Archive for the 'Healthy Fundraisers' Category

Healthy Fundraising Events That are Good for Your Body

Phot by GraceFamily As parents and educators, we are obviously very concerned with the overall health of our children. Although it has become very easy in our society to make unhealthy choices, we are increasingly becoming aware of opportunities to opt for those things that will make us stronger, more fit, and in the long run, happier.

This attention is starting to turn toward our schools. With the vast amount of time that a child spends at school each year, this is a very important front in the battle for a building a healthy lifestyle.

Many schools are addressing the issues of soda and candy vending machines in the schools. And although candy sales have long been a successful form of fundraising, some schools are now looking for ways to integrate their desire for good health into their need to raise money to support vital school functions.

Here are a few ideas of physical activities that combine exercise, fun, and the opportunity to generate lots of income.

Golf and Walk
The golf outing has long been a staple in the fundraising world, used by thousands of non-profit organizations. However, many golf outings have focused solely on the golfer. While these events are great at generating camaraderie among those who participate, the very nature of the activity is exclusionary. If you don’t like to golf, you aren’t going to participate, and that limits the amount of money, as well as community spirit you can drum up.

However, there is a solution. The concept of the Golf & Walk event opens up the beauty of a golf course and the fun that comes from enjoying the great outdoors to everyone who wants to support your organization.

I have worked in the past with Champion Events and was very impressed by their customer service and organizational detail. They have great experience with the Golf & Walk. Here is a snippet from their website about this creative and inclusive event:

The Golf & Walk Event is a new event concept that combines a fundraising golf tournament with a unique “walk-a-thon” at the golf course. Walkers walk nine holes on cart paths at a beautiful golf course. They are kept separate from golfers in complete safety. Everyone finishes together at the end for an awards celebration.

All participants raise donations prior to the event. The Golf & Walk Event is planned on a 12-week timeline and mobilizes everyone in your network to raise money for you, not just those 15% of adults who can play golf. Because its foundation is “relational” fundraising in its most effective form, the Golf & Walk Event is currently producing the highest dollar results of the standard Big 3 fundraising events (banquets, auctions, traditional golf tournaments). continue reading

Chocolate Fundraiser is Out, Beer & Wine Fundraiser is In!

Back in March of this year, I wrote a blog post here that talked about the dangers of including alcohol for adults at a school fundraiser. I wrote that alcohol can add an unpredictable element to your event, which could possibly spoil what you and your team worked so hard to create.

It’s not that I’m against alcohol in any way personally, it’s just that some people get carried away with drinking, and these few individuals can ruin the event for the rest of the audience. That can negatively impact your school’s reputation as a fundraising entity and make your job much harder.

As evidence, I included in my blog an excerpt from a news article that reported on a school auction that included alcohol sales, and some parents got drunk and started to swear loudly at each other, and they came to blows.

Today, however, I came across an article in the Times & Transcript online paper from New Brunswick, Canada, that highlights a local elementary school that has decided to hold an Oktoberfest Beer Garden fundraiser just for parents. No children would be allowed to attend.

According to the article, the planners of this event have done everything by the book. For example,

…the (Home & School) association has moved very cautiously to plan a positive, adults-only event. The fire inspector has been in to certify appropriate maximum numbers for such an event, the event is being limited to four hours, the special event liquor license limits the number of drinks that can be served, taxicabs and volunteer designated drivers will be available, and the event is scheduled to start more than six hours after the last student group, a basketball team, leaves the school that Saturday.

There has been some resistance to this idea, however. One parent thinks that the event should have been scheduled at an area tavern, instead of in the school building itself.

The organizers of the event did look into that possibility, but there would have been a financial price to pay for renting the facility, as well as other costs that would be avoided by holding it at the school. One organizer was quoted as saying, “that they looked at hosting it off-site, but the use of the gymnasium instead of a rented space will allow the event to pay for itself and be a fundraiser.” continue reading

Dodgeball for Dollars

Are you tired of the same old boring fundraisers year after year? Do you want to attract more attention and more interest from your students in the fundraising process? Do you want your fundraising events to be healthier and promote physical activity?

Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, here’s a great idea for you: how about trying a Dodgeball-a-thon? Or, if you don’t want to get too carried away, you could just plan a dodge ball party with all sorts of add-on money makers.

Here’s an excerpt from an online newspaper report about a school that did just this:

Dodging balls for Japan relief

by Julian Jimenez
Published on: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Students raised money for Japanese relief efforts by playing dodgeball at an event hosted by the Student Program Board.

Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, UH students have been organizing fundraisers and food and supply drives to help with relief efforts.

The Student Program Board held the Dodgeball for Japan relief drive on Monday at the MAC Room of the Wellness and Recreation Center.

Participants who brought donations such as clothing, utensils and other household goods.

“The disaster happened, and we tried to think of ways we could help out. So we thought of dodgeball. It’s an active sport, and it builds camaraderie and community, and we come closer as a University,” Garcia said.

Now, these were college students in the article, and they only required donations to play the game, but you could easily tweak this idea to fit your school and your student body. continue reading

Try Attaching a Year-Long Theme to Your Fundraisers Next Year

Many times on this blog, I have recommended that you plan out your year of fundraising before the school calendar actually begins. This ensures that you know what you will be doing (so you can plan accordingly) and it gives a little peace of mind to your audience, in that they will know what’s coming up and when. Your fundraising events won’t seem like big, un-welcome surprises. At least, not as much.

But, here is a tip that might help people get a little more excited about your fundraising plan. Instead of just saying “We’re having a cookie dough sale, a plant sale, a walk-a-thon, and a school carnival this year” instead create a unifying theme that will give shape and coherence to your individual campaigns.

For instance, I think it would be a great idea to tell your school families that “for this entire school year, we are going to have a Healthy Living theme”. Every product sale and every fundraising event put on by the school will be zero-calorie ingesting, exercise-promoting, and environment-loving.

By making this kind of commitment, you will have all sorts of new marketing opportunities. The local media will pick up on your efforts, just because you’ve tied them together in a nice, little package, and you’re doing some good for people, which is uncommon. You can have the kids make posters to hang up in school, and I’m sure various leaders in your community would be willing to come in and get the kids fired up to live a healthy lifestyle.

You will also appeal to parents in that you and the school are doing your part to keep their children healthy. It’s so easy to just give kids junk food and let them make unhealthy choices just because it’s convenient. Fundraisers can be a big culprit in this area. So, if you take the candy and the cookies out of the equation, families will be very grateful.

Photo by: Siti Saad

Mass. Elementary School Uses Brain Power to Fundraise

Today, I read an article online that I think is truly amazing. It’s from the Woburn, Massachusetts, site, and it was written by Nadine Wandzilak on April 6, 2011. Here is a link to the original article.

The report tells of Hurld Elementary school and their latest fundraising effort. Inspired by a series of e-books written by Vicki Blazejowski of the website PTO Ideas, the folks at Hurld Elementary decided to depart from the more traditional methods of raising money and try something a little different. Instead of selling items as they had in the past, this year, they created a pledge-based math test, that was appropriate for each grade level. Basically, kids got pledges for getting correct answers on a math test.

Now, this wasn’t just a plain old ordinary math test. There were a series of fun events leading up to the actual test, which got kids very excited about taking part in this fundraiser.

Here are some excerpts from the article.

Students in each grade are going to take a 30-question grade-level test developed by their teachers and collect pledges for their correct answers.

To get them even more excited about the project, students participated in scavenger hunts Tuesday at school to find the answers to a series of grade-appropriate math questions.

Adding to the novel fundraiser, students who return their sponsor sheet by this coming Monday, April 11, will have a chance to win by raffle one of more than 10 prizes. Two of the prizes: A ride to school in a fire truck or police cruiser.

The new approach to fundraising pleases fourth-grader Jonathan Jiang in the class of Tara Tedesco.
Before, you would have to go around the neighborhood and ask people to buy things, Jonathan said.

This way, “You stay in school and do math,” he said. Definitely better. continue reading