Fun ways to raise $ for the Walk

Posted On April 2, 2014 By | No Comments on Fun ways to raise $ for the Walk

Having signed up for the COTS Walk, or any event where fundraising is necessary, getting pledges to flow in can be intimidating.  Not everyone is the best at going around to friends, or even

Amish beard wins

For COTS Walk 2013, Challenge Walker Scot Barker let co-workers decide on how he would shave his beard on his birthday, just before the Walk. He reached his fundraising goal — and his friends selected the Amish beard style.

strangers, and getting them to donate for nothing in return.

The New York Times Sunday Review had an interesting Op-Ed this past weekend by Arthur C. Brooks on the many benefits of fundraising to the fundraiser personally: “Charitable giving improves what psychologists call ‘self-efficacy,’ one’s belief that one is capable of handling a situation and bringing about a desired outcome. When people give their time or money to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders and victims of circumstance. ” (Read more.)

And, in that vein, raising money for the 25th Anniversary COTS Walk can be fun — and while it supports problem-solving by COTS, it also gives Walkers a chance to be creative fundraising problem-solvers.

Thanks to generous sponsors, all the money raised by Walkers goes directly to providing services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, making the fundraising all the more empowering.

Here are some unusual, but surprisingly effective ideas for how to meet your “fun“draising goals:

  • Do you have a unique talent?  Maybe you can clog, tap or Irish stepdance? Maybe you used to sing or play an instrument back in school. How about a dramatic reading of children’s poetry?  Or maybe you can perform magic tricks? If you have any hidden talent you like to keep hidden, some people would love the chance to see it in action.  Talk to some friends and organize an impromptu performance for them.  We’ve seen some people donate $200 just to see their friend dance for them — perhaps to “Cotton-Eyed Joe” in their driveway.
  • If you work with children, or really any person with a sense of humor, choice haircuts might be a good option for you.  Start a pool with people you work with, where if they donate enough money to help you reach your goal, they will be able to dictate your next haircut … or beard shaving.  This is idea should only be taken by the brave of heart.  We also suggest making certain restrictions on the options if your co-workers are especially, *ahem*, creative.
  • Do you enjoy baking?  More important, do you have friends who enjoy baked goods, but don’t like baking themselves?  Nothing brings people into a generous, giving mood like a fresh chocolate cake, or cookies right out of the oven.  Some may call this tactic bribery, but at least it’s delicious bribery.

And be sure to check out our 25 reasons to Walk.

Have you found success fundraising with other unusual ideas?  We’d love to hear what you’ve found that’s creative, fun and effective so that we can share it with others! Please email me us info@cotsonline.org to send us your tips.

And, if you haven’t registered, has this post inspired you to join us? If so, register now.

Mike Frekey, a sophomore at Champlain College, is an intern with COTS this semester. He wrote this blog post for us.


Categories: Donations, Events, Fundraisers, Homeless Prevention, Homelessness, Volunteers
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