I was recently at a few fundraisers that I
found it to be very well organized with some very creative ideas.
Here are some ideas that I would like to share with you.
When you are organizing a fundraiser
it is important to come up with a theme for the occasion that can be
carried through all aspects of the event.
I have been involved with many
fundraisers that have bake tables with great items but I have never
found myself drawn to a table. So what was so different about this
bake sale? It was basically because of the way the items were
displayed. The table was elegantly decorated and the baked goods
were beautifully displayed. The chairperson spent the time to
place items in baskets, trays, dishes, ceramic loaf pans, and decorated
boxes that were included with the sale. Some of the display items
were donated and others were purchased at dollar stores and from sale
racks. Baked goods were tied with beautiful ribbons or bows and/or
covered with cellophane. The items were displayed in a multi-level
fashion with a cloth table covering. It was simply beautiful and
so appealing that you just had to go and buy something. In fact it
was difficult to decide exactly what to purchase. She requested
upscale baked goods like cakes. pies, breads, and muffins rather
than brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Specifically, items
included apple pie, banana bread, non-brownie bar cookies, biscotti,
bundt cake, container of caramel corn, carrot cake, cherry pie,
chocolate cake, chocolate covered pretzels, coffee cake, specialty
cupcakes, fruit cobblers, fudge, muffins, white chocolate dipped candy
canes, and specialty cookies. All items must be home made -- no store
bought items. I heard that the baked
table was very successful so the moral of the story is spend a little
more time for a greater return.
Raffle baskets are a large revenue
generator at fundraisers. Once again the way they are displayed
and the items included are very important. First, consider the
theme of the event and then come up with related themes for each basket.
For instance, if the theme for the event is Winter Wonderland then maybe
the theme for the baskets can be based on winter books.
For example Snow Day by Lester L. Laminack, The Polar Express by Chris
Van Allsburg, Angelina Ice
, First Tracks by Johnny Boyd. Next, you need to
come up with great items that will go along with your theme. For
instance, for "Snow Day" you can get a large blow up sled and fill it
will all of your items. Goodies could include anything that can be
used on a snow day: a snow ball making kit, books, DVDs, Xbox360 or the
hottest gaming machine of the time, video games etc... The idea is
to have them elaborately displayed and decorated so that you catch the
attention of those walking past.
Again, the way you display the items
is very important. Group items based on a theme: sports, family
outings, health/fitness etc... Give as much information as
possible about the item and use clear picture frames to display the item
detail sheets. Cover the tables in cloth table covers so that it
has an elegant feel to it. Try not to cram too many items on one
table to avoid confusion for the potential purchasers. Many times,
with school events, parents can not stay until the end but they really
want a specific item. A solution is to offer a "Buy Now" price.
This pre-determined price will allow the person to purchase the item
before they leave. You simply take their payment, put a sold sign
on the item and make arrangements with them for pick up. I saw this for
the first time recently and it seemed to be very successful.
When you think of a live auction you
automatically think of high ticket items that an auctioneer is selling.
Well, the last high end fundraiser that I attended had a live auction
and did not sell a single item. The auctioneer stood there and
going through his routine asked people to donate money for the great
cause. Starting with looking for1 person to donate $250.000 and
then went down from there with 1 person to donate $100,000, then 3
people to donate $50,000, 5 to donate $25,000, 10 to donate $5,000
and lots to donate $1.000. You can set the denominations based on
your cause and the group of people attending the event. It was
extremely successful and a lot of money was raised on the spot.