Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Touch a Truck Fundraiser

by Deane Brengle

Is your nonprofit looking for a brand new fundraiser? One that's fun? One that will attract participants that normally wouldn't come to your fundraising events? One that is family friendly? And oh yes, one that raises money?

Welcome to "Touch a Truck", where kids of all ages can climb, discover and explore their favorite things on wheels.

What a "Touch a Truck" Event Is All About.

A "Touch a Truck" fundraising event is a community wide event where kids (and adults) have the opportunity to see, touch, interact with and learn about dozens of cool vehicles. From fire trucks to motorcycles, cement trucks to police cars, UPS trucks to garbage trucks.

How often does anyone get to look inside any of these unusual vehicles and get to talk to someone who operates them? And kids of all ages love these loud and unique vehicles.

Parent supervision is required, and cameras are highly recommended

Who Can Hold This Fundraiser?

This type of event is a good fit for almost any type or size of nonprofit.

It is a low cost fundraiser because almost everything should be donated.

  • Venue - The event is held outdoors and a local business should be willing to donate the use of a fenced parking lot.

  • Vehicles - Most cities and businesses are more than willing to donate a vehicle and operator for an afternoon. It's good PR for them!

  • Volunteers - Your nonprofit should have enough volunteers available or you can team up with a local scouting group.

The great part about this event is the opportunity it gives your nonprofit to interact with members of your community that otherwise may not have contact with your group. It's a great opportunity to meet potential new donors and make important connections with businesses in your town and local government officials.

Types of nonprofit groups that have held this event successfully in the past include:

  1. Schools
  2. Churches
  3. United Ways
  4. Scout Groups
  5. Animal Shelters
  6. City & County Governments
  7. Pre Schools
  8. Junior Leagues
  9. Farmers Markets
  10. Parks
  11. Rec Departments
  12. MADD

Types of Vehicles

Almost any unusual vehicle fits the bill for a "Touch a Truck" event. It is important to have the vehicle operator in attendance to talk about the vehicle and its operation. They are also in charge of how much access the public is allowed to have to their vehicle. It is up to you if you want them to be able to pass out promotional material.

This is a small sampling of vehicles that have been used at past "Touch a Truck" events:

  • Fire Trucks
  • Police Cars
  • Garbage Trucks
  • Street Sweepers
  • Front End Loaders
  • Back Hoes
  • Dump Trucks
  • Snow Plows
  • Bobcats
  • Ambulances
  • Race Cars
  • Tractors
  • Postal Trucks
  • Antique Cars & Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Semis
  • Army Trucks
  • Humvees
  • Helicopters
  • Cement Mixers
  • Mobile Pet Groomers
  • Cherry Pickers
  • School Bus
  • Tow Truck
  • TV News Trucks
  • UPS & Fed-Ex Trucks

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many groups and businesses, both public and private, are eager to show off their vehicles and have a positive interaction with the public. If your event becomes popular enough you may even be able to charge for businesses to display a vehicle.

What to Charge for Admission

Most nonprofits charge $5 per person (of any age) with a limit of $15 to $25 per family (up to six). This pricing structure makes for a very reasonable afternoons worth of entertainment for a family.

Add On's

If you choose to add on extras to your event you can make more money for your cause. Just be careful not to over extend your volunteers.

Some great add on's include:

  1. Food & Drinks
  2. Face Painting
  3. Event T-shirt Sales
  4. Raffles (for a ride in a fire truck, etc. or donated prizes)
  5. Magician
  6. Bounce Rides
  7. Carnival Games

Other add on's that won't raise extra funds but are fun for the kids are:

  1. Bike Rally
  2. Balloons
  3. Children's ID & Fingerprinting
  4. Bike Safety


A "Touch a Truck" fundraiser is perfect for the young and the young at heart. It's also a great way to raise money and awareness about your cause while having a bunch of fun. Throw in meeting potential new donors and making good contacts with local businesses and government officials and you have a win-win fundraiser.

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Fundraising Expert - Deane Brengle

About the Author:

Deane Brengle writes for several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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