Imagine that a family in your community is in need of emergency financial assistance. A sudden car crash puts parents in the hospital for weeks. The family struggles to pay medical bills, car repairs, and other regular expenses, like rent. Since they were already fighting to make ends meet, their children cannot buy new school supplies for the upcoming year. As a neighbor, you sympathize and desire to offer help. As a community, you have bonded over little league games and neighborhood get-togethers. Neighborly support can be as simple as taking in their mail when they are out-of-town, or offering to watch their kids for an hour. Yet when a disaster hits a family hard, community members can come together to find a bigger way to offer their support. Here are several, big fundraising ideas to help a family in need.
Crowdfunding has emerged as a tool to raise money from a large group of people. When a neighbor needs emergency financial assistance, starting a crowdfunding campaign is a powerful way to show your support.
In Small Fundraising Ideas to Help Families in Need: Part One, we discussed smaller-scale fundraising ideas. Part two of this series will focus on big fundraising ideas. These include larger-scale fundraising initiatives that need careful planning. By supplementing fundraising activities, like offline fundraising events with your campaign, you will increase awareness and boost funds.
Big Fundraising Ideas
1. Benefit Concert
Contact local music talent to play a benefit concert. The more bands that are willing to participate, the better. The best place for this fundraising event is a community center or a school auditorium with a stage. Talk with the band members to learn what equipment they may need. You may borrow equipment, like amplifiers or microphones, from the school or community center. Create a poster to market your benefit concert. You can sell tickets via your campaign beforehand, as long as the donor adds their name. This way, you make a list of ticket holders and verify them as they arrive. To increase donations, include an option to purchase tickets at the door at a slightly higher cost, while encouraging ticket sales at the regular price prior to the event.
2. Community Cookbook Fundraiser
Showcase the different flavors of your neighborhood. Ask neighbors to submit a recipe and some quality photos of the dish. Then combine them to create a one-of-a-kind cookbook. Advertise the cookbook on your campaign page and on social media. You can print and bind the cookbooks at your local print shop. That will add some small, upfront costs. On top of cookbook sales, throw a cook off. Pick a park and set a date. Ask each recipe owner to bring their home-cooked meal. Community members can become tasters with a the price of a donation. Give each taster a ticket to give to their favorite meal. Hand out the pre- bought cookbooks and bring a few extra to sell by donation.
3. Gift Basket Silent Auction
Encourage families to show their creative side. Invite your neighbors to build a themed gift basket for a silent auction fundraiser. Themes include spa items, toys, sports, and pets. You will need to secure a place to hold the event. Consider hosting it at a community center on a weekend. Make sure to spread the word about the auction, using your social media networks. At the event, people can walk around to look at the different baskets and bid on their favorites. Place baskets so that the contents are visible, and pair each one with a bidding sheet. After the bidding, collect the sheets to determine the winners. Each gift basket can be purchased by donating money to your campaign. If you bring a laptop or tablet to the event, buyers can pay for their basket immediately.
4. Pet Pageant
Enlist the pets and their owners in your neighborhood to compete in a pageant. Find a location that is pet friendly. Outdoors is ideal if weather permits. The show can have different competitions that vary by category. Popular categories include best trick, best costume, best pet, and owner lookalike. Seek out local vets or pet shop employees to be judges. Charge an admission fee to the show, which can be added to your donation pool. You can even invite an artistic neighbor to paint pet portraits for extra donations. And make sure to set ground rules for safety, such as all pets need to be on a leash.
5. Community Field Day
Host a day full of fun games for the whole family. Prepare competitions, like a water balloon toss, three-legged races, hula-hoop contests, flag football, and more. Rent a blow-up obstacle course, which is fun at any age. Secure a venue in advance, like a school field or a neighbor’s large backyard. Solicit local businesses to donate food and refreshments to your event. Build buzz for your fundraising event by promoting it on social media and word of mouth. Charge admission as a donation to your campaign. Make signs to remind community members that the goal of the event is to raise money for a family in need.
Crowdfunding to Help Families in Need
A neighborhood can stand as a united front against any hardship that a community member may experience. Help a neighbor with free online fundraising. Community-wide support helps a family heal and cope during hardship. Use these big fundraising ideas to kickstart your efforts. Start a fundraiser today for a family in need of emergency financial assistance, and together you will help a family get through a difficult time.