Fundraising Ideas For Uncertain Times
As a core volunteer for a nonprofit, whose mission is carried out in part through the sponsorship of veterans' wreaths, it can be particularly challenging to ask for fundraising dollars at this time. You are not alone in this thinking, and you know best how your local community has been impacted. That said, many volunteers have reached out looking for ideas to help navigate these uncertain times.
With challenges come opportunity and as a Wreaths Across America family, we will push through this together and continue to further the mission to HONOR, REMEMBER, and TEACH.
The following collection of ideas is well worth your consideration as we head into the summer months. As always, we encourage you to reach out to your Regional Liaison with any questions and she is also a great resource for ideas!
Support Local Businesses & Organizations
Using your network of volunteers, donors, and family and friends, support your local businesses and organizations who may be struggling. Highlight a local business or other nonprofit that’s assisting with relief efforts or giving back to your community in some way. You can do this by giving them a shout-out on your WAA social media page or sharing their story on the 'News Articles' page of your WAA website. You could also compile a list of these local businesses and organizations, include how your community can help support them through this time, and then send an email to your past donors and volunteers through the Messaging system on your WAA dashboard. Although this may not immediately result in wreath sponsorships, come later in the season, people will remember what you did to help and be more willing to support your efforts.
TEACH About Your Local Heroes
Share the stories of local heroes buried in your hometown cemetery by TEACHING about their character, service, and sacrifice. This can be done through your WAA social media pages, by submitting the stories to local media outlets, highlighting them on signage/brochures, and sharing with your very own friends and family. If you need help creating graphics or setting up a template, contact our social team for help!
Giving in July
Each July, Wreaths Across America kicks off our nationwide annual 'Giving in July' promotion. The entire month is dedicated to sharing the WAA mission to REMEMBER, HONOR, and TEACH by highlighting the groups and individuals giving back to their local communities. It's a wonderful opportunity to feature the hundreds of like-minded charities, community programs, and civic groups throughout the country who are contributing to their local communities, while also generating wreath sponsorships to honor your local heroes. More information will be available in June to start promoting this locally.
Use Marketing Material from WAA HQ
Utilize the existing WAA content provided by headquarters to encourage and inspire those within your local community to get involved with the WAA mission. You will find a wide variety of content, appropriate for all audiences, and most importantly, which focus on the TEACH aspect of our mission by tuning into Wreaths Across America Radio, following the WAA Blog, reading the monthly WAA Newsletter, and interacting on the Wreaths Across America social media channels, including:
Along the same vein as the water bucket challenge, urge your local community to do a fun and simple wreath video challenge. A creative idea might be to have them make their own wreath, completely open to interpretation (this could be as imaginative as parking lawn equipment in a circle and taking a picture from a bedroom window), to promote awareness of the Wreaths Across America mission and encourage donations to help sponsor wreaths. A stipulation could be similar to the water bucket challenge, where nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation!
Identify and network with business leaders and influential people within your local community. Urge them to share the mission of Wreaths Across America with their peers and ask for their support by sponsoring veteran wreaths. This could be as simple as sponsoring one wreath and sharing that they did it, or as fun as doing some sort of online auction.
Contact a local celebrity or sports team and ask for their involvement in the Wreaths Across America mission. Celebrities and sports teams are working hard to keep their name relevant, so the gift of their time via Zoom, an online auction, a fundraising challenge, or an autographed picture is a low cost and fun way to help people pass the time at home. Plus, if someone does win a celebrity Zoom chat, it can be taped for a follow-up press release, which is also a great way to bring light to the mission of Wreaths Across America.
Passion Virtual Events
Is there a group of people in your local community (bowling team, chess club, cheerleading squad, etc) that normally would be interacting socially, but aren’t able to right now? This is a great opportunity to bring them together! Invite these groups to create a virtual fundraiser that’s focused on your passion - furthering the mission of Wreaths Across America - and that shows donors what their gifts are doing and the positive impact they’re making in the world. Give groups the opportunity to join as a team or build some friendly competition by giving each of them a WAA Member Page for raising funds during their virtual event.
Encourage them to incorporate ways for their audience to participate in their virtual fundraiser. Fun ideas might include a trivia challenge, a presentation with Q&As, a live-streamed speech and program, a concert with local musicians, an art show, or a friendly game of Pictionary (inspired by WAA themed words!). You could also show the group working together to further the WAA mission by having individual members create a video clip and merging those into a video montage. Then share that video at the virtual fundraiser (or on your WAA social media pages).
Utilize Your Local Television and Radio Stations
Your local television and radio stations are always looking for good stories about people in your community who are honoring local veterans. Contact them to share the WAA story and mission, your why about getting involved, and educate them about how many veterans are buried at your local cemeteries. Give them specific information about how people in your local community can get involved.
If you have something unique planned for your local community to raise funds or awareness, we’d love to hear from you! Message us on Facebookto share your story.