Friday, March 22, 2013

How to FUNd-raise like a BOSS!

If you are here reading this blog, it is probably because you are looking for awesome and fun fund raising ideas for kids!  But, when you have an awesome kid that is working hard and kicking butt, it means YOU have to step up your game to!  Today I am going to share my tips and ideas on how to fund raise like a BOSS, so that you can RELAY BIG! After all, we are setting an example for some pretty amazing kids!

Now, first things first.  The fund raising game changes a little bit when you have a child (or spouse!) fundraising to.  Wes and I have an unwritten rule that he gets to ask for the donations from our friends and family, so I have to think outside of the box when it comes to my efforts.  Luckily, that is something I am pretty good at, since my job requires me to think outside of the box on a daily basis!

Whether you realize it or not, we all have unique and amazing talents!  Are you a great cook?  A painter?  Do you make the cutest hair bows for your daughter?  Do you play an instrument?  Find that special talent, and use it to your advantage with fundraising.

I have two unique skills that I use to raise money for RFL.  One thing I do year round is donate a large portion of my sales from my Cancer Awareness Tie Dye to my Relay For Life goal.  The thing I really love about this is that I get to communicate with people all over the world who are fighting the same fight I am.  Now, if you have a talent, but don't run a business doing that talent, you can still sell your items!  Use Facebook to your advantage- it's a free advertising tool!  Post pictures of your creations, and ask your friends to buy them, or share the pictures :)

Something else I love to do is paint.  This year, my Relay hosted a silent auction, so I painted up two jewelry boxes and filled them with bracelets to auction off.  This was a really easy project, I just sat them on the coffee table and worked on them each night as I watched TV!

Now, I can't talk about talents and skills without mentioning my friend Krisha (who is also a fundraising power house!).  Krisha and her team are off the charts good bakers.  During the fall, they sell pumpkin rolls that are TO DIE FOR, and during Valentines Day, they sell Valentines cookies!  What Krisha does is post about what she is baking on facebook, and takes orders, so she knows how much to make.  THIS FUNDRAISER WORKS like a charm, and is way less stress than a traditional bake sale, because you know what you need to make ahead of time!  So far this year, they have raised over $800 by doing this!

Take it to the next level
Let's face it- I can only sell so many tie dye t-shirts at an event.  So this year, I thought further out of the box- I wanted to figure out how to get a bigger variety of items to auction off or sell, without having to buy them all outright.  Then it hit me- what if I asked other Relayers all over the country to trade their crafty items for tie dye?  Surely they had the same dilemma I did!  I went straight to Etsy (which is like the worlds biggest craft show online), and searched "Relay For Life".  When I found an item that I thought would work great for what I was doing, I simply shot that seller an email and asked if they would consider trading me for tie dye!  I figured, the worst I was going to hear was no!  Guess what happened?  Most people said yes!  It created a win win situation for both of us.

TinkerDotDesigns, for example, sent me this amazing mounted print, and magnets, and I made tie dye for her and her daughters to wear at Relay!  I'll admit I am going to have a hard time selling this one off, it's beautiful!

Other Ideas that work!
So, you're not the crafty type, you can't boil water, and your last project ended up an epic Pinterest fail.   Don't worry, all is not lost!  Here are my two favorite fundraisers that don;t require much creativity!

Relay For Life T-SHIRTS with a message sell!  Go to your local T-shirt printer, and find out how much they would charge to print shirts for you.  Many print shops also have a designer who can sit down with you and your ideas, and come up with the perfect design for your shirts!  Have them make you an order form, and take pre-orders for T-shirts.  Use that money to purchase the shirts, and put the rest towards your Relay goal!  Last year, I noticed that no one in our area had shirts made for the event that represented our schools- The Weatherford Eagles.  So, I drew up a design with that in mind, and it has been a hit!

Here are some more of my favorites!  If you would like to purchase any of these, you can find them over at

Who doesn't love wearing Relay gear all year anyway!?  I love buying all of the t-shirts everyone makes, because it gives me the opportunity to talk about RFL everyone someone compliments what I am wearing!

I absolutely love MUD LOVE bracelets.  They are handmade in the USA, waterproof, made of clay, adjustable, and come in tons of colors and sayings.  As if that isn't enough, 20% of all sales go to creating clean drinking water in Africa.  I love using the bracelets to raise money for Relay, because it is something different, and they go fast!  Mud Love offers bulk ordering straight from their website with minimums as low as 50 bracelets.

Make a list of everyone you know that you have a connection with.  You know what I mean, your friend who manages a restaurant in town,  your sister who works for a big corporation, your best friends hubby who works for a big box retailer.  Talk to those folks, and see if they can do anything to help you out, even if it is not monetary help!

I made the most wonderful connection this year with Jodie Kyle, the owner of Simplistic Style  an awesome boutique in our town that sells my line of Boho Couture.  Not only did I learn that Jodie is a Cervical Cancer survivor, she also decided to join our team!  Jodie let me put all of the items I had been selling for Relay at the front and center of the store, and even added her own items to fund raise!  So every time someone goes into her store, they see our items!  It has been a great success.

That's it for now!  Stay tuned for more ideas, and if you want to hear about team fund raisers, let me know by leaving a comment below!

Remember, we are all in this fight together- the more we share, the better we can fundraise and end the fight!