Showing posts with label kids fundraising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids fundraising. Show all posts

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fundraising With Noah's Art Workshop

This morning someone posted on Facebook that there were only 59 days left until Christmas.


I haven't even started THINKING about Christmas yet- even though Hobby Lobby is tempting me to with the Christmas section already up (ok, maybe I have thought about Christmas a little....)

And that got me thinking.  People are going to spend money at Christmas buying gifts.  Why not offer them gifts that ALSO support our cause of Relay For Life?  We want them to spend that money with us instead of a mass retailer, how can we do that?

Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to Noah's Ark Workshop!  It's like Build A Bear, but BETTER.  I'll tell you why in just a minute.

But first- let me tell you where this idea came from, because this genius fundraiser wasn't my idea!  My sister Relay For Life team, Orange Power, has two really smart ladies who already work in direct sales.  Those two ladies are Traci Wile, and Bonny Moulton.  They are the guru's of direct sales- and guess what?  They follow the tried and true Relay advice of doing what you know.  One day, Traci came across this fantastic website, and these two geniuses decided to turn it into a fundraiser.

They called me SO excited with the idea, and I was hooked right away.  I was so interested, in fact, that I called Dina Amico from Noah's Art Workshop to tell her how the girls wanted to make this small idea into a BIG Relay fundraiser.  Turns out, Dina was amazing, and full of amazing ideas herself.  She offered to make a special program JUST for Relay For Life fundraisers- and I was SOLD on sharing the idea with all of you (with Bonny and Traci's permission, of course!)

Here are the details of the program:

As a Relay For Life Team or Individual, we would like to offer the following Fundraising Membership:

·       *  Registration as a Fundraising Member is FREE

·       *  35/40/45% OFF of retail prices on plush animals, outfit and accessories

·       *  40% OFF of promotional priced animals

·       * Free Noah’s Ark replicated website with an e-commerce shopping cart paying 35% commission on 
            all sales

·       * Product catalogs at wholesale prices

·       * Access to our Graphics Art Department for assistance in creating custom fundraising flyers, Facebook Banners and promotional materials

·       * Option for customized teddy t-shirts with your organization logo or fundraising message

·       * Workshop and product training and support

·       *  Free Membership do not come with a Membership Kits   * Fundraising Memberships are eligible to earn additional fundraising dollars through our traditional direct sales downline commission payout.  Simply sponsor a Fundraising Member into Noah’s Ark, and earn additional funds for your organization based on everything your downline team purchases.

Simply call Dina at 1-866-484-6624 to register as a Fundraising Team or Member (**PLEASE SIGN UP UNDER BONNY MOULTON SO YOU ARE IN A RELAY FOR LIFE DOWNLINE**).  You will have immediate access to your membership benefits with immediate website creation. 

Now- why is this better than Build A Bear?
1- Relay For Life gets the profit.
2- It's cheaper.
3- You bring the party TO your donors.
4- You have a website donors can order from so people can stuff them at home.
5- You can earn commission on people who sign up under you.
6- IT'S FREE to sign up!

Here are a few ways to make this fundraiser work for you.
Team Orange Power did something really neat with the special edition pink bears.  The decided to pre stuff the bears, and sold them ready to go at our Pink Out games, online, and in local stores.  Here's my favorite part.  They also offered people the option of buying a bear to have delivered to a breast cancer patient.  Great right?  A tangible gift they could love on that also helps fund research for their disease!

Well, I was all over that!  I had just got an email from a friend who had been diagnosed.  I knew EXACTLY what I could send her to make her smile.  So, we called Bonny up and ordered her a bear.  When it arrived, my son, Wes, took extra care with it, hugged it EXTRA hard, and said a little prayer to it to give Deb strength.  It worked.  I cried and cried when she got it in the mail, because it brought her so much HOPE.


You could also host a local party (think of places you could have it that are free- local churches, homes, or town halls!) have people RSVP and pay ahead of time, and order what you need!  Imagine the fun little ones would have stuffing a special friend and taking it home THAT day!  Or for Christmas- making them for a friend or sibling! 

Dina also shared a brilliant idea.  You can purchase little plush stars to put inside the bears.  Use the stars as a fundraiser!  First, choose an animal to stuff for a special person- perhaps a local cancer patient, a survivor, or a child in a local children's hospital.  Sell each star for $5, and have the person buying it say a prayer over the star (or a wish for you non religious types), and have them sign a card.  Then stuff the animal with all of those happy thoughts and prayers, and deliver it to the recipient.  Genius, right?

Hold an online virtual party and promote it on Facebook!  Donors buy from your website!

I know what you are thinking- OHHHHHH!  We should have a Relay bear!  Guess what?  If there is enough interest, Dina can make that happen!  Imagine a cute purple bear with a RFL logo on the foot!? EEK!  I want one!

The opportunities here are virtually endless.  If you have one, please comment below!  It doesn't get better than this ladies and gentleman.  Take a look at Noah's Art Workshop online, and you will be hooked to!  I'm already building my Christmas shopping list! I know I will get a warm fuzzy by buying a gift that also helps my favorite cause :)

With HOPE-

Friday, May 9, 2014

Relay For Life - Fundraising for kids, and why you should never underestimate them!

Wes, my son, tells this story time and again when people ask him how he got involved with Relay For Life.

"When I was 5, I was going with my mom to all of the Relay meetings and events ALL.  THE.  TIME.  One day, I asked her- how come there are never any kids doing Relay?  And she said, I don't know.  So I told my mom I wanted to start doing Relay on my own, and I was going to be the top fundraiser."

Guess what?  That next year- he was.  And, he continues to each year.  His fundraising total for this year is currently at $7,681.43.  He is 8 years old.


But the truth is, when he originally asked me why aren't other kids Relaying, I really didn't know.  In fact, I had never even considered it.  Sure I included him in my plans, and he helped me all of the time with fundraising projects, but never in a million years would I have expected him to do what he has done!  So why is that?  Why are we forgetting about our future researchers, doctors, volunteers, and advocates?  I learned something very important.  KIDS CAN make a huge impact on your event, and can make a big difference.  Here is the other thing I learned.  If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 year old can do it- what the heck is my excuse?

I spend a lot of time writing about fundraiser that are great for kids.  You can read those here, and here.   Today I am going to share a few new ones we added this year that worked really well for us. 

All Fired Up!  For Relay For Life.
 Wes loves making stuff to sell to people.  From warm fuzzies to cookies, he is all over it.  But this year, Wes really wanted to do something that everyone could do together, and have fun at the same time.  While at a local paint your own pottery shop All Fired Up! I got to talking to the owner about any ideas she had (she regularly holds kids creativity camps at her store.) And then the most amazing thing happened, she offered to let the kids come paint pottery at her shop. I was so excited that day when I picked Wes up from school, that I couldn't even wait until we got to the car to tell him what Kelly had offered.  His eyes lit up, "EVERYONE can come?"  we went straight home and Wes went to work planning the event. 
Then something crazy happened.  So crazy that I still can't believe it!  Wes saw a commercial for Disney Friends For Change one afternoon, and came into the office. "We should be Friends For Change mom.  Those kids are doing good stuff like we are."  After a quick little Google search, I found a Disney Friends For Change grant program ran by Youth Service America that happened to coincide with our event- during Global Youth Service Day.  I told Wes he could apply for it, but it was very unlikely we would get picked, because SO many people apply for them.  Guess what?  He was awarded the grant to use for his project!

The cost to attend the creativity camp was only $5 per person, thanks to Kelly's generosity.  She provided everything from the pottery to the paint.  She also offered to make up the bid sheets, and let us start the auction at her location so we could get bids before Relay For Life.  Literally, all we had to do was show up the day of, and invite other kids to do the same! Kelly took the time to explain to the kids how to make their art come out extra special, and also asked each child why they Relayed.  She used that information for the bid sheets!

You know that Picasso quote that says, "Every child is an artist." - well, it's true.  What they made was amazing, and they had a blast!

We were very pleasantly surprised how well the auction went Relay night!  We were a bit worried only the parents would be bidding on their child's art, but that was not the case at all!

 Did I mention the we grown ups couldn't resist and painted items to?  You can see my husbands Cancer Man raccoon, and my tie dye plate below :)
I hope this is sparking some ideas for you.  You don't have to do pottery, you could do paintings on canvas, bird houses, ribbons, you name it!  In fact, if you have ever been to my house you know that one of my most prized possessions (and actually, it belongs to Wes not me) is a painting one of Wesley's best friends made of Cancer Man (forgive this picture- this was a picture of the Relay wall while I was getting ready to put up new awards!)
Speaking of painting.  In the fall we did something really cool and different.  We painted and sold pink pumpkins for breast cancer awareness!  A local farmer donated the pumpkins after he had pulled all of the ones he could sell- he had plenty of extras that would have just been plowed back into the field :)  Wes and I went to a local Sherwin Williams, and they donated the pink paint!

Next up is an oldie but a goodie.  What kid doesn't LOVE to sell lemonade?  I mean, you would think it would have been the first thing that popped into my mind for a fundraiser, but it wasn't!  We had the honor of getting to go help out a new Relay friend with one this year.  The kids had a blast! This stand was set up at a craft show (which also benefited Relay For Life) but the boys are planning on taking this act on the road this summer to 4th of July festivals, and Main Street, Weatherford :)

Not to get too off track, but there is another benefit to having your kids join Relay For Life, ESPECIALLY if they have lost someone they love to cancer.  Kids who have been there are really really good about supporting other kids who have been through the same thing.

Now, when all else fails, and your kiddo wakes up one Saturday morning and declares, "I'm going to hit my $6,000 somehow today."  You can always pull this trick out of the bag (let's face it- it's hard to say no to an adorable kid!)

The moral of the story?  While you are making plans for your next Relay, don't leave out your littlest Relayers!  They can make a huge impact on your event, and may even be able to teach you a thing or two, or $22,015.

Coming up next- I didn't forget about your tweens and teens!  I know of an ENTIRE Relay ran by youth-subscribe to get notified so I can tell you all about it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Relay For Life Passive Fundraising

I know, I know- I am the guru of posting out of the box and creative fundraising ideas, but did you know my 10K team doesn't get to our goal each year by only hosting BIG fundraisers?  That's right- I like to stagger BIG fundraisers with passive ones, so that my team doesn't get burned out, and we can spend more time concentrating on our big yearly events.  This really helps if you want to start fundraising all year, but you are not sure where to start!

So, what is a passive fundraiser?  Well, put simply, it is a fundraiser where you don't have to do a whole heck of a lot, but you still make money for Relay!  Who doesn't love the idea of that?  These ideas are all a great way to get your feet wet if you are a new team as well.

Here are a few of my favorites, but remember, use the connections that you have to make something happen!

Direct Sales Parties-
You know what I am talking about- that friend you have who is always giving you catalogs and asking you to have a party?  But you really don't want to, because that would mean cleaning the whole house, feeding people, and being a hostess?  Well, call the friend up- because having an ONLINE party is the perfect way to host a passive fundraiser!  With modern technology you can invite everyone, no one has to leave the house, and people can buy something they want!  Here's the catch- ask your friend if they would be willing to donate more to you than the normal hostess commission since you aren't doing this for profit (and of course, you will forgo the normal freebies you get from having a party so you can get more Relay funds!) Let them know that they can write the check directly to American Cancer Society, so they will get the tax write off that comes with the donation!  Distributors (or Consultants depending on the company) have always been really happy to help us out.  Think: Origami Owl, Scentsy, Avon, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Tupperware, and Pampered Chef just to name a few.  Did a light bulb just go off?  I know you know someone who sells one of those things!

Before Christmas my team did one of these fundraisers with Origami Owl, partly because I was planning on buying some O2 for Christmas gifts anyway!  I figured, if I was going to buy some, other people were probably going to order to!  Jennifer (my friend who is the rep for them) took care of all of the hard work for us- she created a Facebook page, posted pictures, and answered everyone's questions.  I literally just shared what she posted with my Facebook friends!  When it was all said and done, I had Christmas done for hard to shop for people on my list, and we raised $237.05 for Relay.  Seriously- do you know how many cookies you have to bake to make that much at a bake sale?  Too many!  The furthest I had to go for this fundraiser was my mailbox when my order came in!  If you need an Origami Owl Rep, leave me a note below and I will send you Jenn's email address- she will take good care of you!

Party Of Gold
So speaking of "parties" have you ever been to one where you got PAID instead of spending money?  Yeah.  You and your guests will walk away with a check in your hands, and not just a check for Relay.  How?  Party Of Gold.  You have a rep come to you, and you bring your old, broken, x boyfriend, and out of style gold.  They weigh it, and make you an offer on the spot.  If you accept (which you will, because they have the most competitive rates) the rep writes you a check ON THE SPOT!  How is this a fundraiser?  The rep will write your event a check for 15% of their total profit from the event.  No, 15% doesn't sound like much, but when everyone you know comes to the party to make money, it adds up extremely fast.  Even better?  if someone can't make it the day of, they can fill out a form to leave with you, and they will get a call the day of the party with an offer.  Bonus points if you can find a local business to let you have it at their location- then you can invite your entire Relay and community out!  Here's another neat little bonus, for every party booked through you that does $500 in sales or more, the rep will give you an additional $50 donation.  So, uh, shameless promotion, if you live in Oklahoma, talk to my rep, Shelley, at (405) 371-8784 and tell her Cheryl Smith and Cassi Selby sent ya!  Our next gold party is Saturday, I will let you know how much we raise!

Work with a company or business to earn a percentage

One of my team mates, Jacy, made this sweet little deal happen.  She found a local distributor who was selling breast cancer awareness sports socks.  She originally contacted him to see if we could get some at wholesale to resell for profit, but the owner had an even better idea.  For every pair of socks sold in our town, he is donating $2 of his profit to us!  The socks were already all set up to sell at a really popular local boutique called It's All About Moi!, so all we had to do was tell people they were there!

The event chair for Relay For Life of Washita County told me about something they do that is similar to this when we had lunch today.  They have a local gas station that gives them a percentage of every fountain drink they sell!  Sarah has a nifty little Relay blog to, if you want to check it out, you can find it here. 

But don't think this concept stops at products! Small business owners are your BFF when it comes to passive fundraising.

Cancer Man has a partnership with Jessica Ma'ilo who is a travel agent that specializes in Disney trips and cruises.  If someone mentions Cancer Man when booking, she gives a percentage of her commission to him!  How easy is that? 

If you are a Disney freak like me (guilty as charged!), you might also enjoy her blog- Magic, Memories, Mayhem

He also has a partnership with Crystal Klear Images.  Crystal is an amazing photographer (she shot our wedding!), and she generously offered to come to our town for a day of mini sessions, and is donating 50% to Wesley's fundraising! 

Have a printer?  Know someone who does?  Of course you do!  Did you know you can recycle your empty printer cartridges for cash?  My team uses Empties 4 Cash for this service, and it couldn't be easier.  They will send you a pre paid shipping label, you fill up a box with empties, and send it in.  In a few weeks, you get a check!  You can ask local businesses to donate their old cartridges to you to- it is a super easy way for them to help you out without spending any money!

There you have it!  The easiest fundraisers out there!  Try one out today, and see how easy passive fundraising can be!

As always, thank you for joining the mission to finish the fight against cancer!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to help your little one make a BIG difference! Part 2!

In my last post, I shared ways that kids can make a big difference by fundraising- but I had so much to share that I am having to split it up over a few posts :) So let's continue!

The key for kids is to make fundraising fun and easy for them- and make it something they can do with what resources they have.  Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having kids participate in traditional fundraisers where you purchase something and then sell it- but it is important for me to show Wes that you don't have to have a lot of money to fund raise and make a difference.  Do you hear that grown ups?  Because it applies to you to!  The reason it is important to me to teach him to do this with what he has, is that I want him to look back on this experience, and feel proud, because he knows that HE did it on his own.  That is not going to work if he feels like mom did everything for him and he is just taking the credit for it. 

Talk Talk Talk ASK ASK ASK
One thing is for sure, people are not going to help you out if they don't know you are fundraising.  The same thing applies with our kids!  Encourage your child to tell people what they are doing, and why.  I don't just mean friends and family either!  When we go into a local business, you can bet Wes is going to talk to everyone and tell his story.  This opens up the conversation for their business to become a corporate sponsor for him.  Now, corporate sponsor sounds all scary and expensive, but the truth is, it isn't!  In Custer County, our sponsorships start at just $150 (and they are a tax deduction for the business!).  I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how willing businesses are to help, even if it is not in a financial way.  You might find a new place to sell hugs (or have a bake sale, etc) or they may be able to donate a small item for you to use in a silent auction/basket auction.

When I talk to people about asking businesses face to face for help or donations, they always seem reluctant.  Here is what I tell them-  the worst thing you are going to hear is no.  Even if you hear NO- think about it in a positive way.  You have just shared information about an amazing local event that fights back against cancer, and your excitement may have just created the next team, or participant!  They may decide to come see what the event is all about for the first time, or- they may know someone who is battling cancer who could use help from The American Cancer Society.  After all, we are all fighting for the same cause, so the word NO doesn't mean you aren't making a difference. 

Helping Hands
A great way for kids to raise money is by offering to help friends, family, and neighbors in exchange for fundraising money.  Your child could help neighbors by taking out trash, or pulling trash cans to the curb for busy neighbors on trash day.  It sounds easy and simple, right?  Well it is- let me do the math for you...  You have four neighbors that will pay your kiddo $5 a week to take trash to the curb on trash day.  If you start 8 weeks before your event, that is $160!

If your child is older, another great option is lawn mowing.  I will be totally truthful here and say I would WAAAAY rather pay someone else to mow my lawn.  Just ask my neighbor, Chuckie- who doubles as my lawn boy!

Give adults a run for their money!
Is your event having a Talent Show, or a Mr. Relay event?  Break the mold and ask your kiddo if they would like to participate!  By far, this is Wesley's favorite thing to do.  After seeing a Mr. Relay competition in 2011, he asked me why there weren't any kids participating (for those of you that don't know, Mr. Relay is when men dress up as women, perform a talent, and raise money!) When he asked, I realized he was right.  In fact, I had never even asked him if he WANTED to do it.  Welp, turns out he did.  He had his eye on beating the long-running winner of Mr. Relay, a local celebrity named John Liddle.  This created a really fun, friendly competition between the two of them.  After a VERY close race, Wes was crowned Mr. Relay 2012.  He raised a little over $500 in thirty minutes!

 Wes and John (below) these boys are class acts!

This year, our event hosted a talent show where the top three participants would go on to perform on Relay night.  The top three got voted in by donations- the great thing about this, is it gives him a chance to raise money not once, but twice! Now, I am not going to say this was an EASY fundraiser for us, because it has taken hours and hours of planning and practice- but if you ask me, it has been totally worth it so far!  Wes decided to take two big pop culture things (Honey Boo Boo and Gundam Style), and "smash them together and add some relay stuff" for his act.  Last night was the first talent show, and of course- I have pictures and video to share!  I don't know his total yet, but I know I saw at least one $100 bill in his jar last night :)

You know what I really loved about this as a parent?  The amount of encouragement and support Wes has gotten from everyone around him!  Last night we had friends, survivors, and even teachers come out to watch him in the prelims!  He has truly become a part of our Relay community, and loves to spend time talking with the "grown ups" about Relay and about making a big difference! 

Set realistic goals- then raise them!
Everyone loves to achieve and reach the goals they set for themselves!  This goes for kids to!  Set a realistic goal with them, and work towards it.  When you reach that first goal, celebrate- but don't stop!  Challenge your kiddo to set a new goal when you hit the first one.  As Wes told Cheryl last night, "Now that I am at $1,000 I am going to go by halves, or 5's- $1,500, $2,000- all the way until I reach a MILLION dollars!  And after that, I will go to infinity"  Now that, my friends- is a heart warming statement for anyone who has ever been touched by cancer.  Wes is in your corner fighting for a cure- to infinity! 

Stay tuned!  In my next post, I will share my favorite fundraisers for the rest of us- GROWN UPS!  After all, we have some amazing kids to keep up with! 

For The Cause!