How to do a fundraiser....

Getting ready:
Check with your community to see what else is going on that day, or week. Being a first time fundraiser, you do NOT want to compete with other events. IT is so important that you pick your date carefully, consider the weather, event type, and of course what other events are going on during the same week or two.
Another very important factor… Things to consider when picking a location;
For a walk, estimate 50-75 possibly 100 people on your first event. For a car wash, you'd need space to wash around 5 cars at a time, and space to park cars for pick up & for those waiting, and don't forget parking for those who are washing cars. For a car show, estimate around 30 cars plus room for vendors & admires.
People will not go if they can't get to it! Be sure there is plenty of parking and space!
Will they be needed? How much does it cost? Is the location available for the date you picked? Are there any additional fees for using that facility?
Picking the type of event is just as important as the date and Location.
Some ideas:
  • A walk or run
  • Sports tournament (golf, tennis softball, etc…)
  • An auction
  • Car wash
  • Car show
  • Dinner

Talk to other parents & get volunteers to help plan. Add you information to The Great Battle Against SIDS, fundraiser & event page, Talk with the local police department, sheriffs office, mayor, fire departments, local officials, local stores, anyone who will offer support, either emotionally or financially! Find out what are the requirements for your event in your area!

Insurance, this may be required. All (non-city) events in California must be insured and can cost between $500.00 - $1,000 for 24 hours. Check with your parks and rec. dept to see what is required in your city.
Permits may be required for the facility, as well as the event itself.
Fire department, emergency response crew may be required. This can be costly, however this requirement can sometimes be satisfied by off duty volunteer trained emergency response personnel. If off duty personnel are an option, personally invite the EMT's, fire fighters, and police officers. Get them to participate while serving as emergency response personnel!
Some events in some locations require that water and or food be made available.
Community involvement… This is a very uncommon regulation but it does exist. Some city/ county regulations require that you allow small business to advertise at your event for a reasonable fee.
There may be additional regulations for your town, city, county or state.

You've decided where, when, and what. You've checked the regulations and know what to expect. Know comes the hard part… Pulling it all together! Remember, at each stage of planning, you'll need to go back and check the regulations regarding your decision.
This is one of the most important factors of a successful event! You will need volunteers for everything!
If you plan on having music, there are quite a few options. There is the option of playing a stereo, having a DJ, or a local band. Remember to check with your local police department & parks and regulations department to see if you will need additional permits or fees for having music. If your doing your own music, plan on at least 2 volunteers for music.
Since a first event usually means a tight budget, food can be a difficult decision. For a first event I would suggest one of the following:
See what you can get donated to the event. Bakeries, donut shops, grocery stores, club stores (Costco, Sams club, Wal-Mart) Offer to put up an acknowledgement & store flyers.
Find a vendor that is willing to either purchase a space, or is willing to share profits. This will require participants to purchase their own food, so be sure to let them know before coming!
If you're doing your own food, plan on at least 4 - 10 volunteers for food.
Most events you will need to supply something to drink. Water is a great start! A great suggestion that has worked wonders in the past is to offer water & coffee for free, but have sodas, juice & other drinks available for purchase. This is a great moneymaker, but also allows families without the extra cash to keep hydrated. (After all, we don't want to use the emergency response personnel) If you're selling drinks plan on at least 2 volunteers for drinks.
Things to do:
The most important part of your first event is making sure everyone is enjoying himself or herself. If they get bored, they probably won't be back next year! So be sure there is something for all ages. For the younger ones; face painting; bounce houses, coloring area are all great ideas, but can be limited depending on the event your planning. Plan on at least 2 volunteers per table.
Do you want to pass out T-shirts to each participant? The costs of this can be pretty high, but is often a very rewarding expense. They usually run between $4 -$7 a piece. Plan on at least 1 volunteer to pass out shirts.
Do you want to pass out flowers as part of the ceremonies? An old legend says that a red rose for a mother, a yellow rose for bereaved mother. Some other flowers that make touching gifts are daisies. There is a beautiful poem that goes with them. Click Here for the poem.

  • Mailing (1-2 volunteers)
  • Order & pick up t-shirts. (1 volunteer)
  • Order & pick up banners & or posters (1 volunteer)
  • Order & pick up equipment - musical (1-3 volunteers)
  • Order & pick up food & water (1-5 volunteers)
  • Order & pick up flowers (1-2 volunteers)
  • Collect items for raffle, door prize, or auction (2-10 volunteers)
  • Advertising (1-5 volunteers)
  • Decorations (1-3 volunteers)
  • Registration table (1-2 volunteers)
  • Money collecting (always have 2 responsible adults collecting money together)
  • Raffle (1-3 volunteers)
  • Set- up (2- 10 volunteers)
  • Tear down (2-10 volunteers)

Many volunteers may be willing to work more than one volunteer spot.

Some ideas for opening ceremonies include:
  • Releasing doves, butterflies, ladybugs
  • Having the mayor or other elected official say a speech
  • A special song or poem
  • Parent testimonials, speeches
  • Reading of the babies' names

Closing ceremony
The same ideas apply for the closing ceremony. This could also be completely omitted.

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