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Put the Fun in Fundraising

Put the Fun in Fundraising
by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

So your kids' Glee club needs new outfits; the football team needs new helmets; the bingo gang needs more daubers (that's the word on the street). Whatever the need, how about a fundraiser? With more and more budget cuts these days, fundraising has become the new black and it's not as difficult as you may think. Bravo for the traditional bake sales, but it's no secret we beaders would rather make jewelry than bake cupcakes so how about a twist? My entire family agrees, I make better cupcake jewelry than actual cupcakes! Since everyone has a naked zipper running around, help them out by making fun zipper pulls or sell ready-made zipper pulls like this awareness ribbon, holiday bells and trees or blingy pigs. Here are some tips for having a successful fundraiser and a few sample zipper pulls to inspire you to get started!

Fund Raising #101

Fund raising is serious business but don't forget to have a good time along the way. Whether you have a small table at your church bazaar to sell your wares, an entire school gym set up with vendors or an elegant black tie affair, organization and time is the key to success. Make sure you plan well ahead with defined tasks and dates so everyone can stay on track and you have enough time to advertise your event. Typically it takes at least 5-6 months to plan a fundraiser! Your date, location and recipient of funds are vitally important so determine these three as soon as possible. Try to plan your fundraiser so it doesn't conflict with any other events taking place in the area at the same time.
  • Determine event date, location and recipient of funds
  • Designate a chairperson(s) who will run the event
  • List duties and contact information for the other participants and/or committees
  • Meet with the appropriate person(s) in charge of the event location and hammer out specific details such as date, time, cost of the venue and set up and tear down times
  • How and when will the money be collected and distributed to your charity or recipient?
  • Send press releases to all your local papers, magazines, radio stations, Craigslist and social media sites such as Face book and Twitter as soon as you have all the details confirmed
  • Have a poster contest involving the kids and hang them up all over town! Don't forget the library, restaurants, coffee shops and health clubs in the area
  • Consider having a raffle as well. Get donations from local shops and service in the area and sell tickets
  • Put a large bucket or jar on the entrance table with a sign "Donation for _______". Many folks will drop dollars in there as you're ringing up their purchases. (Be sure to keep your eye on it at all times so your cashola doesn't walk away.)
  • Use a locking cash box for your cash and checks taken during your event
  • Keep all your paper work together in a project tote so you can stay organized (well, try anyway)!

Sing, Sing a Song

A battle of the bands or sing-off is a fun way to get the schools involved. Jumping in on the popularity of the hit shows like Glee, The Voice and American Idol, invite all the rock-star-wanna-be kids to participate in a contest. Have a few teachers or local celebrity judge the competition in the high school auditorium and charge money for tickets. Whether a sax player, pianist, guitarist, theater geeks or all around music lover, they'll adore your music-themed zipper pulls so be sure to sell them by the entrance!

An art show is another fun-raiser idea! Invite students and local artists to donate wall art for the show with a portion or all the sales going to the fundraising recipient or school. It's great to get students to meet and mingle with "real" artists. You could also raffle off an art lesson with a local painter if they're willing to donate their time for this cause. Art zipper pulls would delight this crowd.

Never Too Many

Don't leave out the fashionistas! They love their shoes, purses, clothes and cell phones!

For the Harry Potter fans, how about a wizard, dragon or sword on your zipper?

The sports fanatics may clip their zipper pulls onto their duffle bag or key chain. Here's a great charm set for the skier-skater-baseball-basketball-football-golfer-tennis-soccer crowd! Want a little baseball, football or NCAA®? Motorheads may want to dangle their zipper pulls from their rear view mirrors or add to their motorcycle key rings.

The graduating class may enjoy celebrating their year with a key ring or zipper pull.

Be sure to wrap up your purchases in cute little bags or boxes to encourage gift giving and remember to have fun. Good luck!

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