Common Fundraising Options
- Sell advertisements in your program book – Ask local banks, stores, real estate agents, dentists, doctors, dry cleaners, etc. to buy an ad in the program book. You can offer different sizes including business card size, ¼ page, ½ page, and full page. Ask committee members to ask the stores, doctors, and banks they patronize. People give to people, it might just take the right person to ask or sign the request letter. Also create an ad(s) that girls can sell either to businesses or as a “personal” ad where people can include pictures of the participant or a special message.
- Create a Has-Been Association for your program – Your past participants are a great source of volunteers and supporters. Create an association of former participants who are still involved in the program and donate annually to a fund to sponsor scholarships or even a specific award (like Spirit). Be sure to list them in your program book as a thank you or even offer them a free ticket to your show for their donation.
New Fundraising Ideas
- Prom Dress Sale – A program takes dress donations throughout the year (partnered with a dry cleaner so had drop off locations) and then holds a large one day sales where all dresses are $30. The event made $27,000 last year.
- Do a social media based Throwback Challenge – If you have a presence on Facebook or Instagram, each Thursday have a Throwback Challenge. Post pictures of former participants (can scan from old program books) and tag them with a challenge: if they give $30 to the program they will receive a gift pack from your program (example: t-shirt, ticket to the upcoming show, listing in program book).
- Reserved Seating Incentive – Instead of offering a gift card or some other physical prize for the top ad sales girl or top fundraising girl, offer reserved front row seating. Costs you nothing and the local who tried this saw a jump in the amount raised because everyone wanted those reserved seats!
- Ad Sales Discount – Offer a discount on program book ads to businesses that want to use the same camera ready ad copy as they did the previous year — plus they may be up for advertising again if there is a discount and this gives you a reason to reach out to them.
- Social Media Check-in – A local encouraged people in the audience to “Check-In” on Facebook the night of the program before turning off their phones. Then, at intermission, if they showed their phone where they had checked-in, they could get buy one, get one 50% off at the concession stand. This not only helped get the program some publicity, but it also helped them sell concessions- which profitted the program and helped us move product!
- BYBS Boot Camp – In your community host a BYBS Boot Camp. Using your program’s most recent participants, plan a day for younger girls (ie 8-12 year olds) where they can have a fun day camp to learn about BYBS, participate in group activities and meet the past year’s participants who can serve as role models. Maybe even give everyone a t-shirt to help spread the word. Charge a minimal fee ($30) and even give them a ticket to the upcoming show.
- Theater Night – Partner with a local performing arts organization to have a night at the theater. Have them give your committee a block of seats and you sell the tickets at a mark-up. (ie Sell a $10 ticket for $20) The attendees get a fun night out and you keep the profits.
- Raffle – Find someone or a company that will donate a vacation house/condo or big ticket item and have the program Committee or participants sell raffle tickets for a chance to win the prize **NOTE: Raffles are regarded as gambling in some states — check on the legality of this before hosting a raffle.
- Silent auction – Ask companies to donate items and have a silent auction during the intermission of your program or at another public event.
- Bake sale – Have a bake sale at Wal-mart, church, school, etc.
- Department store charity events – Many department stores have charity events that benefit local charities. Check with the department stores in your area for details. (ie Belk)
- Krispy Kreme/Dunkin Donuts – Over one million dollars are raised each year through Krispy Kreme fundraising efforts. Your committee or participants can sell donuts at a sporting event, church event, or community event.
- Distinguished Dress Down – Have local bank/company ask employees to donate $5 in exchange for wearing jeans to work one day. You can make stickers/buttons to give employees that say “Distinguished Dress Down.” This creates awareness for the program and raises money. Think big, ask a company to do it every Friday for an entire month leading up to your program.