Congratulations! You have chosen your organization and you are ready to start your fundraising! For so many, if not everyone that I have talked to, this is an extremely intimidating undertaking! We were also very unsure about all of this but decided to just jump in with both feet and have a little faith that it would all work out!
$20,000 is A LOT of money! You have signed a contract which means you are now committed to making monthly payments, bi-monthly payments or whatever payment option fit your situation best. I know you are asking yourself “How in the world will we raise this much money?! Where is this money going to come from!? What if we don’t raise enough to make our payments!?” I can assure you that you WILL be able to do this!
I will tell you how we raised the money for our daughter, and then I will blog other fundraising ideas that will hopefully help you brainstorm ideas to make your fundraising successful!
We held several different fundraisers for our daughter. We asked several local businesses if we could set up a donation jars. We took a great close up photo of her, and did a short write-up to attach to the jar so people could read her story. This brought in several thousand dollars over the course of 4 months. We also did a pop can drive. In Michigan, we can return our pop cans for the 10 cent deposit fee, this turned into roughly $4,000.00 in profit towards her dog. It was not the cleanest or the most fun, but it was fairly “easy” to do. We then began planning our big fundraiser. We rented a building at our local county fairgrounds, which cost about $500, but it included the use of the kitchen, tables/chairs, and we had access for a 24 hour time frame. We sent out letters to local businesses explaining our daughters story and how a diabetic alert dog could help keep her safe. In the letter we asked for donations and/or items for our silent auction and the amount of items that we were able to collect was mind blowing! People we have never met, were calling us asking what they could do or what we needed to help us have a successful event. It was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever been a part of! We also had about 14 vendors at our event (Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Thirty-One, etc) and they were able to set up a table with their products and at the end of the evening they all donated 20% of their sales back to our daughter. Most of the vendors extended this offer for the entire month and just sent us one check with their final donation. We had a nice dinner with desserts for all of our guests but tried to keep it simple. We were able to get everything donated except for the meat, which was very helpful when trying to plan a large event with a small budget. We held a 50/50 raffle (you will need to look into proper licensing to hold any type of raffle in your state) and the winner donated all of the money back to our daughter, almost $1,000.00! This one event generated just under $8,000.00 in ONE evening! We also held a small golf outing, the golf course/club donated the greens for the afternoon and we had all of the food and some silent auction items donated to help bring in more donations.
Get creative, think outside the box! The ideas are truly endless! It can be scary at first but try to have fun with it! It will take some work, but your hard work will pay off in the end.