More Prom Fundraising
By: Tom Sosnowski
The calendar is the single greatest obstacle for pulling off the perfect prom. And before the dresses are purchased, tuxedos rented, and limos arranged, it takes long-range planning to have the financial resources ready to make your prom a special night. Do not get caught napping, make sure you have something formulated for the first home football game.
At most schools the prom committee works hand-in-hand with the senior class representatives to formulate the prom from the ground up. The old standby fund raiserss such as selling candy, the senior class store, and school dances are all tried and true to get money flowing into the prom fund account and should not be overlooked. The key here is to make your prom affordable as possible to attendees without skimping on venue, food or decorations. To that end, the prom committee needs to think outside the box to find ways to really generate revenue.
Before deciding on any non-typical fundraisers, organizers need to check with school officials to see if their ideas fall within accepted school policy.
Put into action the reliable fundraisers your predecessors have used in the past. Roll out the candy and buttons and sell baked goods at your schools first football game. I say this because these older fundraiser schemes are easily and quickly put into action.
A carwash is a great idea that many schools seem to shun. This could be because it does involve rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty and needs a group effort. Most schools will require you do this on school grounds for liability reasons, but that makes sense. The trick here is to get some signage near a major road or highway neat your high school and direct the general public to the event. If you are going to make some serious cash, you are going to need more than just your friends vehicles getting washed. And have some girls and guys where the signs are waving people in. Some customers will really need a wash; some will find it a nice way to help kids out and spruce up their car; and, quite frankly, some customers will find if fun to have a bunch of kids covered in soap suds tidying up their car. If you set a price at $10, through the course of a Saturday afternoon you can bring in a substantial amount of money.
Many area restaurateurs would probably donate a free basic dinner for two if you just approach them. It could be the local diner near the school if you aim it toward students or a local eatery that has been entrenched in your town for years.
Ask the owner, many of whom are well known in the community, about perhaps setting a special menu aside-maybe the choice of three different entrées. This way you are assured of getting a quality raffle prize and the restaurant owner is not going to get hosed giving away a $150 dinner for two.
The raffle theme can travel across many platforms. The key is to get local merchants to donate items and services. Maybe the local tanning shop or massage spa will donate a 30-minute massage or facial at half-off. Don ot overlook getting your community involved when designing your fundraisers.
Pasta is cheap and anyone can cook it, but you may want to enlist some parents to make sure all goes well. There is minimal cost in putting together a fundraising dinner held in your schools cafeteria, or a local church or VFW hall. There will probably need to be some compensation paid for the latter two, but many times when they see the cause of the fundraiser, they waive rental fees and just want some money to cover the electricity and cleanup. If the prom committee does the set up and breakdown, the cost to execute the event will be minimal.
I have been to many spaghetti dinners benefiting fire departments, first aid squads, local sports leagues, etc., and they seem to be well attended because there is a sense of community about the event. Many times your friends parents will be friends with your parents and so on, so the sell of the dinner is not that hard. By putting some signage around town will also bring in unexpected patrons.
A Craft Fair
Once again, this involves more effort than many fundraisers but build it around a school event, like pre-football game and the like. You can charge local artists and crafters a small fee for a table where they can sell their wares and benefit your prom cause. Also, you can have tables of your own hawking candy and t-shirts. Perhaps you might want to rent a dunking tank, which is surely to draw attention and funds.