Fall has arrived! This is a fantastic time of year to tap into the seasonal spirit and hold some unique fundraising events. The cool weather is perfect for outdoor activities which is your best choice right now. So get creative and have some good old-fashioned socially distanced fun!
Pumpkin carving contest – This type of event is always popular this time of year. It can be held in someone’s yard, in a local park or playground, or anywhere that has enough space so people can spread out and be safe. You’ll want to stock up on pumpkins and carving kits (local farms may be willing to donate pumpkins and carving kits can usually be picked up for a minimal charge at craft and discount stores). Charge each contestant an entrance fee and maybe even sell cider or hot chocolate during the event. You can even combine this with a pumpkin themed bake sale too.
Chili cook-off – Round up your neighbors for a tasty competition! Take proper precautions and use disposable bowls and spoons. You could even add in a mask decorating contest so everyone can create their masks at home and wear them the day of…winner gets a prize, of course. Block party, anyone?
Rake-a-thon – Ask homeowners for a suggested donation and in exchange volunteers will rake their leaves. (Check with local schools, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, to see if they would be willing to volunteer).
Trading cards – Many clients print their own trading cards and hand them out wherever they can. Taking the kids out trick or treating? Hand out cards along the way. Grabbing coffee in the morning? Leave a stack on the counter. Picking up some groceries? Check with management to see if you can post one to their store bulletin board. There are so many inventive ways to tell your story and spread the word about NEADS!
Collection jars – Ask local businesses if you can place collection jars at their front desks and checkout counters. Attach a print-out of the NEADS logo or use this printable Pennies for Pups sign from the Client Resource Center. You can even decorate the jars to make then more Halloween or fall themed – jack o lanterns, candy corn, ghosts and monsters, colorful leaves…the options are endless. Make it your own and make it eye catching!
Ghost Story Contest – This is one of my favorites! Writers can donate a set amount to enter their story into the contest (donations can go through your fundraising page or you can collect the funds and send them to NEADS). Make sure you have a group of people arranged to read through the stories and select a winner, or winners. Offer a prize for the winning story – bragging rights don’t count – and find a way to share that story with everyone. If you want to make this into an event you can have people gather in an outdoor space and read the winning story around a nice toasty fire. Add in some s’mores kits for an additional donation to NEADS. Who doesn’t love a spooky story on a chilly fall night, right?
These are just a few examples of the many ways that people fundraising in the fall. Feel free to come up with your own ideas and chose methods that appeal to you. And most importantly…have a safe and happy Halloween!