The True Gentleman Initiative Library Service & Philanthropy Module - 16C

Ideas for Fundraisers

Community/Public Events

Plan a barbecue at a local park and charge a set fee for participation.  Outdoor games, local celebrities, and raffle prizes can add to the fun.

Baby Derby/Pageant
Plan a community baby contest with a variety of age and prize categories. Events can include crawling races, tricycle races, or pageant-style contests such as most photogenic, happiest, or most entertaining.  Advertise the event, determine an entry fee, select impartial judges, and contact vendors that supply baby products for possible prizes or promotions. Be sure to have permission slips printed up and signed by each child’s parent or guardian.

Bake Sale
Conduct a bake sale that invites participants to create and sample favorite recipes. Design an entry form and determine a fee for participation.  Arrange for a variety of prize categories such as most extravagant, most creative, or best healthy snack.  For additional fund raising, compile the recipes into a cookbook and sell copies, or combine your bake sale with another community event such as a chili cook-off or fireworks display.

Black Tie Affair
Plan a formal evening to raise funds for kids. Set a date, decide on a location and determine a per-person or per-table ticket price appropriate to the menu and entertainment that will be provided.  If possible, include local celebrities to increase interest in the event.

Build a Home
Contact a building contractor who would be willing to build a home with the help of other contractors and volunteers.  Find craftsmen and vendors in the community who would be willing to donate their time and skills in building the home, and organize volunteer efforts for additional labor.  Profits from the sale of the home would go to your local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

Car Show
Plan a car show with a variety of categories such as 50s, 60s, trucks, or classic automobiles.  To enhance the event, plan for vendor booths, activities, and food as well as prizes for each category.  Entry fees can be charged to exhibitors and spectators.

Car Wash
Select a location and time that will offer significant public exposure.  To enhance interest, invite mascots from local schools, popular radio DJs, or other identifiable community figures to participate.  Be prepared with a rain date just in case.

Casino Night
Set up an adults-only event in which associates or customers pay a fee to play poker, blackjack, roulette, or other games with fake money. You may want to have different areas set up for novice, intermediate and expert players.  Determine prizes beforehand and arrange for refreshments. (Be sure to check local regulations beforehand to ensure compliance with city codes.)

Celebrity Waiters
Arrange for an evening of dining and entertainment at a local restaurant, hall or other location.  Sell tables for the evening to vendors or local businesses, then recruit local politicians, athletes, media personalities or entertainers to wait tables at the event.

Child Safety Days
Plan a community event that focuses on child safety. Arrange for your local police and/or fire departments to conduct hands-on activities on topics such as bicycle safety, fire safety, crime prevention, or child fingerprinting.  Have representatives from your Children’s Miracle Network hospital explain and demonstrate the important role of the children’s hospital in community education programs.

Country Dance
Sponsor a country-style dance to help local kids.  Charge an entrance fee and encourage participants to wear country-western attire.  To carry the theme even further, hold the event at your local fairground or schedule it after a rodeo.

Craft Fair/Flea Market
Ask associates to provide homemade items, newly purchased items or collectibles to sell.  Select a convenient location that will encourage drop-in traffic, and advertise in community newspapers, bulletin boards or other sources a few days prior to the event. If the event will be held outdoors, be sure to plan a rain date.  

Ice Cream Social
Plan a summer day for ice cream, games and music to bring associates, customers and their families together.  Partner with an ice cream vendor if possible, and charge participants for ice cream.

Kiddie Carnival
Set up simple kids’ games and activities such as ring toss, spin art, and face painting.  Decide on a kid-friendly location, promote the event, and charge an entrance fee. If desired, expand the event by adding food stations.

Library Day
Contact your local library to arrange a Children’s Miracle Network Library Day.  Have library employees and volunteers encourage patrons to donate $1 or more when they check out books.  For added fund raising, include a book sale or book signing.

Sandwiches for Miracles
Arrange for a vendor to supply sandwich ingredients at or below cost. Set up a table where employees and customers can build their own sandwiches.  Charge by sandwich weight or determine a per-sandwich price.

Sock Hop
Sponsor a sock hop to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. Hold the event at a local dance hall, gym or other large facility.  Sell tickets in advance or charge an entry fee at the door.  Refreshments, dress-up contests and door prizes can add to the fun.

Sports Tournaments
Tournaments can be designed for associates, managers, vendor partners, and/or the general public.  Set up a traditional-style tournament such as golf, bowling, or basketball complete with an entry fee, teams, and prizes.  Or, select a less traditional tournament such as broom hockey, ultimate frisbee, or fishing.  Include local celebrities if possible to increase interest in the event.

Sumo Wrestling
Rent mock sumo wrestling suits and let kids “wrestle” each other for $1 or more a match.  Be sure to obtain parental approval and provide adequate supervision.

Trash & Treasure
As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  A yard sale is a great way for associates to get rid of all that perfectly good “stuff” they just don’t use and help kids at the same time.  Advertise the sale in advance and have associates commit to take responsibility for any items they bring that do not sell. 

Have participants obtain pledges for donations based on how far they walk during the event.  Walkers will travel along a predetermined route manned by volunteers who verify mileage at certain checkpoints.  Walkers then collect donations for each mile walked.  For a more unusual event, try a bike-a-thon, a bowl-a-thon, a ski-a-thon, a read-a-thon or a skate-a-thon instead.

Holiday Events/Promotions

Breakfast with Santa
Sponsor a seasonal community breakfast and photo session where children can spend time with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc.   

Christmas Tree Festival
Have community groups or other local businesses donate decorated Christmas trees, wreaths and other holiday decorations to sell.  Display the trees in a public hall on specified days and support the event with holiday music, food booths and other vendor items to create a festive boutique atmosphere. 

Christmas Wrap
Contact a local mall or shopping center for permission to wrap customers’ Christmas presents for a donation, or offer a special gift wrap service at your location. 

Egg Hunt/Cake Walk
Have local children enter an Easter egg hunt or cake walk during the Easter holiday season.

Holiday Flower Sale
A holiday flower sale is a great opportunity to team with a local florist to help hospitalized kids in your community.  Sell poinsettias for Christmas, roses for Valentine’s Day, spring bouquets for Mother’s Day, etc.  Providing a flower delivery service could generate additional funds during holiday periods.

Pictures with Santa
Rent a Santa costume for an associate to wear or invite a “professional” Santa to donate time.  Customers can have their children’s pictures taken with Santa for a donation.

Valentine’s Cookies & Cakes
Let associates or customers decorate pre-made Valentine’s Day cakes or cookies for a specified donation to Children’s Miracle Network. 


Hershey’s Kissmobile
The Hershey’s Kissmobile is a promotional vehicle that tours around the United States and Canada and helps build awareness of Children’s Miracle Network. The Kissmobile is shaped like three giant candy kisses and is an eye-catching way to draw attention to a fund raising event.  Kissmobile staff can help provide fun activities indoors or out, including videos on how Hershey’s Kisses are made and how the Kissmobile was built.

Popcorn Machine
Rent or purchase a large commercial popcorn machine for use during a fund raising event.

Raffles/Chance Giveaways
Conduct raffles or chance giveaways among employees, customers or other business affiliates. Solicit donations from vendors and local businesses to use as prizes.

Recycling Program
A recycling program can be an effective fund raising tool for businesses that have regular access to large quantities of aluminum cans. Aluminum cans can be collected year-round, with proceeds from recycling centers going to Children’s Miracle Network.

Root Beer Floats
Partner with a local bottler and/or ice cream vendor to sell root beer floats at your location or during community events. 

Special Event Parking
Contact property owners of parking lots and fields adjacent to civic centers and sports complexes for permission to park cars on their grounds and donate proceeds to Children’s Miracle Network.  Select a specific event or date and recruit volunteers to collect parking charges.

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