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Ideas for fundraising activities

Fundraising

Ideas for fundraising activities aren't hard to find, but unusual ideas are scarcer. The sad truth is that however crazy your ideas for fundraising activities are, you will almost certainly find that someone, somewhere has already done what you're planning. This site is full of inspiration for fundraisers, but here are a few ideas for fundraising activities that don't appear elsewhere on the site.

Flamingo flocking

Ticks!


This fundraising idea sounds crazy to the uninitiated, but it is growing in popularity across the United States. You buy ten pink plastic flamingos and then pick ten front yards in your neighborhood to host the flamingos. Hang a "ransom note" round each flamingo's neck saying that for a certain sum of money you will remove the flamingo. Include contact details and an explanation of why you are raising money.

Basket raffles

This is a good idea if you have several teams of fundraisers (such as different school classes), as you can introduce a competitive element. Each team picks a theme for their basket, which could be anything from "sports" to "winter wonderland". Then they get as many items as they can that fit that description. Teams can make items or ask for donations. Then the baskets are raffled. If teams have managed to obtain some good donations, the contents of each basket could be worth up to $100 - well worth the price of a $1 raffle ticket.

Car washing

For this, you'll need buckets, sponges, hot soapy water and plenty of enthusiasm. The price for the car wash should vary according to how thorough a job you do. For example, you shouldn't expect more than a couple of dollars for a five-minute soap-down, but you can charge more if you wax and polish the car too. Some enterprising fundraisers offer a full valet service, including cleaning the car's interior and polishing the paintwork. However, be aware that the speed and low cost of a five-minute car wash is what makes it so attractive to many drivers. Always agree on a price before beginning the car wash, and try to get the money beforehand if possible.

Celebrity endorsement

This isn't so much an idea for a fundraising activity as a way to add extra interest to conventional fundraising activities. For example, running a marathon is a great fundraising opportunity, but a celebrity running a marathon will raise even more money. In 2004, British model Nell McAndrew ran the London Marathon and raised thousands of pounds for four different charities, while rapper P Diddy ran the New York Marathon in 2003 to raise funds for educational charities.

If you can persuade a celebrity to appear at your fundraising event, you will almost certainly draw more crowds. Don't be afraid to ask Hollywood A -listers or senior politicians, but be aware that the more famous the person, the less likely they are to have time for your event. You may have to settle for someone who is only known within your state or town.

If you can't get a celebrity, why not consider a celebrity lookalike ? Contact your nearest lookalike agency to see if they have anyone who resembles your favorite celebrity. These usually generate plenty of attention, as the local newspaper won't be able to resist sending a photographer round to see just how good the lookalike is. Hiring a lookalike should be much easier than persuading a genuine celebrity to come along, but be warned that lookalikes usually charge a fee, whereas real celebrities tend to make charity appearances for free.