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Managing a Fundraiser
Chair-ity Fundraiser for Charity
by Kimberly Reynolds
This is an easy fundraiser idea for any group, whether it's a school, church, nonprofit, or cause-related organization. Doing a 'chair-ity' fundraiser is so simple, and yet so profitable, that you'll be amazed at your results.
You see, a chair-ity fundraiser revolves around fundraising with chairs, new or used, it doesn't matter. What matters is simply the presentation. That is, what gets added to the chair in the way of decoration, accessories, and enhancements.
Calling all chairs
Put the word out to your supporters about your chair-ity event. Ask each one to put together a unique chair for your group to auction off. Donations can be rocking chairs, kitchen chairs, children's chairs, computer chairs, recliners, car seats, bar stools, etc.
Each chair should have a theme and be decorated and accessorized accordingly. For example, a child's chair could be freshly painted to cover wear and have a teddy bear painted on the seat with a matching teddy bear resting in it.
A computer chair could have a new monitor, printer software or other accessories with it. A kitchen chair could have a cookbook, a grocery store gift certificate, a new blender, or Tupperware collection.
A rocking chair could have an afghan, family photo album, case of lemonade, or new slippers. A car seat could have baby food, diapers, play toys, or baby store gift certificate.
The bar stool could have drink recipes, a box of assorted liquor, drink glasses, bartending lessons, or similar items. The recliner could be accompanied by a case of beer, pretzels, deluxe remote control, or big screen TV.
The important thing is that each be unique, creative, and desirable.
Go all out for your chair-ity auction event. Arrange your chairs around the perimeter of your room in an attractive display and place silent auction bid sheets next to each one. Emphasize the retail value of each package and use command language like 'Bid Right Now' at the top of each bid sheet.
Make the descriptive signs easy to read with large fonts and tape them down next to the bid sheets along with a handy pen. Have your volunteers get the bidding started on each one with a opening bid.
Choose out your top award-winning chair packages and place blue ribbon medals on those to increase bids. Give the creator of each category's winning chair a gift certificate donated by a sponsor.
You can also do other fundraising activities at your chair-ity auction such as a raffle for donated prizes. To maximize revenue, be sure to sell raffle tickets well ahead of the event, not just at the door. A good raffle can easily net $5,000 or more.
Sell food and beverages, include a bake sale, or offer other related fundraising products such as fast food discount cards, Tupperware, or Pampered Chef items.
You might also consider doing a live auction of the most desirable chairs or auction off donated items unrelated to the theme. Having a central focus of the event that keeps people around bidding right up to the deadline is always a good thing, so you could also offer live entertainment.
A big turnout is the key to your fundraiser event's success, so you have to get the word out in every way possible. Use roadside signs, posters, flyers, newsletters, emails, phone trees, and word of mouth.
An effective press release can work wonders, so make yours shine by focusing on the unique aspect of your chair-ity event, the chairs themselves. Your summary paragraph should highlight that along with how the funds raised will be used.
Send it to all the major media contacts in your market at least two weeks before your event. Then place follow-up calls to newspapers, radio and television stations to stimulate coverage. Remember that it does you no good to get coverage the day of the event, so invite them to a special sneak preview of all the great chairs!
Your group of supporters will amaze you with their creativity and thoughtfulness when you ask for their chairs. Focus on getting a big turnout by making it a fun event and include multiple fundraising activities.
Work with local businesses for donations, gift certificates, and sponsorships. Turn this easy fundraiser idea into your best chair-ity event ever!
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About the Author:
Kimberly Reynolds writes for news and magazine publications about cheer fundraisers, having your own chair-ity fundraiser and church fundraisers. Find more charity fundraiser ideas on her website, FundraiserHelp.com
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