By Tim Grable
When you are the organizer of a Christian school fundraiser, it might not always be clear how you can tailor Christian values to the age group you are addressing.
How can you best entertain school kids, while also conveying the proper message and the best-fitting rhetoric?
To address this inquiry, here’s a curated list of ideas you cannot go wrong with.
1. Yard Sale
A school can be quickly turned into a convenient venue, both for indoor or open-air events. In this case, the familiar and laid-back ambient is perfect when you want to hold a yard sale, which will gather a significant part of the local community. Kids, parents, locals – everyone is welcome.
Each participant (or group of participants) will have to book a table for a fee you have previously set.
This Christian fundraiser idea is a sure ticket to success since almost any family will have some spare items to give away.
Pro tip: This kind of event represents one of the best ways you can spread the Christian message and values. Previous to the sale, you can organize plenty of teamwork activities linked to the cause of the fundraiser. On the one hand, kids will love getting involved while learning about generosity; on the other hand, parents will appreciate the involvement with spreading these values.
2. Christian Photography Exhibition
Photography provides an excellent medium which channels the kids’ creativity.
For a Christian school fundraiser, you can use photographs taken by pupils and gather them under a Christian theme.
The key here is to showcase the event across as many media outlets as you can bring in. This will create a more striking impression and a platform for young talents to emerge and spread Christian values through art.
3. Headliner Talks
School time is the proper time for children to pick up role models, so organizing an interview or a talk by a youth speaker would both:
* Emphasize the formative role of a Christian school fundraiser
* Gather people from outside the school environment
The key here is to bring a compelling speaker to make people excited about the prospect of the talk. Of course, you will have to gather participation fees, so make sure you promote the fundraiser as intensely as your resources allow.
4. Open-Air Movie Theater
This is an excellent idea as it requires minimal resources: a video projector and a large room or the school gym to pack up the attendees.
You can establish a Christian theme; you can assemble a footage featuring the school’s missions throughout the years – there are countless ways you could play with such an event.
Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Event
Some mistakes can completely ruin your event. Some happen because of lack of experience while poor communication causes others. What matters is that you avoid them. Here are the biggest three:
Not Conveying Your Message
There is much to talk about during Christian fundraising events. You need to present your cause to the attendees, explain why they should help, thank them and many other things. Despite your busy schedule, make time to talk about God, as well. A short prayer will remind people of what matters and inspire them to give.
On the other side of the spectrum are Christian fundraising events that forget to talk about their goals. You need to get people to care to raise more donations. After all, they want to be sure that their money is going to a good cause. Don’t forget to focus on why you organized the event in the first place.
You need to find time for everything. Start planning early and think about the speeches. Successful Christian fundraising events leave guests inspired and with a clear message in mind.
Not Screening the Entertainment
Not everyone working in the entertainment, especially comedy, industry is right for Christian events. Many rely on crude humor or language, and that can put off many of your guests. The wrong entertainer can ruin an otherwise excellent fundraiser.
Not getting any entertainment is a recipe for boredom, so the solution is to be thorough in your search. Take your time when looking and ask for testimonials about anyone you are considering to book. If possible, ask them to come for an interview or demonstration of their act. This way you’ll be sure when you find the right person with the right kind of clean humor.
Make sure that the entertainer fits not only the audience but the fundraiser as a whole. It is important for your guests to have fun, but don’t let them forget why they came in the first place.
Not Promoting Your Event
If your goal is to raise as much money as possible for the cause, invite people and create incentive. A simple flyer or notice posted on your door will not bring in many guests.
Social media and the Internet, in general, are great for spreading the word. Create a Facebook event and invite your friends. Ask them to invite more people and so on. Christian fundraising events have stronger effects the more people attend.
Another important aspect is how you present the ceremony to others. No matter how well you describe it, photos, videos and schedules will make things clearer. If the people at your affiliating church will be the primary audience, ask the pastor to help you raise awareness and create hype.
Do all of these things well before the event so guests do not have anything planned already. Send reminders so they do not forget either.
Tim Grable is the founder of The Grable Group, an organization dedicated to bringing agency representation back to its roots as a service focused on personal development and mutual benefit, www.thegrablegroup.com.