For the past months, I have been fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society and the We Charity so today I decided to share all my fundraising experiences and hopefully provide you with some tips and tricks! I have had many success but also many failures and I have learned so much that I will apply for future fundraising events!
December 2017 Cookie Jars
With my club, we decided to do a fundraiser in school to welcome the holiday season and kick off the new year ahead. We made mason jars that are filled with ingredients one would need to make chocolate chip cookies along with bags of ingredients that one might need to enjoy a cup of hot coco that are decorated to resemble reindeers. Because this was one of the first fundraisers we did together as a club, we ran into many difficulties – people don’t know who we are and where we are donating to made them less inclined to trust us. This fundraiser was one of the failures but we learned how to brand ourselves and what information we need to have for next time.
February Valentine Grams
It was Valentine’s Day and I thought, what better to do than sell Valentine Singing Grams so everyone can enjoy some romantic songs. It worked by people buying a song for a person and members from the Vocal club would sing the song for that person in front of their class on Valentine’s Day. It was quite successful and everyone had a lot of fun! It was quite a hassle to organize as I had to talk to the Vice Principle and all the teachers to make sure they were okay with the interruptions and organize the singers. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend you trying this out!
April 2018 Flowers
In April, spring was around the corner so my club decided to organize a plant sale. We bought some plants, made our own boxes and sold them in front of the community centre. This was one of the most tiring fundraisers of the year. We stood in front of the community centre for a bout 2 hours and no one showed up to buy our plants. So we decided to go door to door and sell our plants. It turned out to be really successful even though we had to walk around the entire neighbourhood for couple of hours but it was a good workout! We were very timid with speaking to the residences but soon opened up and most people were very supportive of what we were doing! The sale turned out to be quite successful as we sold all of our plants and got donations from some people as well.
April 2018 Rings
One of my sponsors, KYCE Jewelry, has kindly given me a lot of jewelries to sell for my fundraisers. I specifically asked for 925 silver rings because I thought they were well liked by teens and it would be an easy way to earn some money to donate. Things turned out to be very differently than expected. I created a post in facebook groups to sell the rings but I got many comments such as “How do I know you are donating the money” or “I hate the people who use charity as an excuse to make money” etc. It hit me very hard to know that there are people who can be so unsupportive but there was a former queen who stood up for me and argued for my purpose. It was so heart warming to know that the pageant system creates sisterhoods and we all look out for each other <3
May 2018 Cupcakes
Classic bake sale at the community centre when another leadership was happening at the same time. We thought it was going to work very well because it was organized to happen during the break of the other bigger event. It turned out, however, not to be so successful. There were not a lot of people who showed up at the leadership event and most people who were there didn’t bring money and they were already handing out free food at the community centre. We ended up having many cupcakes left over and gave them away for free because no one would buy them. That was one of the failures of the fundraisers but we learned that sometimes creativity win.
May 2018 Mother’s Day
On Mother’s Day, former Miss Teenage BC 2015 Ariel Cao organized a fundraiser along with other title holders: Miss Teenage BC 2017, Miss Teenage Richmond 2018, Miss Teenage Burnaby 2018, Miss Teenage Burnaby 2015 and myself. It was a tea party for some mother-daughter time and we set up photo booth, raffle prices and each girl got to talk about their platforms. It was a lot of fun to be able to work with so many amazing and inspiring young women who all believe in a cause to help their communities. During the questions round with the queens, I talked about the past year of my life which was the worst year of my life. I realized how important it is to be able to have a support system because without my friends and family I wouldn’t be here today (literally). It was quite an emotional time but I learned so much from that year and got stronger than ever before. And now, I am living the dream.
May 2018 Doughnuts
Later on in May, I decided to collaborate with Miss Teenage Lower-mainland to do a classic Krispy Kreme doughnut sale! We did deliveries all over Whiterock, Surrey, Richmond and Kerrisdale along with setting up stands in supermarkets and skytrain stations. At the beginning things didn’t go as smooth as I expected as I set up a stand in my community and no one came by to purchase doughnuts. I went home, feeling down but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. So my mom and I went to the skytrain station in the afternoon and stood there for a couple hours and sold out all the boxes! We made a lot of money and it was very much a success!
July 2018 Tie-Dye
There was a Canada Day carnival happening in the community centre so my club decided to set up a stand beside it and do a tie dye event since a lot of little kids were going to be present. It was the most successful event we did because we were always busy and sold out of all our shirts and used up all of our dye. It was really fun and gave the kids an experience to personally dye their own t-shirts which I believe many of them really enjoyed doing. The t-shirts also turned out to look very good despite that it was our first time tie-dying shirts. We didn’t earn too much money because the cost of materials was quite high but the experience is the most important and we will never forget the amount of fun we had!
1. Start off with setting up a stand when there is a bigger event going on so more people can learn about you or your organization
2. Have some marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers and business cards so people can remember you
3. If you can’t get money from people, get them to write their emails down so you can send them emails when you have an event going on so more people would know about it
4. Collaborate with people who have a bigger presence on social media to get them to talk about your organization and post about events that you might host
5. Have a budget plan and keep track of how much money you spend and how much money you earn
6. Find sponsors for your events to limit the cost of materials
7. Use your network, connect with other organizations and reach out to other people to help you with your events
8. Don’t ever give up, keep trying you will succeed eventually
9. Always give back to the community, thank everyone who helped you in the process and people who participated in the events
10. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the results that you expected because it takes time to build your brand and I believe your hard work will pay off one day
Have a good day!! Talk soon 🙂