s sports games and earn profit from the ticket sales. Or, your organization may stage a concert for a cause. Garage sale and car washing is also among the trendiest fundraising activities these days. Things to Consider in Fundraising After finally deciding on which fundraising idea to go for, there are two major things which must be borne in mind. The first thing is to carefully think about the percentage of profit that you will make out of the fundraising activity. When your organization had opted to team up with another organization or some company, the agreement must be put into writing. Next, it is significant to make sure that the products you put up for sale for the fundraising campaign are worth it. Once the people know for a fact the real cause for the fundraising activity, they tend to be exceptionally generous. Any fundraising activity needs careful planning. For the campaign to be highly successful, it is important that all members of your organization should concert enough effort for the realization of the specified goals.

Cheerleader fundraising

Cheerleading fundraisers are the ultimate in small group fundraising. Cheerleaders possess boundless energy, determination, and loads of contacts (for potential supporters). Harnessing all this energy and enthusiasm can be a challenge, but having the right cheerleading fundraiser is a great start. You want to leverage their skills by giving them an exciting fundraising product to sell. So, what cheerleading fundraising ideas will generate excitement? In this article, we'll consider three types of cheer fundraisers. Each involves doing something a little different, each of them are easy to do, and each fundraiser packs a profit punch. Cheer Fundraiser #1 One unique approach for a cheerleading fundraiser is offering custom posters of school sports teams or of the cheerleaders themselves. For instance, feature the team photo of the football team, or use a series of action photos. Each can be turned into a wall-sized poster or a fundraising calendar. Add some allure to these cheerleading fundraisers by including your game schedule or team slogan printed on it in a contrasting color. You could also design one to celebrate your championship teams, commemorate your previous titles, intensify a cross-town rivalry, recognize all of your school's sports teams on a spirit poster, or feature the cheerleading squad in action. Any of these items is sure to be popular with a wide range of students. Local businesses will often buy one to put in their front window. Players will want a souvenir copy suitable for end-of-season autographs. Proud parents and grandparents will want their own keepsake copy. The posters can be sold easily at pep rallies, sporting events, through the school store, and by the cheerleaders themselves via a merchant table at a high-traffic location on a weekend. Think of creative ways to design and market your own unique set of cheerleading posters. Consider adding merchant sponsor logos to reduce the cost. You could also cross-promote with another school on a rivalry poster and double the overall market. Cheer Fundraiser #2 Another idea for cheerleading fundraising is selling customized Holiday Greetings CD's. This is a brochure or order-taker sale of a personalized selection of holiday music favorites. One of the nice things about this product is that a purchaser selects their ten favorite holiday songs by checking off boxes on a list of thirty classics. Included in the choices are favorites such as Let It Snow, White Christmas, Jingle Bells, and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. These are licensed copies of the original recordings by the original artists, assembled on a personalized CD that costs your group a mere $4 each. A retail price of $10 coupled with the ability for the customer to order a personalized message on each copy, make these a great cheerleading fundraiser. The CD's are available in six basic designs - Singing Snow Men, Rudolph, Christmas Tree, Peace On Earth, Kwanzaa, and Happy Hanukkah. There is room for a holiday greeting of up to thirty characters on each design. For example, the Christmas Tree version has the phrase "Merry Christmas" in green and red, with space below it for a "From the XYZ Family" greeting. Shipments are sorted by salesperson and customer, making your delivery a very simple task indeed. Cheer Fundraiser #3 A third type of cheerleading fundraiser that creates an air of excitement is selling flowering "airplants." Airplants, or more properly, Tillandsias, are unique, soil-free plants that absorb nutrients and water through their leaves. All they need is air, water, and light. Tillandsias are attractive and fascinating members of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae). Their native habitat is the southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. Bromeliads - Tillandsias - can be placed in anything: rocks, shells, pottery, driftwood, around water fountains, fish tanks, etc. They like bright, indirect lighting, and a heavy spraying or soaking two or three times a week. They have a growth cycle starting with one plant growing to maturity, then blooming. One to two months after the blooming has finished, new plants form around the base of the "mother" plant. Each will continue growing and reproducing if given the proper care. A cheerleading fundraiser Airplant package consists of a beautiful example of the Bromeliad family, comfortably ensconced in a natural seashell holder. Your group pays $3 per Airplant, including the seashell holder, shipping and handling. Each Tillandsia retails for $6, so your cheerleading fundraiser is ensured a good profit margin. You can organize your sale as a special event or as an add-on to a regular gathering. Set up a table with your sales display and place a colorful Tillandsia poster on the wall behind to let your prospective customers see how beautiful these Airplants are in full bloom. You can also conduct your cheerleading fundraiser as an order - taker from a sales brochure. Each brochure contains colorful pictures of these exotic, but easy to care for, plants. Simple text explanations are included describing the simple steps involved in nourishing these fabulous specimens. Summary All three of these fundraising products will add some excitement to your next cheerleading fundraiser. When all the participants are enthusiastic about offering something new and unique, it packs a powerful profit punch. Heres to making your next cheer fundraiser a resounding success. Cheers!

Seeking grant proposals for your fundraiser

An essential part of fundraising is writing grant proposals and grant applications. An effectively written grant application can result in large sums of money for your fundraising group. Grant applications can be a long and tiresome journey, but in the end it will be worth it for your group! In the following article, we are going to help you understand grants and what they entail. Grant Applications Broken Down Most grant applications will include some or more of the following components: Letters of Reference – letters from those who can testify to your experience and good character. Formal Proposal – a detailed explanation of what the grant money will be used for. A Business Plan – detailing the finer points of your financial needs. A List of Resources – detail the resources you have, and the resources you need. Complete list of Group Members - including both workers and volunteers. Goals and Plans – detail the short and long term goals of your group. The grant application will list all the material and documents needed for submission. It is vitally important that you follow all the directions exactly as they are stated when filling out the grant application. One mistake could make the difference between getting the grant and getting turned down. Many grant providers reject applications that didn’t take the time to follow the directions when submitting their application. Prior to submitting your grant application have someone in the group proof read it and make sure that all the information is correct and in order. After staring at the same document for days on end, it becomes difficult to notice any mistakes. Your grant application should stress the importance of your cause and the necessity of the grant. How many people are you expecting to be able to help? How will this project benefit them? The more compelling your application is, the more likely you are to receive the grant money. Most importantly, grant providers want to make sure the money is going to be used wisely and appropriately. To help your cause, make sure you describe your goals and focus in clear detail. Lastly, take time and fill out your application with precision. Don’t rush through it, or you are bound to make some mistakes. Give yourself enough time to provide all of the financial documents that are requested, and be sure to have someone proofread it prior to submitting! A well-written application will stand out above the rest!

School fundraising ideas part one

Looking for a good school fundraising idea? You're not the only one. The good news is that there are other school fundraising ideas besides coordinating a special event or conducting a catalog-based fundraiser. These often end up overwhelming your supporters with multiple fund raising products that aren't everyday items for most people. In this series, we'll take a look at three school fundraising ideas. Part One looks at Discount Shopping Cards. These are simple products that your group can offer that provide these benefits: 1) They are easy to sell 2) They offer good value 3) They produce excellent results Using Discount Shopping Cards for your school fundraiser has benefits that are easy to explain to your supporters, they have widespread appeal, and each can be offered for immediate sale or sold via a simple brochure. School Fundraising Ideas: Discount Shopping Card What exactly is a discount shopping card? It is a wallet-sized card packed with a selection of prearranged discounts at local and national merchants in your area. Most usually contain a dozen special offers that save the bearer either a fixed amount or a percentage discount. Each card usually retails for $10 and provides for almost unlimited usage of the special offers. The only exception is when you custom design a card to feature a special one-time only discount from a sponsoring merchant. This type of premium offering is often worth half the purchase price all by itself, such as a $5 discount from a national oil change company. Other money saving examples include free drinks with a fast food order, $1 or more off on a submarine sandwich, savings on video rentals, haircut discounts, free ice cream, and other special offers. Because of their high perceived value (what family doesn't want to save money these days?), these are excellent fundraisers. Discount cards can often produce impressive unit sales per participant. It's not unusual for each seller to make ten or more sales. Another interesting benefit is the unique customization of the discount card. Many suppliers can place your schools' name and logo on the front side of each card. This firmly affixes your group's value proposition in their minds for the next time around. Cards are usually good for a one year period and bear an expiration date on the front. This creates a built-in market for repeat sales. In the supplier cross-reference section of my book, Fundraising Success, I list 27 suppliers for these discount cards. As with any type of fund raising product it pays to do more than a little supplier research. Costs for 1,000 unit batches begin at $6 with many of them and drop as low as $1.00 from the best suppliers. Among school fund raising ideas, discount shopping cards are a perennial favorite. They also make a good overlay or add-on item for a catalog fundraiser. Using Discount Shopping Cards for your school offers a great profit for the school and a great value for your customers.

High school fundraisers

High school—a constant hub of activities, studies, and events—and the last years of our school days shared with friends. High schools always hold a variety of events to raise funds for the many extra curricular activities that makes school fun. High school students are old enough to realize that in order to have a successful fundraiser, a business plan should be in place. The plan should begin with the question, “what are we raising funds for?” What expenses will be incurred is also another consideration for your plan. Research the most successful fundraisers for high schools to produce. There are many Internet websites that have hundreds of ideas. Don’t use the same fundraiser year after year if profits have continuously declined. Recruit a lot of volunteers who are willing to work for the cause, and check your calendar to make sure there aren’t a lot of other charity events going on at the same time. Once your plan is in place, think about the type of fundraiser you would like to hold. Successful fundraising ideas include scratch off cards, discount cards, car washes, bake sales, candy sales, seasonal gift catalogs and book fairs. You can find lots of information about any of these on the Internet. Finally, make sure students alert the community about the fundraiser and promote it by placing flyers throughout the community. You might also try to get a radio or television station to sponsor your event, thus gaining greater exposure. Make sure thank you notes are sent to all those involved.

The importance of location in fundraising

Location, Location, Location! There are few things that are more important than location. It not only applies to real estate, but to fundraising too.  Here are some tips to expand your horizons when trying to maximize your fundraising efforts. Traditionally, fundraising efforts are concentrated on: -Friends -Neighbors -Relatives -Co-workers Besides the usual suspects, there is a whole lot of money in other places right under your nose. You have to go where the money is. The big money in fundraising is being located where people are shopping. They are out and about with cash or checkbooks in hand. There's no better time than that for offering a quality fundraising product at these locations: -Drugstores -Home Improvement Stores -Grocery Stores -Shopping Malls Drugstores - Nice entry-level sales spot. Generally have good sidewalk space available. Home Improvement Stores - Big weekend traffic spots. Lots of do it yourselfers diving in to their next project. Grocery Stores - Prime hunting grounds for product fundraisers. A small, high-quality food item does real well here. Shopping Malls - Hard to get approval for outside space, but a location near the food court is golden. And don't forget the 800-pound gorilla: Wal-Mart - The Holy Grail of fundraising locations. A day spent fundraising in front of this high-traffic retailer is like being in fundraising heaven. You'll have more potential prospects than you can shake a stick at. Because of the sheer volume of Wal-Mart shoppers, you'll need oversize signage to get your fundraising message across quickly before your prospects hurry on in Casing the Joint Ahead of Time You want the best location for your weekend fundraising table. Scope out the lay of the land. Check which entrance gets the most foot traffic. Find out who is in charge at this location. Often it's the store manager, but occasionally it might require approval from the regional manager or shopping center management. Don't expect them to drop everything to speak with you. If necessary, set up an appointment to seek permission Be prepared with a two-minute overview of Who - Tell them who you (and your group) are What - Describe what your fundraiser involves When - Have a primary date and an alternate one picked out Where - Identify the exact spot you'd like to use Why - Give the specific reason you are raising funds How - Summarize your proposed activities at their location It's a good idea to have everything written up in a well-prepared letter. Stick to the basics as described above. If you have group letterhead, use it! Make sure that everything will go smoothly. Ask for the name of the contact person for your chosen date. Get permission, preferably in writing, just in case the weekend manager didn't get the memo. Setting Up for the Big Job After you've cased the joint, you want to be prepared to pull off your fundraising bank job. Location - There is often a separate set of entrance doors. You want to stake your claim right there. There should also be plenty of room for people to get by. Signage - Look for good places to hang your signs and posters. They should be bright and bold with wording visible from thirty feet away. Highlight major benefits of the product and be sure to identify your purpose Table Space - You want a large folding table, preferably 36x72. Place folding chairs on the side away from the door. Use a full-sized tablecloth to improve presentation. Staffing - Schedule your fundraising teams with overlapping adult/child pairs. You want two adults and two children covering each 90-minute shift. Stagger the start/departure times by 30 minutes to avoid resource shortages. Pulling It Off To really break the bank, you have to have everything well planned. Timing and presentation are everything. You only have 30 seconds to capture your prospects attention and convince them to stop. Your fundraising should be well thought out in these areas: Product - Make sure to choose a high-profit, cash and carry fundraiser. Fast food discount cards are excellent. So are quality food items such as cookies and gourmet treats like fudge. Sales items should be small, highly portable, and attention getting in their own right. Samples - Product samples should be well-displayed and readily offered to each prospective client. In the case of food items, plates or trays of small nibble-sized morsels should be offered by the children involved. Presentation - Sell the sizzle, not the steak! Accentuate product benefits, not features. Would you rather have a juicy, mouth-watering, flame-broiled Whopper or a hamburger? Sales Patter - Talk a good game! Work from a loose script. Write down your best talking points as itemized bullets. Keep it short and simple. Tell them about your cause and be sure to ask for their help Location Wrap As you've seen, a great location delivers hundreds of potential customers right to you. All you have to do is stake your claim to the prime turf and go for it! Don't wait for your next fundraiser to suddenly grow wings. Plan ahead and pull off your own bank job instead. Maximize your fundraising success with location, location, location!

Elementary school fundraisers

Perhaps nothing matches the enthusiasm and zeal of elementary school children. This carries over to elementary school fundraising events where young students strive to complete every assigned fundraising chore with determination and dedication. Teachers and parents participate and guide the children to ensure their hard work is successful and raises a lot of money. Candy is a favorite of children, and candy makes a great fundraiser for elementary schools. Gourmet, Hershey, Maredy Candy are a few companies that provide excellent fundraising programs. You can find out more about the companies and the programs on the Internet or by calling the company. Selling perfumed candles is a traditional way for children to raise school funds and the returns are quite good. Companies offer attractive brochures for customers to browse through and place orders. The company, in turn, gives a percentage back to the school.

Avia Candles, Botika Candles, and Christ’s Light Candles are some of the companies who offer a variety of attractive candles for fundraising. Book fairs and carnivals are excellent ways to raise funds for elementary schools. School carnivals could include game booths, talent shows and bake sales. Sporting events with parent/child participation have also proven to be successful fundraisers for elementary schools. An important point to remember with any elementary school fundraiser is the children participating need close supervision throughout the event – safety comes first above everything else.

One thing to keep in mind is that if elementary students want to fundraise door to door, a parent or guardian should accompany them.

Make the money you need with candle fundraisers

If you’re thinking of a fundraiser what could be better than candle fundraisers? This product is as popular as cookies and cakes - maybe more so. Selling candles will make a very successful fundraiser for your cause. Candle fundraisers are welcomed by everyone and are very popular. Depending on the foundation having the fund raiser for or how many supporters you have to work with you, it can bring a generous amount of money for your cause. If you are working towards a church fundraiser then you will likely have all the help you need form the congregation where you can get your candles very easily by asking each member to make their own candles. Candles are not that hard to make and can be scented and decorated to suit the time of the year. This will prove to be a very profitable way to have a candle fund raiser as your cost will be very little. If you have your candle fundraisers near a holiday, then use that theme of the holiday to decorate your candles.

Make sure that each person understands what they are expected to do and how many you will need them to make. There is another way you can have candle fundraisers and that is by ordering them from a company that does just this, provides candles for fund raiser. They have a set price and you can make your own decision on what you charge for each candle, but this is also an excellent way to have a fund raiser. These candles burn nicely. Some of them are not made with paraffin but made with soy. This allows them to burn cleaner.

You will find that these candles come in two sizes and with a wide variety of scents. You can contact these companies on the Internet where you’ll find a wide array of candles for your fund raiser. The reasons for the candle fundraisers will give you a good idea of how many you need. If you are having candle light service for a certain cause, you will find you need many of these candles. If you are having a sale of candles at a candle fund raiser, then the amount you need might be somewhat less. Whatever candle fund raiser you decide on, it is sure to be a hit. Everyone loves candles - most especially the scented ones. Candle fundraisers are a sure winner when it comes to fundraisers and will make your fund raiser a very big success that will provide many donations.

Selling candles can be surprisingly effective, if done well.

Non profits raise funds without buying ads or mailings

When non-profit organizations aren’t out changing the world, they’re appealing to supporters and the public for donations. Fundraising is a constant challenge for non-profit organizations and it’s not because people don’t want to give the money – it’s because people don’t always know that there’s a need. Fundraising efforts include direct mailings, advertising, and marketing campaigns. Each of these is costly and there’s no way to guarantee return on investment. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to gain exposure and elicit donations without having to dip into the coffers? You can – they’re called “editorial placements,” or as we in media relations like to say “free advertising.” Newspapers and magazines live and die by their content. If people don’t want to read what they’re printing, they’re in trouble. Being able to offer a print publication (or even a broadcast network) with a story that will entertain, educate, or inspires its readers is a challenge, but well worth it if it’s printed. Which of the following newspaper placements do you think will garner more public response: an ad placed in the “weekender” or “volunteer opportunity” sections describing your organization and asking for donations; or a touching feature story about how the organization is making a difference in the community? The feature story will almost undoubtedly send more people to an organization’s Web site than an ad, and the funny this is that the feature story cost the organization nothing to secure. Why does the public respond more strongly to a feature than an ad? Because appearing in the media provides instant legitimization. People tend to trust the organizations or people they see in the paper or on TV. If you run a non-profit animal shelter that is featured on the weekend nightly news’ adopt-a-pet segment, chances are the public will think of you first when looking to adopt a pet as opposed to if you simply placed an ad in the Sunday paper every week. So how do you obtain “free advertising?” By reaching out to the media every chance you get. Smaller organizations that utilize community support can offer personal feature stories on certain overachieving volunteers. The media loves a good “feel good” story: how one volunteer has made such a difference, how a beneficiary of the organization’s services is thriving now, and so on. How did your organization start? Did someone sell their business to establish a women’s shelter? Does a local mother care for homeless animals on her farm? Here are some ideas to help inspire you to develop a story for your organization or cause. Every person has a story. Discover the stories behind the people in your organization and make the media aware of them. By “story,” I mean a simple, conversational story – the type you might tell a friend. Pitching a story to the media doesn’t mean you have to write it and offer it in its entirety. When you pitch a story, you simply let your media contact know about it. They’ll decide if it’s a fit and pursue it further. To get an idea of the kinds of stories the paper and local networks like, spend a few weeks tuning in or scanning the pages. It will be obvious the kinds of things they’re looking for. Pay close attention to the journalists and reporters who write on topics related to yours. These are the people you are going to want to contact with your story. Local outlets want local stories, and this can represent multiple opportunities for media coverage. For instance, if the person your story focuses on lives in a town other than where your organization is based, you can pitch the story to both locales. Let the world know what’s happening. Hosting or sponsoring an event can garner more attention than a two-line announcement in the calendar section. What is the story surrounding your event? If you’re launching a clothing drive for professional attire to help women get jobs, highlight a success story, such as a woman associated with your organization who overcame hardships and landed a great job that changed her life. If you’re hosting a casual fun-day dog show for kids to benefit a local animal shelter, find a pet owner who plans to enter his or her adopted shelter dog. Even your fundraising events can be promoted through editorial placements. You don’t have to have a high-profile MC or a gala to make the news. If this is an annual event, how do you expect to surpass last year’s donations? How were the funds used? If they built a library or added a wing to a senior center, what’s the story behind that? Announce Everything Organizations in large cities face direct competition for donations and media coverage. To help improve your chances of media attention, do everything you can to stay in the news (or at least in the minds of the news writers in your area). Is there a staffing change or new hire (a positive one)? Announce it. If you’ve added a service to your organization, announce it. In sales and marketing, a consumer needs to hear about a product seven times before he or she will buy it, on average. The same is true for donations to non-profits. The more often the public sees your organization in print or hears about it on the radio or on television, the more likely they will be to consider donating. Keep that in mind the next time you’ve got news to share! Media relations is about building relationships and having an idea of what the public wants. It’s not as complicated as it may seem, after all, you are the public. What do you want to read? What would be interesting to you? Talk to your co-workers and friends and find out their opinions. Identify the media people in your area who cover the types of things you and your organization do and begin to build a relationship. Before you know it, you may have them calling you for a story.

Oh no another school fundraiser

If you have children still attending school, then you probably know all too well the feeling you get when you receive a flyer stating the need for yet another fundraising event! That horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach that says you're going to have to contribute in some way, either buying something you really don't need and really can't afford, or by donating hours of your time, hours that you don't have either. But do not despair. Life for fundraising people has got easier because of the Internet, and with computers in general, as you can use the computer to make your life easier in many ways. You can document the jobs needed to be done by volunteers, you can email volunteers to keep them all informed of meetings, jobs and the like, and computers can help you keep track of donors, donations, and so much more. The trick with fundraisers is to find something that people want to buy from you, either a product or a service, and that you want to sell and promote. And of course, if the event is because you are fundraising for your school, ideally it should be something that will inspire as many students as possible to participate.

That rules out the good old favourite bake sale, as it is hard to devote the time to helping preschoolers bake for a bake sale, but with so many food allergies around, and fear of food contamination, I think those days are over. I remember how awful I felt when I baked for the school fundraiser, only to find that my daughters had bought the goods so they could see what mommy's baking tasted like! I must admit, baking didn't happen very often because of a shortage of time, but I didn't realize my family felt so deprived! Then there are car washes, and this one I like because the time involved can be limited to one day, or one weekend, and the kids can take part themselves, under adult supervision of course.

Kids love to get wet on a nice hot day, so summer car washes often work well, and aside from advanced advertising, there is not a lot of preparation to do in advance, and very few funds need to be spent on supplies. There are school fairs that can be lots of fun and they can raise significant income, but the level of organization means it is not for everyone. And there are so many more options, too many to list here. Ok, so how else can computers help you, other than with the organization of your fundraising events? There are websites out there that provide you with a ton of advice and loads of suggestions that you can look at to see what fundraiser best suits your group. They suggest how to go about organizing it, how to advertise and promote it to your best advantage. There's information about how to target your fundraiser, in other words, lots of information about aspects of fundraising that you may not have even considered in the past.

One of the problems I always encountered with fundraising, was that I provided some goods to sell, but then was expected to buy some at the event too, so it seemed like a double hit to me. Instead, see if there is a section of the community that you can target. For example, our daughters always did very well when they were collecting donations by standing outside a liquor store. I don't know whether it was a guilt thing or not, but people entering the liquor store seemed to give more readily than those entering a grocery store! ( Not all municipalities permit this kind of fundraising, so you need to check first.) You need to consider what your expenses will be especially those needed in advance of your fundraising. Do you have the funds to cover this? Is it worth paying for advertising? Is it worth mailing to companies to ask for donations, or to others to ask for support? Who is likely to support your fundraising cause? Are there others out there that could be reached? Easily? Yes, it will take a little time to read all this information, but it can be well worth it, as it may save you from having to organize a second event if the first one does not raise the funds you need. It gets you thinking about who you can sell your goods or services to, other than those already involved in your organization, who will benefit from your product or service, and how you can reach them without huge expense and without a huge commitment of time. So get a coffee, take a deep breath and re-evaluate your school fundraiser!

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