Being a natural organiser, I recently co-ordinated a joint community fundraiser for bushfire relief. Our school P&C combined with a local church, neighbourhood watch and local online group to host a sausage sizzle, cake stall and raffle in our local supermarket.
We raised $1,826.95, which in real terms was then doubled due to the Commonwealth Bank’s dollar-matching commitment for donations banked with them. You can read more about that in this article.
Our bushfire fundraiser was incredibly easy to organise. Here are some photos and then I’ll share a brief description. Hopefully you will feel more relaxed to take on a similar project if you ever need to.
Our joint community grassroots fundraiser
- See if it’s possible
The first step is to check on feasibility. In my case, our local IGA have been great supporters of our school and I was confident that they would support us with this fundraiser also. I was correct – they agreed to donate everything we needed to run the sausage sizzle.
- Reach out
Get in touch with other local organisations to see if they are happy to work with you. What you are looking for is to leverage their network for volunteers and supporters.
- Set up a Facebook event
Set up a Facebook event (we did it under our P&C page) and share it around! You can make other organisations co-hosts so they can also share it.
- Set up rosters and communicate requirements
We set up an online roster using Signup Zone. It’s a free service and we just set up the time slots and shared the link to it through our partner organisations. We included the details for cake baking including drop-off times as well as a request for the donation of raffle prizes.
Keep up the communication via your networks and put up posters in key locations. I went so far as to add ‘countdown’ alerts to the posters where our fundraiser was going to take place.
If you’ve run a sausage sizzle or cake stall before, you’ll be all over this. If you haven’t, take a quick look through our Sausage Sizzle how-to guide. If not, you need the basics – trestle tables (at least 2 if you have a cake stall), a BBQ and gas (don’t forget that gas is a consumable!), utensils and serviettes, sauce etc etc…
- Organisers Emergency Toolkit
I keep a cross-body bag filled with any emergency items I might need on the day. It includes:
– Everybody’s phone numbers
– Permanent Marker
– Sticky tape
– Blue tac
– Zip Ties
– Sticky labels
– Muesli bar (nobody needs to deal with a ‘hangry’ organiser!)
I don’t include first aid stuff, but it’s important to know where your nearest one can be accessed.
- Trust the universe
The rest will fall into place… or not. Trust that you can manage whatever comes up. Things can be fixed on the fly and as long as you have people around you, everything will be amazing. The sense of built community is beyond amazing. It’s the stuff of life.
This article was written by Mandy Weidmann aka The Fundraising Whisperer.
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