Autumn is probably the most popular season for fundraising. School has just started, sports team are beginning their season, and non-profit groups are looking to get a piece of the holiday spending action. While other groups are selling candy, wrapping paper, and magazines for their fundraising activity, how about looking into doing something different this year: organize your own Halloween Pumpkin Fundraiser.
Sure you can buy a pumpkin at the grocery store or home improvement superstore, but many families, like mine, like to make choosing the Halloween pumpkins an event; sort of like choosing the Christmas tree.
We bake cookies, make cider, rent a kid friendly ?scary movie?, and prepare to make a day of it. We bundle up in our jackets against the first real chill of the year and go on a pumpkin mission.
Fundraising with Halloween Pumpkins
What Will I Need?
First of all, you need a pumpkin supplier. Go local if you can and don’t be too ambitious in the amount you order. Many suppliers will deliver.
Second, you need a location to have your ?pumpkin patch?. Depending on the type and size of your group, you may be able to use a portion of a parking lot at a visible business, the school yard, or a vacant corner lot (with permission of the owner).
Third, you’ll need volunteers. Some will sell pumpkins in shifts, some will help with advertising, and so on. Send a sign up sheet around at a meeting, via email, whatever forum works best with your group.
How Do I Get the Word Out?
Advertising is an important part of this type of fundraiser. Along with a highly visible location, your fundraising advertising plan will make or break you. For non-profit groups, press releases and newspaper advertising is often free.
Use signage at every available location. Have volunteers stand with signs at heavily traveled intersections directing passersby toward your pumpkin patch.
Make your Halloween pumpkin fundraiser patch visually appealing. Twinkle lights, some synthetic spider webs with obligatory plastic spiders, and any other Halloween decorations your volunteers can supply will make your fundraiser more successful. After all, it’s an event right?
Timing is everything. You don’t want to get stuck with unsold pumpkins. A week or two after pumpkins appear in the grocery stores and discount superstores is the time to strike.
Rent or borrow a free standing tent. The weather can be unpredictable this time of year and you’ll want to keep your volunteers and customers comfortable.
Offer other items like mini pumpkins, gourds, and baked goods. Don’t forget to ask for donations as well.
Always make sure your customers know who you are and why you are raising money. Be specific. “We are raising funds for new sports equipment” or “Our team is going to the regional championships, can you help us get there?”
And, as always, never allow children to perform any fundraising function without adult supervision. Safety first.