Car Wash Fundraiser

Washing the car can be a tedious chore for many Australian households, however, holding a car wash fundraiser can transform the unpopular task of washing the car into a meaningful event that can help raise funds for a good cause.

Fundraising drives are only as successful as the ideas they are built upon, that’s why holding a fundraiser that is based on doing a task for people that they don’t want to do themselves is a no brainer! Whilst holding a car wash fundraiser may sound simple to organise and run, you still need to consider a range of issues – such as council permits, safety issues, marketing, rostering, and environmental issues – before you get started.

Here’s some food for thought to get you started…

As with any other fundraiser, one of the most important aspects of a car wash fundraiser is the marketing of it. Getting publicity for your car wash is crucial to raising more money, and making use of public service announcements (PSAs) can be one great way of getting the word out. Many local radio stations in Australia give air time to public service announcements, and your fundraising group can take advantage of this to get free publicity for your car wash.

Getting your PSA on the air is as simple as calling up your local radio station and asking to speak with the person who works in public relations or community service. They will normally ask you to provide text for the PSA, which should include all of the pertinent information regarding the details of the event. Beyond these details, you should try to keep the content of the PSA brief.

From a safety perspective, there are some key issues of car wash fundraising that you should consider as well. This is especially important when young people are involved in the car wash, as is often the case. A busy street corner may seem like an ideal location for a car wash fundraiser, but it also means that traffic is constantly speeding by the location. When managing the car wash, the key to keeping everyone safe and focused is to assign certain tasks to each person in the group. Then, if people start playing around too much, and water fights or other mayhem gets out of hand, you should try moving people around to different jobs so that the instigator is separated from the rest of the group.

From an environmental standpoint, there are a few things that you should consider. In the last few years, some local governments have recognised the potential environmental impact these events can have, and some councils may ban them unless they follow certain procedures. The procedures are designed to keep waste water out of city storm drains, waterways and ditches, due to the fact that it contains detergents and potentially harmful residues.

This water flows directly into the environment without being treated to remove the pollution first, and when added together, a large number of car wash fundraisers can have a significant, adverse impact. So it’s a good idea to get in contact with your local council before you get too far into the planning process, just to be safe.

If you’re keen to organise your own car wash fundraiser remember to plan your marketing and consider the safety issues and environmental impact. Doing this will greatly assist you in setting up and running a fundraising event for your community group or school that is fun for the volunteers, that provides a valuable service for your car wash customers and raises much need money for your coffers.

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Originally published 10 September, 2014

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