You have the power to make a difference. No matter what your experience, you can help raise money for the Rainforest Alliance through fundraising drives and events. In addition to raising desperately needed funds, your efforts help raise awareness about the importance of rainforest conservation.
Here are a few guidelines to help you plan your fundraising event:
- Set a goal for how much money you’d like to raise.
- Get your friends, classmates and group members to help.
- Decide how much time you want to spend on the fundraising activity or event. Figure out if you can obtain donations of materials and sale items or if you need to buy things.
- Choose appropriate fundraising activities for your community. Ideas include:
- Coffee tastings — use Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee that is grown under the shade of rainforest trees. Coffee grown under trees tastes better, uses few or no pesticides, and protects the forest and wildlife — especially birds. At the tasting have people sign postcards or petitions asking local retailers to carry Rainforest Alliance Certified brands.
- Rainforest events – Show a rainforest movie or invite a rainforest expert to speak. Ticket sales and donations can benefit the Rainforest Alliance.
- Collect pledges — hold a spell-a-thon, run-a-thon, or other activity where you can ask people to pledge to the cause.
- Raffles — kids love to sell chances, especially the 10 to 12 age group. Offer a modest commission or a party at the end of the afternoon for great results.
- Hold a dance — decorate an auditorium, gym, or other space like a rainforest.
- Auctions — have an entertaining sale of donated items or services.
- Make a sale — yard sales, garage, used book and other sales of donated items.
- Rainforest tour — build a rainforest in your classroom and give a tour to the rest of the school. Raise money by selling snacks donated by parents.
- Get cooking — hold a pancake breakfast in your school. Invite friends, parents and teachers to attend.
- Bake sales — bake items yourself or get day-old products donated by stores.
- Have a car wash — get the neighborhood involved as you scrub for a good cause.
- Have a bottle and can refund drive — collect bottles and cans to take to a local supermarket for recycling and collect the deposit.
- Add up your pennies — have a penny/loose change drive and hold a party to count and roll your donations.
- Think about various ways to publicize your fundraising event. Examples include:
- Press releases — include description of event, date, goal, celebrities attending, chairperson. Send to all local media.
- Calendar notices — if possible send one month ahead to the “Events” calendars in daily and weekly newspapers, and two months or more ahead to monthly magazines.
- Feature stories — call and write feature department editors of daily papers to let them know about your event
- Free classifieds — offered by some newspapers. Read or call for rules and send early.
- Invitations — to local pastors/priests/rabbis, politicians and community leaders. It is courteous and promotes word-of-mouth publicity.
- Huge sign — make and hang over event site two weeks before event.
- Fliers — 8 1/2 x 11 inches printed on bright paper. Tape up on trees and telephone poles around neighborhood, and on bulletin boards at local businesses (make sure to ask permission first).
- Posters — 11 x 16 inches on heavier colored paper. Have a team of people hang them in windows of local merchants, train stations, YMCAs, and other organizations. Put up on bulletin boards in schools, churches, theaters, and youth centers.
- Tell your family and friends – Don’t forget to reach out to your personal network of family and friends!
- Use your imagination, and don’t forget to have a good time!
Remember, your greatest resources are your creativity and energy. Think positively, have fun and go for it! You can take pride in the fact that you helped save a very special place on our planet… the rainforest.
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