Fundraising doesn’t have to be overwhelming – in fact, we’re pretty sure it can be downright fun. Here are a few ideas to get you excited about the possibilities.
1. Dine-Out for a Cause.
Ask your favorite local restaurant if they would be willing to donate a percentage of their proceeds for an evening to your neighborhood association. Many locals businesses value the support of their neighbors and are willing to return the favor – Hey, we’re all in it together, right? A generous donation in exchange for some community-supported publicity can be enticing. For examples check our own upcoming Dine-Out For SE Uplift event or Restaurants for Raphael House.
2. Bike Bells and Other Items That Display Neighborhood Pride
Many of our neighborhoods sell swanky t-shirts, tote bags and magnets to raise funds for NA activities, but the joint Foster-Powell & Mt. Scott-Arleta Bike Bell Fundraiser really stepped this trend up a notch. What else could you put your neighborhood brand on to inspire some good old fashioned community pride and help to raise funds?
3. Plant Sales
We are lucky to live in a city that has a climate conducive to growing such a wide variety flowering and food producing plants and as such, plant sales are an excellent way to raise money and get your neighbors familiar with your Neighborhood Association. For inspiration check out the Woodstock Plant Sale, the Richmond Plant Sale (held jointly with their Neighborhood Cleanup), and the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Plant Sale.
4. Pink Flamingo Flocking
In the dead of the night, your board members place plastic flamingos in the yard of a friend / neighbor. Accompanying the flock is a note that lets the ‘victim’ know that a friend donated in support of your neighborhood association to have them “flocked” and that for a small donation they can have the flock removed and sent to the yard of a friend of their choosing. The fundraiser continues to feed on itself as the flamingoes migrate around the neighborhood. If flamingos feel too overdone, you could always use garden gnomes or rubber chickens.
5. Neighborhood-Wide Garage Sale
Charge a small fee to register homes in your neighborhood-wide, all promotion included, garage sale. Pick a weekend, solicit neighbors to participate and get the word out that your neighborhood will be hosting a one-stop-thrift-shopping extravaganza and voila! Fees collected for registration will cover the expense of outreach promised and folks from far and wide come to pick through your community’s treasures. Check out the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Garage Sale to find out how they get it done.
6. Neighborhood Movie Night
We’ve notice that a couple of our neighborhoods, and some other local community organizations, have ventured (and it seems successfully) to host a movie night at a local theater to help raise funds. This could be as simple as having a theater donate their ticket sales for a particular movie showing, such as the event held by Friends of Portland Community Gardens, or as Complicated as the joint event held by Sunnyside and Richmond Neighborhood Associations; which featured a whole cast of voice-over actors, special effects artists and musicians!
7. Host a Dog Show
The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association saw an opportunity to turn people’s love of their pets in to a celebrated community shin-dig and a profit for the neighborhood association. You can charge a small fee for neighbors to register their dog(s) in your first annual dog show, offer trophies and prizes (donated from local businesses or home made by volunteers), give everyone a little time in the spotlight and have fun getting to know each other.
8. Storytelling Events
Storytelling is a great way to get people connected to your organization—it’s fun for the storytellers and your audience. Storytelling shows can be as simple or as complex as you like. Determining your structure; how many storytellers you present, how you choose them and how long they have to share their tales, all depends on your goals, time-frame and capacity. You can learn the basics to throwing your own storytelling event by reading our event guide.