Host a Fundraiser
Inspire others to support a cause you love.
Attract new fans – and some cash — to support your family’s special cause by holding a fundraiser. Your children will learn about working together to make a real difference, and they’ll love to brainstorm themes.
Those who benefit from your family’s favorite cause.
What you’ll need
Enthusiasm for your cause and the energy and time to plan and execute your fundraiser
Items as needed, depending on which fundraising idea you choose
Fundraiser ideas to get you started:
Lemonade stand - Alex’s Lemonade Stand helps raise money to fight childhood cancer. Lemons to Lemonade encourages young entrepreneurs to donate their lemonade earnings to the charity of their choice. Each website offers suggestions for staging a successful stand.
Car wash - Make this classic summer fundraiser even more profitable by buying drinks in bulk to sell to customers.
Create a cookbook - Collect favorite family-friendly recipes from friends and neighbors, add drawings and personal comments, then look online for design and binding options. Sell it to family, friends and your social media contacts.
Host a BBQ - Invite family, friends and neighbors. Charge a small admission fee or, say, a dollar per hotdog or hamburger. During a lull in the festivities, talk about why your cause matters. Have an empty ice-cream bucket handy for donations.
Neighborhood carnival - Offer simple games, prizes and face painting. Fishing for trinkets with clothespins is always a hit. See other ideas at the MD Carnivals website.
Yard sale - Have family members gather items they no longer use. Specify in your signage that all proceeds go to charity.
When planning your fundraiser:
Brainstorm how you can spread the word. You could drop off flyers, send emails, post signs in neighborhood shops, and/or use social networking sites.
Determine how you will tell guests about the nonprofit and its good work – perhaps with brochures or table signs.
Announce your charity in big letters on any signage.
If possible, go with your child to the organization to deliver the money you’ve raised. See if you can get a tour.
Why does the organization or cause we’re supporting need funds? (In advance of the fundraiser, find out how the money you raise will be used.)
How else can we raise awareness as well as money for this cause?
How did it make you feel to tell people about your cause and raise money to help their work?
What other types of charities are there and how do they help people, communities or the world?
Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin (Ferne Press, 2009). Ages 4 and up. Conveys a fun, understandable message to children about the importance of kindness.
The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving by Ellen Sabin (Watering Can, 2004). Ages 4 and up. An activity book that involves children in the giving process.
Take it further
In addition to collecting money, you could collect and donate items on your organization’s wish list.
See if the organization has volunteer opportunities your family could engage in.
Consider adopting your organization for a season or even a whole year. Plan all your volunteer and charitable giving around their cause.
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.