February 2010: How to Hold a Fundraiser
Want to do some good and have some fun at the same time? Hold a fundraiser! Fundraisers are events that raise money for a charity, team, school, or other cause. Some people even make a career out of putting on fundraisers!
Biz Kid of the Month: Kristin Cash
Kristin held a fashion show that raised more than $1,300 for the Just Be Aware foundation, helping young people learn how cancer can affect their lives.
How did you get the idea to do a fashion show?
I was a senior and wanted to do something related to fashion. I had the opportunity to do get independent study credits so I decided to do a fashion show and wanted the money to go toward something important.
What was involved?
First I made the garments–17 of them, dresses, pants, shorts, tops, everything. I got a great venue donated–a huge photography studio. A friend did the music and helped me with a logo. The local tux shop donated the men’s clothing. There was someone to do photography and video. There were 20 models, who were all my friends. There were three different  “sets,” and in between sets an a capella group sang. It took five months to put it all together.
Sounds like you got a lot of stuff donated.
It was challenging for me because I’m a little more quiet and you have to go out and ask people for things. My mom helped, and so did a counselor at school who had some connections. People are really willing to help if you have a good cause.
You chose an interesting fundraiser–a fashion show. Why?
I wanted it to be a big, fun experience. I love fashion, but most school fashion shows, most of the clothing is just donated from stores. This was with custom fashion, in a big warehouse with lights and music. There were 200 people. And we raised a lot of money for the foundation. It was so much fun. We even did an anniversary thing this year.
What are you doing now?
I’m in college, studying fashion, of course. This year, I applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology and I think the experience doing the fundraiser really helped.
What’s your best piece of advice for a young person who wants to hold a fundraiser?
If you really love something, go out and do it and find a way to help other people with it. Fashion is a big part of my life, so I found a way to do something with it on my own. Go for it!

Ask the Expert: Laurie Johnson
We asked professional fundraising consultant Laurie Johnson to give us some fundraising tips. Visit her Web site at www.lauriejohnson.org.
What are the top three things to think about when organizing a fundraiser?
1. What are your goals?  Do you want to raise a specific dollar amount? Is it just as important to raise awareness? Knowing your purpose helps you decide where to spend your time and energy.
2. Who is your target audience? The venue and type of event should appeal to the people you want to attend.
3. What are your resources?  You don’t have to spend a lot to raise a lot, but you need resources–especially people: to bake for a bake sale, wash cars at the car wash or be a judge for the spelling bee.
What kinds of events get people to donate the most?
An event that gets you and your friends jazzed about making a difference will inspire others to make a difference.
How do you promote fundraisers effectively?
Personal invitations and postive word of mouth work best. If you invited 10 people and they each invited 10 people, you’d have 100 people already! Get a buzz using social media Web sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Call the local news outlets. If your event is unique (and you can handle lots of people attending!) you might get lucky and grab some media attention.
What would make a good first fundraiser for a young person to hold?
I’m all for bake sales and bowl-a-thons, but I love an event that is mission-centered.  If you are raising money for a golf team, have a chipping tournament. For an environmental organization, have a litter collection scavenger hunt with prizes for the most trash collected.
What kinds of careers are available that involve fundraising?
LOTS!  A person can focus on one area, like an events manager or grantwriter, or focus on a wide range of fundraising activities as a development director for an organization. Organizing your own fundraiser is a great way to find out if you’re interested in that kind of work, and also a great resume-builder.

Find a charity
Sites such as Charity Navigator can help you find high-quality charities. They also have an article on evaluating charities in general.
Posted in Biz Kid$ News