FUNDRAISING IDEAS FROM A-Z
- Ask everyone you meet – Even if you have sent out letters, be sure to carry a sponsor/donation form with you so that when you talk to people about Memory Walk, you can ask them to donate right then. Take those sheets with you to meetings, appointments, activities, et cetera. When you carry a sponsor/donation form with you, indicate your own contribution at the top. Make sure the top few donations are more significant. Other people are apt to follow suit. Conversely, if you start with a $5.00 contribution, others may follow with $5.00. Do not prejudge whether people will give. Let me say no or ignore your letter rather than not ask.
- Auction off a prime parking space at work.
- Auction off a half or whole day off from work.
- Auction yourself to work a day for someone.
- Auction off a picnic.
- Auction off the boss – Have the boss or department head as your assistant for a day at work.
- Babysitter services – Babysitters are always a commodity!
- A “No – Bake – Sale” – Co-workers pay so they don’t have to bake goodies.
- Barbecue Lunches – Prepare and sell barbecue lunches.
- Bartender – Ask your favorite bar if you can bartend for a night and keep all your tips. Make sure you invite all of your friends to stop by the bar that night. .
- Birthday – In lieu of a gift on your birthday, ask your friends and family to make a pledge to Memory Walk.
- Block Party – Have a neighborhood block party…sell food and charge admission.
- Book Sale – Dust those bookshelves and have a book sale.
- “ Boss for the Day” – Allow people to bid in being the boss for the day.
- Host a Bake Sale
- Bowling Chance - $5.00 gives you the chance to throw 2 balls (toy bowling set). If you strike your name is entered into a drawing two times. If you spare with your second ball, your name is entered into the drawing once. Get someone to donate a nice prize for the drawing.
- Bowl away Alzheimer’s – Go bowling with friends and collect donations for Memory Walk.
- Breakfast Sale – Sell breakfast burritos, donuts, et cetera at work.
- Bulletin Boards – Post a message on the bulletin board at work, church, or workout facility asking for pledges.
- Baskets - Ask your local grocer to donate food items and assemble baskets full of fun food and treats.
- Host a Booth – Set up a booth in front of a storefront with heavy pedestrian traffic. Sell baked goods or homemade trinkets. Or just ask for a donation in the name of Memory Walk. Be sure to wear your MW shirt.
- Candy (sugar and sugar-free varieties) for sale.
- Carpool for fun and profit.
- Clean up with a neighborhood car wash.
- Car Wash – During the business day for customers and employees alike.
- Car Bash – Secure an old car. Write in bold letters ALZHEIMER”S across the car. For a donation people can “smash alzheimer’s” three times with a sledgehammer.
- Casual Day – “ Dress down for Alzheimer’s” – employees pay to dress casually.
- Change – “A Little Change Makes A Lot of Cents” – bank and credit unions post this message at a teller line, donate the “cents” from your deposit to Memory Walk to help fight Alzheimer’s. Some radio stations may gladly put your challenge on the radio. Or ask your favorite restaurant to put out a jar for donations of spare change.
- Chat rooms – Post a message in a chat room on the Internet. One participant raised $700.00 from people across the country they didn’t even know.
- A HOT-HOT-HOT Chili cook-off.
- Color Pledge Forms – Print your pledge form on colored paper so that it will stick out in a stack of bills and other correspondence.
- Comedy Club – Ask a local comedy club to host an evening in support of Memory Walk. Invite all team members and sell tickets.
- Computer Graphics – If you are good with computers, make nice cards and give them away for pledges.
- Concert – If you know, or get to know, musicians and ask them to perform a benefit concert. Tell people that their admission ticket is a donation to Memory Walk. Invite a caterer to donate food and collect pledges for food and drinks also.
- Cookbooks – collect recipes from employees, have them published, and sell them. These can be produced for approximately $2.00 each and sold for $7.00 - $10.00.
- Corporate Sponsors – Identify one corporate sponsor that you can ask for a large donation.
- Creative Friends – Find a local artist or ask a creative friend if they would donate a piece of art or some jewelry that you can raffle off.
- Delegate – Give 10 friends 10 pledge forms and ask them to get pledges for you. Reward the friend who raises the most pledges with a home cooked meal or dinner out.
- Dinners, Dinners, Dinners – Spaghetti dinners, gourmet feasts, Cajun style red beans and rice, et cetera.
- Host a Theme dance or Party – Sock hop, beach party, disco, square dance, dance for senior citizens, et cetera.
- Deliver meals – Have a meal day where you will cook and deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner to businesses in town. Fax them a few days ahead of time to inform them of the menu, costs, and how to order.
- Envelopes at Restaurant Tables – Teams generate donations by placing Memory Walk envelopes at every table, stating, “ Please support Memory Walk and the Alzheimer’s Association.” Waitresses check envelope after each seating.
- Errand Service – For those who never have time…run an errand service.
- Flowers and Plants – Sell corsages, your extra houseplants, or bouquets from your garden.
- Food Tasting – Hold an international food tasting party.
- Friend Match – Ask friends who are making a donation to look into their company’s matching gift program.
- Fry Day Friday – 6+ weeks prior to the walk, a dime from every order of fries sold on Friday from a fast food restaurant goes to your team total.
- Fundraising Dinner – Ask a local restaurant to host a fundraising dinner for you.
- Game Night – Host a monopoly, poker, or other game night.
- Garage Sale - get all of your friends to donate items for a super garage sale and have people “buy” things with pledges. Advertise it in a local newspaper. Keep plenty forms on hand and remember to wear your Memory Walk T- shirt.
- Gym – Ask your local gym if you or they can teach an aerobics or Spinning class as a benefit for you.
- Hair Salon – Ask your hair salon if they would donate $2.00 of each haircut over a weekend to you.
- Happy Hour – Wear your Memory Walk T-shirt to Happy Hour and ask people to sign your shirt for $10.00. Ask the DJ to announce that you are in the bar.
- “ Hats for Alzheimer’s” – A middle school student asked his dad if he could be on dad’s team. His dad agreed if he raised his own $150.00. The middle school student asked his Principal for permission for all students in the school to be allowed to wear hats at 50 cents a day for a month. At the end of the month, the student has raised $1,100.00.
- “Hot Dog for Alzheimer’s” – A Principal at an elementary school agreed that if ALL the teachers raised $150.00 each he would dress up like a hot dog and let the students squirt ketchup, mustard and relish on him.
- Karaoke Nights – Collect a pledge for each song you sing.
- Lawn Service – While you are mowing your lawn, mow someone else’s.
- Letters – Write one letter for friends and one letter for business associates. If you use a computer to personalize your letter (or if you hand-write them), thank them for the specific amount they gave last year.
- Letters – Send letters around the middle of the month prior to the event. Consider the last payday before the event, a time when lots of people write checks. Ask to have the checks returned to you by the middle of the month; it’s harder for people to ignore when there is a due date other then the event date.
- Labels – Create return address labels that state, “I’m participating in Memory Walk . Will you sponsor me?”
- Movies – Rent short videos (old classic films are great) and have a movie week during the lunch hour. Charge admission and invite employees to eat their lunch while they watch. Charge extra for popcorn.
- Matching funds – Ask your CEO/President to match the total raised by your team or to be the leading donor for your team.
- Movie Tickets Donation – Ask your local movie theatre to donate movie tickets, and sell then sell them for pledges.
- Newspaper – Get an article in your town newspaper about you and Memory Walk.
- Newsletter – Ask your company to publish in the community newsletter an article about you and Memory Walk requesting support.
- Pancake Breakfast.
- Payroll Deduction – Employees can make their own contributions by having it deducted from their paycheck.
- Penny Jar.
- Pet Service – Walk someone’s dog.
- Photography – Take candid shots around the community and sell pictures.
- Pies – Use in season fruits and sell your delicious pies.
- Pin – Create and wear a pin that says “ Ask me about Memory Walk”.
- Pizza Night – Ask a local pizza place to donate pizza, and ask friends for pledges for an all-you-can-eat pizza party.
- Place a picture of the person you are walking in honor or in memory of in a highly visible place to remind people of the importance of their participation.
- Play Tickets – Ask a local playhouse to donate tickets, and then auction them off.
- Pretty Baby Contest – Gather employee baby pictures, have donation jars setup as votes. The jar with the most donations wins. Get prizes donated for the winners.
- Raffle off items donated by local businesses.
- Radio Station – Call your favorite radio stations and ask them to make an announcement on-air or to interview you. People can send pledges directly to Memory Walk c/o the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Rec Room Bingo – Make your living room a bingo hall and invite your neighbors. $10.00 donations to play. Get prizes donated for the winners.
- Rent Free – get your apartment complex to donate one month’s rent to sponsor you.
- Rock-N-Roll Party – The neighborhood youth can get together for an evening of fun and music in your family room and other parents can pay to not have the noise at their house.
- Romance – Cater a romantic dinner for two.
- Shoe Shines.
- Skate away Alzheimer’s – Get a group together for roller-skating or skateboarding with each person making a donation.
- Spaghetti Supper – Host a spaghetti supper at a local church. Charge for dinner (spaghetti is cheap to make, you can usually get donations for the ingredients). During the meal, have donated items on display for people to bid on.
- Silent Auction – Ask some local businesses to donate items (i.e., $10.00 worth of dry cleaning, book of car washes, free sandwiches and drink, a week of free coffee). Set minimum pledge limits. Hold the auction over a week and notify the winners.
- Sports Challenges – Set up a challenge match between individuals or departments for bowling, tennis, racquetball, softball, or other sports. Charge an entry fee for the athletes and an admission fee to the match.
- Super Box – Ask all your friends and relatives to put their extra change in it. You can decorate it or cover it with inspirational quotes.
- Talent – Utilize and sell any talent or skill you may have.
- Travel Agency – Ask your travel agency for a plane ticket to raffle off.
- Tupperware Party.
- “Turkey Subs” – Encourage sub/pizza shops to donate a set amount (50 cents) from each turkey sub sold to benefit Memory Walk.
- Tribute Pledges – A pledge made in honor or memory of someone.
- TV Show Party – Host a party for the premiere or finale of your favorite show.
- Vending Machines – Coordinate with your vendor to add 5 cents to the cost of a snack or soft drink prior to the Walk, with the extra nickel going to your team account.
- Video Sale – How many times can you watch Forrest Grump?
- Votes – Select three to five well-known and well-liked employees (must be men) to have the employees cast their vote ($5.00 donation) for the individual they would like to see dress as a woman. Individuals with the most votes will spend the entire workday dressed like a woman.
- Waiters – Ask the waiters and waitresses in your favorite restaurant if they will donate one day’s tips.
- Water the Garden – Or any chores you would normally do for free for neighbors, friends, or family.
- Web Site – Create a web site about Memory Walk, then email everyone on your contact list and invite them to visit your web site. Put a pledge form that can be downloaded on your site.
- Wine Tasting- As with any other fundraiser, but especially with this one, the wine MUST be donated and all the liquor liability laws must be adhered to.
- Yard Displays – Place plastic pink flamingos, wooden cows, or even a purple and pink port-a-potties in the front yard of unsuspecting donors…request a donation for them to be removed, an additional donation for the homeowner to pick whose yard they are to be placed in next, and another donation as “insurance” that they don’t wind up back in their yard again.
Even More Fundraising Ideas
Here are more fundraising ideas to boost your team’s total and get your team into the Memory Walk spirit. Choose an idea from this list or create ideas of your own. The sky’s the limit!
Forget-Me-Nots…the fundraising flower
This is the most popular Wrap Around for Memory Walk! People pay a specific dollar amount (usually $1 to $5) to write their names or the names of loved ones on a paper cutout of a purple Forget-Me-Not flower, provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. This shows that they are standing by people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and/or are remembering someone they’ve lost to the disease. Display Forget-Me-Nots in your lobby, cafeteria or whatever area needs brightened up. Forget-Me-Nots are now available with a bar code for use in your cafeteria or at any local business that will participate.
Services for a Day
Do you work in a service business? Does someone you know? Ask your beautician, your local grocer, your florist or your dry cleaner to donate a percentage of his or her profits for one day toward the Alzheimer’s Association. This would be a great promotion for the merchant – and a fabulous fundraiser for your team!
Do you have a favorite Bar & Grill that you frequent? Does the bartender or waitress know you by name? Then ask if you and your friends can be guest bartenders for an evening. All tips will go toward your team’s total. Cheers!
“Thanks for the Memories” Contest
Participants pay $5 to enter an office photo that brings back fun memories. Employees vote on the best picture. The winner should get a prize of your choice. Be sure to thank everyone for the memories.
Negotiate with your cafeteria for them to donate a percentage of their sales for a day, a week, or whatever they will agree to.
Memory Walk Jar
Decorate and display a Memory Walk Jar in a visible but secure location. Ask employees to drop their loose change for a one- or two-month period. It adds up!
Pop Machine Fundraiser
Ask management to boost the price of pop by 10 cents for a one- or two-month period. The additional proceeds go toward your team’s total.
Dress Down for Memories
Employees pay a specified amount – usually $3 to $5 – for a Memory Walk Sticker, which entitles them to dress down on a designated day. Try to coordinate at least one day per week, and sell new stickers each week. Stickers are available at the Alzheimer’s Association.
Let people in the office show their culinary skills. All proceeds go toward your team total.
Purple or Pay Day
Select a day at work where everyone has to wear purple in honor of the Alzheimer’s Association’s signature color. Anyone with no sign of purple has to pay up!
Coordinate this at your kid’s school. Let kids pay a buck a shot and have a great time! Parents can get involved too.
Personalized Candy Bars
Go to a wholesale warehouse store and purchase boxes of candy bars (BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Costco, etc). Put your own wrapper on it as a signup for your team and sell them for $1.00 and recruit team members in a sweet manner as you raise money for your team.