Car wash fundraisers are a proven money-maker in virtually every community. All you need are willing volunteers, a high-traffic location with good visibility, and some attention-getting signs. Use these fundraising tips to make the most of your efforts.
You can put a car wash fundraiser together on short notice, but they work best with a little planning. Here’s how to get started…
Getting Ready To Wash Cars
- Line up a location with good main road frontage
- Ensure it has suitable water access
- Assemble supplies list – hoses, buckets, wash towels, dry towels, squeegees
- Assign each volunteer an item from the supplies list
- Make 8-10 poster board signs in high-contrast colors
- Arrange your volunteers in 2-hour shifts
- Get advance publicity, if possible
Car Washing Tips
- Organize your group into teams – Promotion, Sales, Wash, Dry
- Promotion team attracts new clients with signs
- Sales team explains offer (use flyer for quick info) and up-sells clients with extra features or secondary offer
- Wash team soaps, scrubs, and rinses each car
- Dry team gets water residue off, vacuums, does tires, etc.
- Use at least two lines and wash two or more cars at once
- Wash cars for six to eight hours (Saturday 9:00 to 3:00 preferred)
Your fundraiser’s success will depend on the weather. If you can wash 12 cars an hour (one every 10 minutes in each line), you can easily raise $600- $1000 in one day.
Remember to put together a quick flyer that includes the reason why you are raising funds and clearly states the price. You can even offer some extra services for an additional charge such as providing high-gloss tire treatment or vacuuming interiors.
Car Wash Fundraiser – Success Tips
- Location, location, location!
- Sell car wash fundraiser tickets in advance
- Use a flyer that clearly explaining why you’re raising funds
- List all prices concisely in large, bold type
- Up-sell to include additional services
- Partner with another group if your head count is low
- Increase revenue with an extra offering such as a 2-for-1 pizza savings card or by selling boxes of doughnuts.
Free Car Wash
Alternatively, you can advertise a free car wash and just ask for donations for your cause. Often, this can raise more cash than stating a specific price, because people will see a group of volunteers working hard and having a good time, and may actually donate more money than you would have charged.
Final Car Wash Advice
Make sure to keep the event fun for all your participants and your customers. Play upbeat music. Provide soft drinks and snacks to keep the energy level up.
Keep safety in mind when trying to attract customers. Be sure to get volunteers to hold and wave signs toward passing traffic, not just volunteers to wash cars.
If you have time, increase your turnout by getting your car wash fundraiser some advance publicity coverage in the local newspaper, or by posting roadside signs a day or two ahead of time.