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Friendraiser Ideas

One of the best ways to raise money and awareness is to host a fundraising event open to the general public. They can be very fancy or more laid back, themed to a season or just what you and your friends like, but the goal is to create an enjoyable event where everyone has fun. Here are some great ideas to help start you start brainstorming what you would like to do:

Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction
Recruit all your single friends to be auctioned off for a Valentine’s Day date. Find a venue that will donate space for the night. Decorate, have beverages and snacks and also have a standard door charge for the evening. Each bid will go towards the cause, as well as the door charge and refreshments. Advertise in your local newspaper.

Breakfast With Santa
Have someone dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus, perhaps even have a few elves. Advertise this event in your local newspaper. If this is going to be a bigger event, then ask a hall to donate space and have local restaurants donate breakfast foods. There should be a door charge for adults and children should be free. You can also take pictures with Santa, which people can purchase for $5-$10 extra. Keep it festive with holiday décor, music, face painting, etc.

Challenge Fundraiser
With some creativity, your fundraising group can pull off some “out of the box” events. A fun example is putting together an event based on the television show “The Amazing Race”. Challenge teams to travel to various checkpoints and complete objectives in order to make it to the finish line. Funds are raised through team registration fees, plus individual pledge donation requirements. An alternative “cool-er” idea is a Polar Plunge, where each participant is expected to raise a minimum amount through collecting a specific pledge donation requirement and then go for a swim into the chilly ocean in the winter.

Champagne/Cocktails and Dessert Party
Do your friends bake? Is one of them a budding bartender? Have a themed night at your home and raise money for each cupcake or cocktail they make.

Chili Cook-off
Charge an entry fee for all cooks to show off their culinary talents. Offer donated prizes to the winners. Try to gather local celebrities to make up the judging panel (ala Iron Chef) and to attract more people to come. Have different categories for people to enter (best spicy chili, best vegetarian chili, best chili by a chef under the age of 16). Either invite the chefs to bring their own pre-cooked chili or provide a space for them to cook on-site. Sell bowls or samples of the different chili dishes for the audience to raise extra money.

Concert in the Park (or your Backyard!)
A concert takes a lot of planning, but if you have the resources, it can be a huge success. Put together a showcase of local talent for your concert. Many local bands will play for free because it is a great opportunity for them to display their talents, and this is especially popular if you are working with kids and teens. Charge an entry fee, and sell refreshments.

Dance Dance Dance
Hosting a dance is a fun and profitable way to raise money. Hosting a dance-a-thon can be even more effective. Instead of a DJ, hire someone to work an iPod for the evening or if you know someone in a band, who will donate their services for free, have a live band. Charge a door fee and find local businesses to donate door prizes. Ask your dancers to collect pledges for how long they can continue dancing.

Fashion Show
Contact various small stores throughout your town and get an agreement to showcase fall fashions for a community fashion show. Charge a fee per store and feature five to ten stores in an hour long show. You can ask that the store owners or managers provide some gift certificates (10% off purchases) that will get people into their store after the show. Then charge a cover charge to anyone wanting to attend the show. You can also provide food and beverages to be purchased as well.

Halloween Costume Party
Throw a costume party at your home for adults and/or children and include dancing, food, music and karaoke. Offer a prize for the best outfit. You can also have a cover charge at the door. You can use an online Evite to send out invitations and collect donations.

Networking Event
If you know someone in the public eye or a high profile executive that people would want to meet and talk to, hold a meet and greet event. Have cocktails and appetizers and charge people admission which will serve as their donation.

Pool Party
With the right resources (a pool for starters) and proper supervision if you are working with children, a pool party is a wonderful fundraising idea for the summer. Sell snacks, raffle prizes and set up carnival-type games like ring-toss. Charge a cover charge for people to attend the party.

Product Party
Get in touch with a local product company (Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mary Kay, Designs that Doate) and request a representative to host a party at your home and inquire what portion of the proceeds would go towards your fundraising.

Spaghetti Dinner
Contact your local VFW or other town venue and ask them to donate their space for free to host a spaghetti dinner. Get your local grocery store to donate the food. Pasta, sauce, cheese, salad ingredients, salad dressing and bread (rolls). Keep it very simple but fun. Charge an entry fee. Alternatively, you could do this in your own home with any dinner, provide the meal yourself and ask your friends to donate the “purchase price” of their meal from your “restaurant.”

Summer Barbeque
Pick a warm weekend and host a barbeque with friends, family, neighbors and others in your community. Cook hotdogs and hamburgers, serve corn, chips, and other side dishes and people can bring their own beverages. You can have a bunch of fun games (where your guests can enter to win) such as wheel-barrow races, three-legged sack race etc. You can have donated prizes from local businesses (i.e. gift certificates to spas, the movies or restaurants) for all of the winners.

Super Bowl Sunday Open House
Invite all of your sports friends over to watch the game and encourage them to invite their friends. Have everyone bring their favorite snack (wings, chips and dip, chili) and you provide the beverages. Have people pay a door charge ($25) as a donation. Include fun games, and factoids about the how Fostering Change for Children helps those in need, during half time.

Tennis Tournament
Invite all of your single, double and mixed double tennis players to a fabulous tennis tournament, hosted by you. Charge an entrance fee as their donation and allow entrants the option of getting sponsored by a business to cover the cost of the entrance fee. Try hosting it at a country club that will give you the courts for the afternoon and possibly even treat the tennis players to free beverages/cocktails and finger food after the event is over. Have a prize for each category (single, double, mixed doubles) from a business. You could do a similar event with other group sports – for example, a charity golf tournament.

Trivia Night
Host a Trivia Night at your local restaurant or bar. Many restaurants and bars actually already do this, so see if you can piggy back off of an already existing event. Let the management know that you’d like to host a trivia event, and would like to advertise the event in the community. This way, before people come to the trivia night, they’ll know it is a fundraiser and they have to pay to participate.

Whatever idea you have, we can help you turn it into a fun and easy way for you to help out a cause that you feel passionate about: helping children and families. Contact Bryan Hill at Bryan@fosteringchangeforchildren.org