Fundraising is harder for every group out there, but small, mostly volunteer-led groups face particular challenges — and have come up with unique ways to overcome those challenges. Hear from parents, event planners, and other volunteers who contributed to Ilona Bray’s recent book, The Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, in this newly released podcast (from the CD-ROM that comes with the book), “Fundraising in a Down Economy.”
Category Archives: Special Events
Wondering how important it is to come up with a fundraiser for your group that’s new and different? Or how other groups have managed to come up with winning ideas? Check out the podcast “Bringing Creativity to Your Fundraising Efforts,” drawn from Ilona Bray’s recently published book, The Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising. It includes tips and stories from parents, events planners, and more.
Yesterday was “Mug Root Beer Float” day at the Oakland A’s baseball game, at which families brought lots of kids to enjoy meeting celebrities, watching floats, and of course drinking root beer floats.
Yes, it sounds like it was fun. And according to the press release, the event raised over $29,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
But as a friend of mine who went to the game commented, “Isn’t there something a little weird about feeding kids sugar at an event dedicated to dealing with a disease that’s all about the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar?”
Call me a curmudgeon, but I’d say it’s very weird. No one has yet found the cause of diabetes, but doctors are certainly raising alarm bells about sugar consumption and obesity, both of which are rampant in the United States. I give the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation credit for creating a business partnership that got them in the headlines and raised some significant amounts, but what a mixed message to send.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that processed and sugary foods have been drafted into the cause of fundraising. And people are taking notice — and better yet, suggesting creative alternatives. For example, you’ll find some helpful tips on healthy food alternatives in this guide from Canada’s Nova Scotia Department of Education, called “Fundraising with Healthy Food and Beverages.”
As any fundraising special events planner knows, part of the key to making a profit is to create a budget that carefully accounts for all possible expenses, and then to make sure that the likely income from the event will exceed the total expenses by a healthy margin.
But who knew that rubber duck races were getting so popular that you might need to purchase upwards of 40,000 ducks?
That’s right, from Texas to Hawaii, duck adopters are flocking (oops, bad pun) to join the race. You can read about it in the article, “Rubber duckies go with the flow of charity,” by Kristin R. Jackson.
The good news for the people making the budgets is that, according to my online research, two-inch rubber duckies can be had for about 39 cents apiece. So maybe it’s storage space that should be your biggest concern.
The humble school bake sale is dead, according to NPR’s recent story, “Forget Bake Sales: Schools Turn to Luxe Auctions,” by Lauren Silverman. The story describes how (as every parent knows), trying to fill the gaps left by reduced government funding is forcing parents to put in as much effort at special events such as auctions (live or online) as they did for their own weddings.
Even if to you, this is old news, the story is worth a listen for:
- its ideas on the latest items to attract bids (though not every school has access to an unwashed Lance Armstrong T-shirt, I assume) and
- the professional auctioneer demonstrating how she slows down her normally rapid-fire patter when dealing with a benefit auction audience (who isn’t used to live auctions).
Whichever of your volunteers can line this one up probably deserves a prize.