How to Host a Fundraiser:

August 10, 2015

Our Military Kids is very thankful for the wonderful support we get from around our nation. We have individuals and corporations dedicated to our mission and helping us fund more grants, for more families. We have had a few people ask us about how to support Our Military Kids and the best way to do that, other than donating funds, is to donate your time and host a fundraiser. Something as small as a traditional bake sale, or as large a dinner event can help us greatly. In the past we have had people do marathons/runs, bake sales, PTA drives, wine events, dance-a-thons, tennis tournaments and many other unique ideas. Below you are some general steps on how to host a successful fundraiser: 1. Get the large details together. Make sure you have a date, and a backup date if you want someone from the organization to be there, have a tentative plan on how the event is going to run and what your goal is for the event. If you are doing a small fundraiser like a bake sale, keep your goal small, around $500 so if you surpass that, your whole team will feel accomplished and ready to do another event. For a larger event like a wine tasting, your goal should be around $5,000. 2. Create a budget, and stick to it. Fundraisers cost money. The old cliché, “you have to spend money to make money,” is very true when it comes to raising funds for a non-profit organization. The smaller the event, the less money you will spend, but also, the less money you will make. For events like bake sales, your budget should be at most $200 to buy ingredients for the bake sale. However, for large events like a tennis tournament, you can get more necessities donated. Right now, an individual is hosting a tennis tournament to benefit Our Military Kids. He has only had to pay for the park permits out of pocket, the food has been donated, and he has secured sponsors to pay for other expenses like trophies and marketing. Large events seem scary, but with proper planning and help from your organization, they are doable and can garner media attention and larger donations. 3. Contact the organization you are fundraising for, Our Military Kids can be contacted by email at Updates@ourmilitarykids.org. Make sure the email has the date of the event (or time period is the event is more than one day), what your target audience is, what exactly the event is, your goal and how we can help you make it a success. A lot of events ask us to send literature about our program or donations bracelets to give to people who donate extra. We can also help you create flyers or share your event on social media. If the event is a large event, we can help circulate a press release as well. 4. Book a venue. If you are hosting the event outside of your house, you will need to book the place. Whether it’s in front of a grocery store, a country club, or a restaurant, make sure you book the place well in advanced. The minimum time required is about four weeks, but if the event is larger, we suggest at least three months. For larger events, this gives you time to plan accordingly. Outside events will need permits for food and other vendors, such as music, if you have them. Make sure to check with local laws for outside events. 5. Market your event. Once you have the date, time and location, it is time to start marketing your event to your audience. For general events that can encompass the whole community, make sure to flyer at ‘Hot Spots.’ Local restaurants, grocery stores, and gyms are a great place to start. The local PTA organizations are another resource. They have the ear of other parents and if the event is kid friendly, they will be there to help. Another great way to market an event is do a digital media campaign, emails and social media can highly effective if used correctly. For help with digital marketing and use of logos, reach out to the organization again. 6. Have Fun. Your event should be fun for everyone involved. Helping a great organization while bonding with friends or co-workers should never be too stressful that you forget the mission of the organization and the reason you all got involved in the first place. We look forward to helping you host an event soon!