Fundraising activities are a fun way to acquire proceeds for your fire training tower. The benefits of fundraisers go well beyond the revenue they generate, they're a way for residents and businesses to come together and support their fire department and community. The primary reasons for holding a fundraiser are to raise money for a large capital purchase such as a firefighter training tower, to attract attention to the needs of your department and to bring people together to socialize and have fun.
To have a successful fundraising event, identify fundraisers that will gain the enthusiasm of the community and choose those that have the widest appeal. What you decide to do will be greatly based on your resources (firefighters, volunteers, local business support, and community support). Solicit for discounts on food, entertainment, and prizes. Often local businesses are willing to donate items at no charge if their business is promoted at the fundraiser. Here are a few successful fundraising ideas:
Everyone loves food so these types of fundraisers have large appeal. Food events are also an ideal avenue for incorporating other fundraising activities such as raffles, silent auctions, bake sales…pretty much anything! Some popular food events include:
- Pancake Breakfasts
- Spaghetti Feeds
- Fish Fries or Fish Boils
- Barbecues (serve brats, hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken)
- Chicken or Ham Dinners
Charge admission for entertainment, food, and beverage. Attach a theme to the ball such as "Casino Night", "Mardi Gras", "Hawaiian Getaway", etc. The event can even be structured around a particular holiday such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, etc.
Arrange for reduced green fees and solicit businesses for prizes. Charge for twosomes and foursomes. The prizes can be given for the lowest and highest scores, longest drive, etc. Incorporate the sale of boxed lunches or brats and hamburgers to further increase revenue generated.
Create a book of discounts and promotions. The businesses giving the discounts benefit by receiving visibility in the coupon book and increased sales. The coupon books can be sold at the fire station, local businesses and at community events. Find a local printer who can print the book at a reduced cost.
Gather recipes from other fire and rescue squads and community members. Your department can include the fire department's history as well as past and present photos. Find a local printer who can print at a reduced cost. Solicit local businesses for advertising to help fund the book. The cookbook can be sold at the fire station, local businesses and at community events.
Instead of one main prize, there are many prizes given in a progressive raffle. Names of winners are drawn over a set period of time. Because there are multiple winners, people have better odds of winning and may be more likely to participate.
The proceeds are split in this raffle. Half of the money raised goes to the fire department and half goes to the raffle winner. The goal is to sell as many tickets as possible to maximize both the prize and the fundraising proceeds.
Invite the community to come to the fire station. Give rides on fire trucks, take pictures of children in firefighter attire, offer tours and provide food. Ask for donations. Themes also work well to promote the open house. For instance, incorporate a safety theme by giving various safety demonstrations, provide batteries for fire alarms and give children coloring books with a safety theme.