With today’s more challenging economy, more firehouses and community organizations need to hold fundraisers. Whether the need is for new and updated equipment or to offer better wages to very hard-working firefighters, raising money for the fire department is often a great way to meet some of these financial challenges.
There are many great money-making opportunities to help raise funds. Food sales of any kind often go extremely well. Whether the department holds a pancake breakfast, a spaghetti dinner or a chili or soup dinner, people like food! The most important thing is to try to use ingredients that are donated or bought at volume discounts. Then find willing volunteers to cook and serve food. Other great food ideas are sub sandwiches for sale, or even a chicken barbecue. These work very well if the department is able to find generous donations of food or good discounts.
It’s always important to make sure that prices charged for meals allow for a profit to be made. Another very important thing to remember is to advertise often and well. Newspaper advertisements, radio announcements and signs placed at strategic locations throughout the community, like in large public gathering places often work well. Signs outside of the fire department also work well since many fire departments are located in community locations that are in high-traffic areas.
Other great opportunities include things like raffles for a desirable donated item, or even calendar sales. Creativity and imagination can be used in a creating a great calendar. It can offer a fantastic money-making opportunity. Once a great calendar is made, often fire departments can sit back and watch sales take off.
If the department has or can find a space that’s free or cheap, dances can also be held to raise needed funds. People enjoy the social and fun aspects of a good dance. It’s even better if the department can find a band to play free music for the evening. Another fantastic fundraising opportunity is to hold Bingo games. People enjoy the thrill of possibly winning and they love the social aspects of a good Bingo game. Often, volunteers are found to run these games and this can be a very high money-making opportunity, especially if there are no other opportunities nearby for people to play Bingo.
It’s also possible to raise funds by selling products that the department is able to come by either free or inexpensively. Pretty decorative household items for Christmas like wreaths usually sell well. If friends or family of firefighters are especially crafty, beautiful and festive wreaths are made inexpensively and people are often willing to pay for a fresh wreath because of their beauty and how wonderful they smell.
Online fundraising is also becoming more popular using the organization’s website and is an effective venue not just for one-time donations but also for repeat-giving. Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog discusses techniques on how to harness online giving in this post.