Charities, foundations, schools and other non-profit organizations rely on donations of all sizes. One technique is to stage events, such as car washing fundraisers. These types of fundraisers are great when you don’t want to plan big events. It costs little to set up and is usually manned by volunteers. It works best if you can get a local merchant to donate all of the supplies.
Here are some important tips:
- Give yourself at least a month’s lead time to plan the event. This gives your volunteers plenty of time to make arrangements to participate.
- Line up all your volunteers in advance. You can set up two-hour shifts so that you can run the car wash all day long. You can never have enough volunteers. Also, a big crowd of volunteers attracts customers.
- Choose a strategic site, on a main thoroughfare that is easy to access and highly visible to passing traffic. The site will need to have an outdoor faucet and you will need to supply a long-enough hose. Try locations like grocery store parking lots and fast food joints. Make sure you get permission from the location manager.
- At the wash site, set up a drive-thru lane or two. The cars get washed FIFO, and then pull over to another area for drying. This helps eliminate bottlenecks and keeps things moving. You should always have a traffic director on duty to oversee operations.
- Make a list of what to bring, and then remember to fill it. Your list should include buckets, brushes, towels, liquid soap, sponges, hoses with spray nozzles, and a donation bucket. If your supplies were donated, put up a sign thanking the donor, preferably with his or her picture on it.
- Either set a fixed price or let patrons make open-ended donations. We prefer a fixed price, it’s just easier. Tipping is allowed.
- Invite some cheerleaders from the local high school to volunteer. They will attract attention and increase business if they perform their routines out front.
- Offer extra services, like tire shining and windshield washing.
- Make clear that you are a charity affair and where the money is going. A few big signs should do the trick.
- Think about selling tickets in advance. This works well if you offer extra services like waxing and vacuuming. If you sell tickets, make provisions for a make-up day in case you are rained out.