Guest Author - Melissa Weise
Many teens decide to raise money for a favorite charity to fulfill their community service hours. This is a wonderful way to support a cause that you are passionate about and use your creativity to raise some dough. Below is a ten point countdown of tips to guide your planning, organization and running a fundraiser.
10. Friends are you’re…..er…friends! It is always more fun to fundraise with friends and the more people, the faster the work gets done. On the other hand, you want to make sure that you all agree so….
9. Have a clear goal. Make sure everyone agrees about where the money goes. Choose a cause that you all care about but talk about it first. And make sure that you are very specific about where the money is going. If you all love animals, don’t stop there. Make sure you decide if you want to support an animal adoption agency, a free animal clinic, or an organization that wants to save the animals in Africa. Overall, it is best to decide which charity exactly that you want. Also, ask some adults to look up the charity online to make sure they are real and that they use their donations responsibly. Some charities are unscrupulous and don’t use your hard-earned money wisely. Then, call and ask the charity if it is okay to donate. Sometimes, charities don’t accept donations so you want to make sure before you go to all this hard work.
8. Decide exactly how you are doing to raise the money. This is where the creativity comes in. I have heard of so many ways to raise money. There are the usual suspects: bake sales, craft fairs, rummage sales, asking for donations. But some kids get really creative and I have heard of putting on a carnival, talent shows, plays, card swaps, putting on a dance, auctions, raffles, and many more. It all depends on how much time and effort you have to put into the fundraiser and the rules that you have to follow. Always ask adults’ opinions on your fundraiser. Sometimes there are rules that you wouldn’t even know you are breaking. For instance, some towns wouldn’t allow anyone to put on a raffle without a license. So always ask good questions.
7. Figure out when you want to hold the fund raiser. Will it be one afternoon, two afternoons or a whole week? Do you want to hold it over spring vacation or in the summer? Think about when you will get as many people as possible and what make sense for your particular fundraiser.
6. How will you advertise? Posters? Signs? Sometimes you can even get newspapers or radio stations to write an article or do an advertisement for free about your fundraiser if it is big and interesting enough. If you think they might, give them a call. Just make sure you let the people who you want to participate in your fundraiser know about it. For instance, if you want to get your teachers involved, don’t just advertise to your friends.
5. Where is your fundraiser going to be? If it is going to be a craft fair, you will need space and need to ask permission to use that space.
4. What supplies will you need? If you want to put on a dance, you will need music, and perhaps even snacks. How are you going to get these things? Ask for donation? Buy them? Make sure to include this in your plan.
3. Who is going to do what? For a bake sale, you need to figure out who is going to bake, who is going to advertise, who is going to ask for the space, who is going to run the tables when and who is going to clean up.
2. How are you going to handle the money? If you are having an event that you need to make change for, make sure you have enough fives, ones, and coins to make change if someone hands you a twenty. Where are you going to keep the money that you raise during the event? Do you have a money box that you can use? Who is going to be in charge of the money box? Be sure to be clear about that. And who is going to take the care of the money after the event.
1. How do you want to hand over the money? You went to so much work for this fundraiser, be sure to make a big deal of handing over the money. Perhaps you want to take a tour of the children’s hospital that you are donating to. Be sure to call and ask in advance for a tour. Perhaps they will even let you hand the money over to the president. Be sure to get a picture! It is a wonderful photo op!