Fundraising can be fun and profitable with a little enthusiasm and ingenuity!
This article focuses on DIY fundraising activities to increase the budget at your facility. Some of the suggested fundraising activities are simple such as traditional raffles and can be run several times a year; others will take more time and effort and can only be done annually or even bi-annually.
There is a lot of effort that goes into planning and coordinating a successful fundraising event. Despite the hard work, large fundraising events can be fun, profitable and very worthwhile.
The more successful your fundraising efforts, the more money your team will have at their disposal!
Related: How to Plan a Fundraising Event
Here are some fundraising ideas suitable for nursing homes and other elder care facilities:
Make it an annual event in the car park or grounds of your facility. Let your local newspaper and community radio know about it and they may advertise the event for free. Ask your local schools to post a flyer of the event on their community board. Appeal to staff and residents' relatives for donations of unwanted goods. Make the most of the day by selling food: a simple breakfast of muffins and eggs, a sausage sizzle at lunch time and tea and cake all day long.
Related: How to Plan a Trash & Treasure Sale
Most people have books at home they'll never read again. Appeal for book donations in your newsletter each month and store them for a once-a-year book fair.
Establish a bi-annual ‘Dressing down Day' for a token $2.
Make this night an annual event, and build up enthusiasm by hiring an enthusiastic MC. Ask everyone to bring a plate of food and a bottle of wine to share.
Relatd: Trivial Pursuit Game
Use calendar events as an opportunity to organise a raffle e.g. Mother's and Father's day, Easter and Christmas. If you make sure the raffle is made up of donated goods you can make a very good profit. All raffles seem more attractive if you include 2nd and 3rd prizes. Selling tickets can be time-consuming, so start selling a month before the draw.
This is a fun way to raise money and is suitable for birthdays, Valentine's Day, and Christmas (carols). Form a choir (give the group a name) and rehearse some traditional songs to suit the occasion. For birthdays, find out what type of music the person likes or their favourite ballad and then rehearse it. Let everyone know of your singing telegram service and charge $5 dollars per 'telegram'. The idea is that the choir sings for an individual after giving him/her a 'telegram' with the name of the sender or sweetheart (for Valentine's Day).
There are different ways of holding a successful dinner party. You may ask management to provide one at your facility or you may ask someone known as a good cook to do the honours. The dinner party should be special and intimate with no more than 6 couples. They should pay a minimum of $60 per couple for a 3-course dinner. The ingredients should be donated by your facility's management (they can buy food cheaper than you can). The venue should be elegant and pleasant; a garden setting or a nice veranda, either at your facility or at someone's place. Your target for the event could be office staff, RNs, nurses, relatives, friends and neighbours. Make it an annual event in spring.
This is a really fun event, sometimes hilarious! Hire or borrow a karaoke machine and charge people to sing a song. Have a panel of judges to vote on the best talent. Offer an inexpensive prize or trophy to the winner.
Ask for donations right after Christmas when people have replaced their wardrobe and shoes. Keep them in a safe place and have a once a year sale. If there is surplus, you may donate items to a charity organization.
Make sure you have enough orders before going ahead with this activity. Find someone who enjoys getting up at dawn and ask him/her to go to the local fruit and vegetable market to pick up a box (or two, depending on your orders) of seasonal fruit e.g. strawberries/cherries/mangoes. Since a box will cost much less than buying by weight in supermarkets, you may sell the fruit with a good profit.
Related: Multicultural Market Day
You can order chocolates, candy, apple pies, lamingtons,biscuit tins etc from specialist fundraising suppliers that you can then sell for profit. Make sure you have orders before buying.
Sponsor local artists by having an auction at your facility. Items will be donated by the artists themselves or by stores and art organizations. You will need lots of volunteers to collect items; that's what takes the most time. A community auction can be combined with another event you are having at your facility, such as a Spring or Winter festival, a dance, or an ethnic party such as 'Hawaiian Luau' or 'Belly Dancing in Lebanon'.
If you live in Australia you'll know this well. It is popular with social clubs and office workers. Bowls Clubs offer parties for people that have never bowled before. They provide an instructor for the duration of the game. The game is conducted with bare feet. The event is sold with lunch or dinner as well as the game of bowls for a set price. For fundraising, add another $10 on top of set price and invite friends and relatives and your residents' relatives to join you. This is not suitable for the elderly or the very young.
Related: How to Plan a Fundraising Event
We'd love to hear your feedback and ideas for fundraising activities!