The question I am asked most often when it comes to putting on a benefit fundraiser is, “When should we have it? Is there a better day? A better time?” If you were to ask five different people who have put on benefits in the past, you would probably get five different answers which would really confuse you, right?
For my money, and to make the most money, I am partial to Saturday nights from 5-10pm. Before I give you the pluses of a Saturday night, let me give you the negatives of other nights. There are some who think Friday night would be a great time for a benefit. Their rationale is that people have had a hard week at work, they’re thrilled it’s finally Friday (TGIF!), and they’re ready to party and spend. The drawback to Friday is that most of your guests are probably still at work at 5pm when your event begins and even if they want to attend your fundraiser, they first have to make the drive home, freshen up and change out of the clothes they’ve lived in all day. Some may even need to grab a bite to eat before they leave knowing there is a long night ahead. Thus, they may not arrive until 6:30 or 7. The long night ahead creates another issue. These folks have been up since 6am and off to work by 7. Will they really be in the mood to party and bid until 10?
Sunday presents a different set of challenges. True, you would not have to rush around as you did on Friday and perhaps you could even bring the kids. But partying, spending and drinking until 10 is out of the question for most people. Monday morning is just around the corner and it’s not only a work day, but for 9 months out of the year it’s a school day as well.
Which brings me to Saturday. Mom and Dad have had a leisurely day of perhaps grocery shopping, catching up on housework and doing some yardwork. At about 3 in the afternoon, Mom can begin to get ready for the benefit with a shower or bath and have all the time in the world to put on makeup and party clothes – all with the help of a wine in hand! There is no rush and your guests are in a mood to reward themselves after working around the house all day. They can come early, spend lots, stay late and then sleep late!
What about Sunday morning church service, you ask. Most people will rationalize skipping service after having done such a good deed the night before!
A daycare fund raiser, in essence, is no different from the other fundraisers organized by various groups and societies. Yet, some of the tactics that work for the typical fundraising activities do not work for daycare fundraisers. This is because of one major factor in the daycare fundraiser: the children. Regardless if the children are indirectly or largely involved in the daycare fundraising endeavor, they will be present in the activity. After all, the fundraiser for daycare centers is done mainly for the sake of the children. So it is unavoidable for an organizer of the daycare fundraiser to consider these when preparing and planning the activity.
First of all, the daycare fundraising ideas that the organizers will employ should be appropriate to children. Basically, the event should be kid-friendly; meaning, everyone, regardless of their age, can go to the event. For example, one common fundraising idea is the date auction. This idea is a hit in high schools and colleges – and even in community fundraising events. However, for a daycare fundraising idea, it is not appropriate. In order to know if the daycare fundraising idea is appropriate for the event, one should first consider the possible attendees and potential donors of the event. If the theme will not fit in the interests and the needs of these people, then it is clear that the idea will not fit for daycare fundraising.
The daycare fundraising plan should also be simple – or, if it isn’t, there should be simple enough tasks so the children of the daycare can have opportunities to participate in the event. This factor should depend on how much the participation of the children will be. If the organizers have decided to involve the children, the activity and the fundraiser should be easy, like a bake sale.
After the theme, the organizers of the daycare fundraiser should then consider the content of the event. For example, in a sale, the organizers should take the effort to make sure that everything for sale is appropriate for everyone regardless of age. If someone is selling magazines or DVDs in the event, make sure that everything is for all ages. This factor is important even if the children of the daycare will no participation in the event at all. Remember that the parents are main target of the daycare fundraisers. When they go to the event, they are likely to bring their children and their family. Therefore, they will certainly be discouraged if they see materials that are inappropriate for children. This will not only affect the fundraiser, but the image of the daycare center itself as well.
Daycare centers should also avoid directly soliciting for donations. In any case, this should be difficult to accomplish since only those who are involved with the daycare (the parents who drop off their children in the center) will mainly care to donate. And even so, they will not offer extra money that easily, even if it is for donations. Asking the clients of the daycare for more money for the service is also not appropriate and effective. These two tactics can be tempting to employ, but they offer poor results. So try a fundraiser and watch the needed funds roll in.