Summer is the best time to gather people ‘round for a good cause. The weather is lovely, everyone’s out and about, and there is a myriad of activities you can do not just to raise funds, but to help people beat the sweltering heat as well. Raising funds in the summer is not limited to just selling lemonade anymore. There are many more activities you can plan that will have an impact on your cause. The key is to get your donors excited about getting involved and then encourage them to get their friends and family on board!
Here are some activities you can try:
Now this seems like a cliché suggestion, but that’s because fun runs do work! In order to break the mold, have a creative theme for your walk-a-thon, and if possible, relate it to your cause.
You can ask participants to wear costumes, play music or have a live band play while they’re running, prepare some activities at the stops, or have a sweet reward waiting for participants in the end.
One of the pioneers of this completely new genre of running events is The Color Run, which started as an initiative to promote healthiness by hosting the “Happiest 5K on the planet”. Participants are bathed in a tropical array of colors and island scents as they pass through the shade of palm trees, arches, and island-style music. Not only do they get to exercise, they also have fun and get to donate to partner charities by joining this event
Ice cream is perhaps the best selling commodity every summer. Capitalize on this by hosting an outdoor ice cream social. Gather your group of volunteers to prepare some outdoor activities (Frisbee at the park, perhaps?) and set up your ice cream booth. Be as creative as you can be with the ice cream, toppings, and cones so that people will have lots to choose from!
This is a perfect way to raise awareness about your cause and help support a local business. If there’s a new pub, restaurant or merchant in town who is willing to share their product with the community, partner up with them for a tasting session and advocacy night. This way you’re able to build brand recognition for both your cause and their business.
If your neighborhood has an outdoor pool that draws a crowd during hot summer days, it might be the ideal place to start! Approach the management about your cause, then find local swimmers (such as university swim teams) and other participants who are willing to secure pledges for every lap that they can swim.
For a relaxing summer party idea, arrange an outdoor movie night under the stars at your local park. You’ll need a huge projector, a sound system, plus food and drinks. This is a great way to partner with local businesses, and makes multiple streams of donations likely – through corporate sponsorships, ticket entries or donations, and sales of food and drinks. There are plenty of outdoor movie cinemas in Melbourne you can choose from.
Speak to your local council about using and promoting a local venue with an outdoor music concert. Benefit concerts remain popular because they are fun and engaging, and allows the community to gather. You’ll be helping local acts or friends that are in bands get their name out there, too!
If a concert is too big a feat to plan, why not partner up with your local festivals or markets? It’s the perfect place to meet a large crowd. There are many ways that you can fundraise at a music festival – ask your volunteers to canvas the crowds, set up a booth if you’re selling products, or talk with organizers about having a percentage of each ticket sale go to your cause.
Sometimes, the best fundraisers are day-to-day services that people normally take for granted. We definitely won’t skip having our car washed if we knew it was for a good cause, too! Partner with a local church, school, or gas station to use their space.
While a golf tournament may take a significant amount of planning, this is a great way to reach organizations and business, especially if the primary target of your cause are males. Consider the location, sponsors, accommodations, volunteers, food and beverage, signage, photography, prizes, and insurance. If time and resources allow, perhaps you can make it a family event and have some activities prepared for the wives and children of participants – such as an outdoor picnic.
Most of these fundraising activities involve selling or asking friends and family to spend money in exchange for their participation. However, many people want to support, but are not in a position to donate or spend money.
Energy Pledge uses an innovative model to generate a free donation to your selected cause and you can save money too! To see if you can save and support a cause, visit energypledge.com.au/explore and select from one of our existing causes or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate your own.