Keep Your Next Fundraiser Safe & Healthy
Are you planning a fundraiser this fall for your school, team or charity? The health and safety of your students or members are a must.
Volunteers are the cornerstone of your fundraiser; they work hard to keep your fundraiser going strong. One of your top priorities as an organization is always to keep everyone safe, both your young ones and your seniors. Thankfully, there are new virtual fundraising ideas that have been recently developed to help schools and non-profit organizations run contactless product fundraisers. And there are steps you can take on an ongoing basis to stay safe while still keeping your fundraising exciting and fun!
Keep spaces safe
With every fundraising activity you plan, safety should be part of the discussion. If you are having a carnival, for instance, make sure the location and activities will keep everyone safe. If your volunteers need to drum up sales individually, make sure the methods you recommend are as safe as possible. Try to find alternative ways to raise funds that aren’t quite as dangerous as old-fashioned door-to-door methods. Participants should have a way to report any concerns they have immediately so you can address them.
Keep selling safe
If product sales are part of your fundraising efforts, you will need a plan in place to keep everyone safe. Chances are, parents will decline to participate if they feel that their children will be in danger, so this is in everyone’s best interest. Come up with a plan to both sell items and collect money that doesn’t put your volunteers at risk. Often the easiest fundraising sales today are done online, through social media, so make sure your supporters have a website they can visit to place an order and pay.
Here are a few tips and ideas to keep everyone safe and healthy:
- Contactless fundraising: Set-up an online store or site where you can sell products or collect donations. Your supporters can pay online, so there is no contact whatsoever.
- Digital brochures (text and email): Are you planning to sell cookie dough, snacks, holiday gift items? Work with a fundraising company that offers a digital version of their order-taker. That way you can email or text friends instead of meeting them face-to-face.
- Drive-thru pick-ups: If you did a fundraiser that requires your members to pick-up the items from your school or organization headquarters, have them do a drive by pick-up to avoid large gatherings. They can deliver the product to their supporters using protective gloves.
JustFundraising is one company that has adapted to the new reality and is providing safer alternatives to fundraising.
Through its new iRaiseMore platform, groups receive their own online cookie dough website which allows them to sell and collect their funds entirely online. Groups can use their online store only or use it in conjunction with physical order-takers. They also have digital order-takers available for their popcorn, candle and snack fundraisers. Sellers can simply email or text the order-taker to friends.
Provide adult supervision
From the start, make sure parents know that their children will be kept safe throughout every fundraising event. Give them reassurance that volunteers won’t be expected to go door to door, and make sure they know that adults will be on hand to chaperone all events. Recruit trusted adults to keep a close eye on youth at all events and, if necessary, hire security for bigger events for that additional level of safety.
Make it fun
The good news is, you can do all of this while still having a blast. In fact, when parents and employees feel safe, they will have far more fun than they would if they were constantly looking around for danger. If you know your volunteers and supporters, chances are you will be well aware of the activities they will enjoy. Make sure you plan events with plenty of adult supervision that also allow youth volunteers to have the peer interaction they want most.
Interact with donors
Your supporters probably care about the safety of your volunteers as much as you do. If you communicate from the start that you are concerned about the safety of volunteers, your donors are likely to help you out. Advise them on what they can do to keep your fundraiser safe, including looking out for younger volunteers and asking for suggestions on areas you can improve the safety of your events.
Once you start planning your fundraisers with safety in mind, you will notice that it begins to come naturally. At the end of each season, sit down and evaluate how your safety plan worked and come up with ways you can continue to keep your fundraisers safe in the years to come.
Whatever fundraiser you decide to use this fall, stay safe and be smart!
Grace Coates is a freelance writer.