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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent asks:
Q:

What's the best way for kids to raise money for a cause they believe in?

My best friend just got some really tough news - her brother has fairly advanced brain cancer. Obviously the whole family is shocked. My friend's three kids (ages 6-10) are dealing with their concern in an interesting way - they want to jump into action! They've asked their mom (my friend) if they can go door to door asking for donations for cancer research and support.

She wants to encourage their initiative but doesn't think door to door canvassing is the most productive way to go about it. Do any of you have ideas for how kids can raise money for a cause that's close to their hearts?

She wants to give them the sense of empowerment that will come from making a contribution without putting them in danger or risking exploitation.

Thanks for any ideas or advice!
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Volunteering and citizenship
> 60 days ago

|
jmengle
May 27, 2009
Level

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
What beautiful children!  I think this would be a terrific way for them to gain a sense of control during a frightening situation.

I agree with your friend about having them go door to door.  I would recommend mapping out a long-term strategy, with several planned activities that would serve to enlist the support of friends (of parents and kids), family, neighboors, church, school..., which would also give them the added benefit of increasing their emotional support during this time.  

A few ideas that might work- an art fair at school with work created by students and marketed to parents. A neighboor/church yard sale. Movie night, getting a local theater to donate space for one showing, invite school, friends, etc.

Some ideas that are more fun-Change bucket competition: have a few teachers have bucket in their classrooms to collect change for a month. At the end of the month teacher with most change has to dye their hair blue (i've heard stories of this raising over $5,000).  Flamingo flocking (updated TPing) might work for church or neighboorhood if it is tight-nit.  Given the age of the kids they may need to enlist help of some teenagers or adults. People donate some set amount to have someone's yard flocked with those pink flamingos and then the "flockee" pays to have them removed.  Families could also pay protection money to prevent flocking. It would take the right group for this to work, but it is a lot of fun and does generate a lot of buzz and energy. Another idea held at school would be a silence-a-thon. Some assembly time would have to be set aside or see if it could be held after school and have particpants earn pledges for how long they can stay silent with prizes for winners.

For the younger children some ideas include a trike-a-thon held in parking lot of school or church; a teddy-bear picnic, sell tickets at church or school and have event at local park. Kids bring their teddy bears.  Supply some finger foods/tea party type foods, some songs and games. Use classmates artwork to make gifts for, or items to sell to parents, scan to make note cards or place into a clock.

I hope this helps!

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Additional Answers (7)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
I'm sorry to hear about your friend's brother. I think it's wonderful, though, that the children want to take positive action in honor of their uncle.

Here are some fundraising ideas for the family to consider...

1.) Have a Read-A-Thon
http://www.fund-raising-ideas-center.com/kid-fundraising-read-a-thon.html
I did similar fundraisers when I was a kid by walking or biking and collecting pledges for charity with each mile or kilometer I completed.

2.) Host a Neighborhood Garage Sale & Lemonade Stand - this one obviously requires parental supervision and involvement, as well as a safe location

3.) Sell Customized Cards with the kids' artwork - have the adults in their lives sell these to friends and colleagues (or sell them at the neighborhood garage sale suggested above) http://www.kidskards.com/

4.) Talk to local restaurants, yogurt shops, bookstores, movie theaters, etc. about hosting a fundraiser in which a certain percentage of sales on a given day go toward a cancer charity, with the donation made in the name of the kids' uncle. We've done this type of fundraiser for our daughter's school, and it's effective, as well as enjoyable for those participating (including the company or vendor that hosts the event -- it's great PR for them)

If none of these ideas interest the kids, I've included links below to some additional resources that may inspire their campaign.

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SPAelemenschool
SPAelemensc... writes:
As a small parochial elementary school in a pleasant neighborhood, we've had our successes with kids volunteering to do chores and yard work for area residents in order to raise money for various causes. But we really stepped outside the box - thanks to one enterprising and ambitious seventh-grader - with an all-day event that took place in the school and generated a great deal of regional attention for Breast Cancer Awareness. You can see the story at http://bit.ly/BpDZN or at the link below.

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Wow, I am sorry to hear about the cancer and its aggression. One thing I would suggest is call your local Wal-Mart and ask if the kids can set up a booth for a couple of weekends. Think of how many people go into Wal-Mart a day verses door to door.
Also, another idea is to hold a local run-a-thon or walk-a-thon. Have other people in your community walk for donations. The more laps they walk the more money donated. Good Luck
> 60 days ago

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KidsAreHeroes
KidsAreHeroes writes:
I am so sorry to hear about this family situation. Hope I can help in some small way.

In March of 2008 my 10-year-old daughter and I founded KidsAreHeroes.com.  We showcase children that are doing wonderful things in their communities in order to inspire others.  As a matter of fact I would bet that after all is said and done these three kids would qualify for the site itself.  We see all kinds of ways that kids are raising funds. My daughter held a lemonade stand last year downtown. We said we would match her funds and she made $600.00 for kids at a local cancer camp.  We have an 8 year old boy who is preparing gifts for families with premature babies - he is collecting aluminum cans for recycling and approaching businesses for donations.  Another girl writes children's books about her dog and donates the proceeds for research into the very disease she suffers from. (There are many more examples on the web site.)  Getting the school involved is critical - approach the guidance couselor.  Maybe the kids in the school that play instruments could put on a benefit concert with ticket sales going to the charity.  Check with the local mall and ask if they have a Community Day - a day in which non-profits can solicit donations inside the mall. Some will overlook the fact that the group does not actually have non-profit status if they can clearly see the motives are genuine.

You can have a web site at little or no cost that collects money via credit cards.  This can be done rather easily and when the online fund raiser is over the company send you a check minus their fees. We are doing the exact same thing using our local Kiwanis Club to handle the money for us.  Suggest the parents join Twitter to help spread the word.  I would definitely recommend you send your story to the local paper, radio and TV stations in hopes that the publicity might shake a few more things out.

In this day and age, soliciting donations is very difficult, but when the message is as powerful as theirs and the inspiration comes from children it becomes a bit easier. Good luck!

Oh by the way, if you get an online link working let me know and I will "tweet" it to all of my Twitter colleagues. (http://twitter.com/KidsAreHeroes)
> 60 days ago

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MsEmpathy
MsEmpathy writes:
Sale things that are eatable. People will always buy food even if there low on money,which is very common nowadays.
> 60 days ago

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hrgottlieb
hrgottlieb writes:
The best way for kids to raise money is to make sure they directly benefit from the money raised in some fashion.

In your example the kids seem impassioned anyway so any of the typical fundraising products like those sold at www.easy-fundraising-ideas.com would work well.
> 60 days ago

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tonyb720
tonyb720 writes:
I would be so proud of them if they were my children, I can see that your friend has done a great job in raising them. I'm not sure if you're aware of www.easyfundraising.org.uk but it's a site that offers visitors the chance to donate money to a cause when shopping at an extensive selection of online retailers and anyone can signup a cause. The children could then spread news about the cause at their respective schools.

Good luck with the fundraising!
> 60 days ago

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