To get the most out of any fundraiser, every participant needs to give their all from start to finish. This includes your team members, parents, coaches, and other volunteers.
To keep everyone's interest from waning, make sure that you include fun in your fundraiser each step of the way.
Ten ways to put fun in your fundraising:
1- Do fun things
2- Use fun incentives
3- Take pictures
4- Show appreciation
5- Give out fun merchant prizes
6- Build in fun goals
7- Blend fun, food and fundraising
8- Create fun completion activities
9- Say thank you
10- Have a cast party
Do fun things
Don't make it drudgery to be a volunteer or a participant. Remember that they're giving up their free time to help.
Plan fun things to do during each stage of the process that will reward everyone. Not only will it be a more rewarding experience for everyone involved, but you will keep your participants and volunteers eager for the next fundraiser.
And we all know there will be another one sooner rather than later!
Make sure they remember the fun, not just the hard work.
Use fun incentives
Offer a Cream Pie Attack party to all sellers or participants reaching a certain level. Have a fun day where key organizational figures do funny things for meeting goals.
Extreme examples include shaving their heads or dyeing their hair blue.
Some safer, less long-lasting examples could be wearing a funny wig, dressing like a clown, risk the dunking booth, and so on.
Be creative and use an idea that is appropriate to your group.
Kids and adults love these types of incentives and they don't cut into your hard earned cash.
Take fun pictures
Everybody loves to see themselves in a picture. Take plenty of candid shots. Have everybody pose and ham it up for a group photo.
Be sure to post them where everyone can enjoy them. You could even reward your picture posers with prizes for the best smile, the goofiest pose, or the worst dressed.
Ask volunteers to take pictures throughout the fundraising process so there will be a variety of photos and you can be sure that everyone will be included.
If possible, have a "movie" made of your group during each phase of the fundraising process and show the movie at a wrap up event.
Show your appreciation to all levels of your organization and supporter base. Be sure to do fun things that aren't fundraisers.
For example, line up discounts on tickets to athletic events, go on group outings, provide goodies for volunteers during working sessions.
Give out fun merchant prizes
Work with local merchants for great prizes that mean the most to
Work deals for movie passes, merchandise discounts, gift certificates, miniature golf, or IMAX theater trips for your top performing participants.
As always, make sure there is something in it for the merchant, otherwise you are just another stranger begging for their money or services.
Build in fun goals
Do an event based solely on having fun. Have key organization members commit to doing crazy things once certain revenue goals are reached, in whatever increments are most appropriate for your group and goals.
Let things build to the climactic moment where the head cheese does the ultimate "fun thing" as a way to reward the group for all their support.
A fond memory in the making is for the coaching staff to stand on their heads and sing "Row, row, row your boat" in rounds.
Blend fun, food and fundraising
Remember that you can blend fun into even the most traditional fundraising events.
Everybody knows what a bake sale is, right? Use a cake walk to sell a large portion of your donated sweets.
Kids love it and you'll get more for the desserts than if you sold them outright. Consider having awards for the various submissions and then auctioning off the best dessert.
Create fun completion activities
These will motivate your sellers and volunteers as much or more as winning actual prizes.
Think about low cost fun events that you could tie to completing certain tasks, for example:
Top sales group gets a water balloon fight, all volunteers play in a Powder Puff touch football game, or an ultimate Frisbee match.
Say thank you
You can't say thank you often enough to your supporters and your participants. Show your appreciation with heartfelt words and deeds.
Have a cast party
Have one for all volunteers at conclusion. Get together at someone's home or in the fellowship hall with everyone bringing potluck.
It's a nice way to build goodwill and reinforce a sense of community for future recruiting.
In remembering the fun in fundraising, be sure that each activity, prize or reward is age and group appropriate.
Also, remember the other volunteers? the parents and other adult volunteers that make it all happen. Be sure they are rewarded directly, even if it is a simple remark of recognition and thanks.
Print simple awards on the computer and present them at your wrap up event. Individualize each one: "The Go-To Guy Award", "The Worker Bee Award", "The Daddy War Bucks Award", and so on.
Remember: Make it fun and everyone will come back for more!