Kiwanis

Service Leadership Programs

Blog | Media | Shop

arrow
 Do the dues
Skip Navigation LinksDiscover > Magazine > September 2010 > 5 outside-the-box fundraisers

5 outside-the-box fundraisers

By Shanna Mooney

Fundraising may start with “f-u-n,” but typically it’s anything but. A few clubs, however, have managed to make the most of it with outside-the-box ideas. Learn from them and come up with your own fabulous fundraiser.

Celebrity cookbook

Does anyone in your club know someone famous? If not, don’t be discouraged: Neither did the Key Club of Lewistown Area High School in Pennsylvania, and they made a successful celebrity cookbook.

The idea was well thought-out from the beginning. “The initial step in our plan was to determine a fundraiser that would be well received and profitable during the present economic times,” says club advisor Vicky Henry. “The club determined that, due to more families cooking at home to save money rather than eating out, a cookbook would be a good project to pursue.

“With so many cookbooks on the market, we knew we needed to design one that was unique. Through brainstorming, the club determined that recipes from celebrities—politicians, entertainers and athletes—would be out of the ordinary and of interest to potential buyers.”

Steps to success
• Send letters to 500 celebrities.
• Allow a couple of months to receive the recipes. (Ninety came through for the Lewistown Area club.)
• Type, scan and organize the recipes and photos into the desired format.
• Get sponsorships to cover costs.
• Hold a cookbook cover contest.
• Auction celebrity photographs received at a Kiwanis pancake event.
• Order and sell books. (This club ordered 270, which included a 20-book donation from the printer.)
• The club then presented a donation of $5,000 to Caitlin’s Smiles, an organization that gives arts and crafts “smile bags” to chronically ill children in 47 hospitals across Pennsylvania.

Kiss ’em goodbye

The “Kiss a senior goodbye” fundraiser involves sweets and sentiment. Your school population, parents, teachers and staff are invited to give seniors a sweet send-off in the form of a chocolate kiss and a personal message. The event is simple to execute and has potential to make quite a bit of money, depending on the size of the senior class. (Nothing’s stopping you from expanding it into a “Kiss a freshman hello” fundraiser.)

The “Kiss a senior goodbye” fundraiser involves sweets and sentiment. Your school population, parents, teachers and staff are invited to give seniors a sweet send-off in the form of a chocolate kiss and a personal message. The event is simple to execute and has potential to make quite a bit of money, depending on the size of the senior class. (Nothing’s stopping you from expanding it into a “Kiss a freshman hello” fundraiser.)

The Key Club of Batavia, Illinois, makes this an annual event.

Steps to success
• Contact the parents of each senior, giving them a form so they can personalize a message about how proud they are of their graduate. Suggest they also might want to surprise some of their child’s friends as well.
• Encourage teachers and coaches to “kiss” their seniors goodbye.
• Set a deadline for when the form—and payment—must be returned to the club.
• Buy Hershey’s kisses and bag them up along with the messages.
• Deliver the goodies on the designated day to each senior.

Couch potato

The Key Club of Delphi Community High School in Indiana stages a fundraiser called “couch potato” at basketball games.

“We sell tickets at home boys’ basketball games for $1 each or 6 for $5 to anyone interested,” says immediate past Key Club president Grace Mears. The tickets are put in a raffle that is drawn at halftime. The winner gets to choose two friends to sit on the couch, located on the end of the court, for the remainder of the game. A large pizza, donated by a local pizza shop, is given to the winner to enjoy during the rest of the game, and the concession stand (sponsored by the athletic office) donates one bottle of pop for each of the couch-sitters, Mears says.

“The amount of money we make varies game to game, but since the couch is stored in a sports closet in the gym and the pizza and drinks are donated, all the ticket sales are direct profit,” says Mears.

Steps to success
• Present the idea and get permission from everyone involved, including the principal and basketball coach.
• Find an easily carried couch to move onto and off of the floor for each home game.
• Promote and advertise the idea.
• Sell raffle tickets.
• Arrange to draw the name and announce the winner at the game.
• Get pizza donated for the couch potato and friends.

Rent a Key Club member

This idea is adapted from a popular service project included in the Key Club International Service Project Bulletin.
Clubs can set aside a weekend day and urge community members to rent a Key Club member—or crew—for the day. The “employer” calls the club and lists the jobs he or she would like to have done, such as raking leaves, washing windows, babysitting and painting. Club members do the work and a set hourly fee is donated back to the club.

Steps to success
• Get lots of publicity. We’re talking fliers in the grocery store, announcements at your sponsoring Kiwanis club, school staff, PTA, church, etc.
• Recruit a willing and capable crew of Key Clubbers who will take on the tasks with enthusiasm.
• Be organized when setting up the appointments and efficient when completing the tasks.

Dollars for doughnuts

Many Key Clubs sell food to make money. Why is it so popular? Because high school students like to eat! A lot.
When choosing a food, consider the fact that many students are too busy to eat breakfast in the morning. Rather than go hungry until lunch, they’re likely to pay for a tasty, quick food they can eat on their way to class. Doughnuts are the perfect solution.

The Key Club of Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida, relies on doughnut sales to fund projects.

Steps to success
• Advertise. Include what you’re selling, how much it is and where to buy it.
• Make a deal with a local bakery and buy in bulk for a good deal. Offer advertising on the fliers and in announcements for a discount.
• Having regular sales on the same day, time and place will help with repeat customers.