Speed Dating  

By Ryan N.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A speed-dating event with 20 people held at a lounge in Seattle. Ten small tables were set up and each girl sat at one, while the guys rotated around at the sound of a bell each 3 minutes. Each dater had a date card in which they could decide if they would like their email exchanged with each dater after the event.

  • Venue: I settled on an age demographic (21-26) that I was aiming the event at and found an appropriate bar and neighborhood based on that. I made a list of bars that had held fundraisers in the past, and then contacted the event managers to propose the idea. I found a venue that was willing to donate their lounge free of charge for three hours on a weeknight, in which it would be closed to the general public.
  • Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: The venue agreed to offer happy hour prices to us, which I factored into the event price, and advertised, discounted drinks thereafter. I decided for the raffle prize to make a “date night” basket, and approached places for small prizes based on that. A local restaurant donated dinner for two and a bottle of wine, a coffee shop I frequented donated coffee for two, a hair salon donated gift certificates for a neck trim and a blow dry, and I made my own “make out mix” mix CD to add into the basket that I filled with Hersheyʼs Kisses.
  • Planning Time: 2 weeks
  • Upfront Investment: No money upfront, but I signed an event contract and paid for the drinks factored into the ticket after the event.
  • Materials Needed: Raffle tickets, Evite, raffle basket and description of prizes to advertise the donors, donation bowl.
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself and one other
  • Lessons Learned: It was a good idea to bring people within the same age group. I learned that people come more for the novelty of speed dating than the cause itself, so the more you can play up speed dating, the better. Nearly everyone came up afterwards expressing that they would have paid double to come
  • How to Improve: Make it bigger, it is more manageable than you think.
  • Money Raised: $300 ($20 a person)
  • Added Advice: Get a funny friend to host the event to help break the ice

 

Bowl-a-thon

By Kate S.
A bowling event that offered unlimited bowling, billiards and discounted drinks for three hours at a fixed price on a weekend day.

  • Venue: I researched bowling alleys that were accessible and that had held fundraisers in the past. I contacted the event manager of an alley that agreed to donate all of the lanes and bowling shoes for three hours as well as happy hour pricing on food and drinks.
  • Food/Drink: The venue discounted the prices for us.
  • Raffle Prize: I set up a 50/50 raffle at the sign in table in which people could add any amount of cash, and the winner would win half of the pot while the other half would be a donation to Flying Kites.
  • Planning Time: 2 weeks
  • Upfront Investment: Event contract signed, $100 deposit
  • Materials Needed: Fishbowl for raffle, raffle tickets, information and pictures about Flying Kites, sign-up sheet to keep track of attendees and donations made
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: One
  • Lessons Learned: 50/50 raffles are a really big hit; it made more than the ticket sales. Bowling alleys have big ups and downs with business times, so if you can plan your event during a slow business day and time, they will offer more to you. The billiards was a good added incentive for people. I learned that putting visuals all around the bowling alley helped to attract people who werenʼt originally planning on attending.
  • How to Improve: Make it bigger by encouraging people to make teams, maybe each team could bowl for a specific kid.
  • Money Raised: $500 ($20 a person)
  • Added Advice: Get the bowling alley to advertise on their end too, they may bewilling to post a flyer for your event if you create it yourself

 

Coffee Shop Fundraiser

By Julia M.
A well-trafficked coffee shop in Boston sold coffee beans from a region close to Flying Kites in Kenya and featured the coffee for two months, all proceeds made from the bagged beans as well as each cup sold was donated.

  • Venue: I researched coffee shops in big cities that saw a lot of business and had philanthropic interest, then contacted each of them with the idea, and Crema was the one with the best response and attitude
  • Drink: The venue agreed to buy and donate all of the coffee, and to count the proceeds for Flying Kites until the coffee ran out
  • Planning Time: 1 month
  • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Flyer • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself and one other
  • Lessons Learned: The more you can expand out of your own city, the greater your ability to expand the voice of Flying Kites- donʼt be afraid to reach out to places youʼve never even been. Working with a venue with a great interest and attitude towards the event made things fun and manageable.
  • How to Improve: Post the event on Facebook and website for Flying Kites to draw in additional people
  • Money Raised: $750
  • Added Advice: The venue also agreed to add a $1 donation button to the  register in which the cashier asked each customer if they would like to make an additional donation, this was a great plus. The more you can push the venue to advertise on their own website and social media, the better

 

Cocktail Party

By Hannah P.
A cocktail party held in a home that allowed the guests to choose giving options that reflected the specific basic needs of Flying Kites.

  • Venue: I approached a family friend who had a large home and a large list of contacts, who also held a deep interest in philanthropy and Kenya.
  • Food/Drink: I wrote a letter to Trader Joes asking if they would be willing to donate light snacks for the event, they agreed to donate nuts, fruit, vegetables and drinks for the event.
  • Planning Time: 1 month
  • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Evite, Kenya themed party decoration, descriptions and visuals of giving options
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself and one other
  • Lessons Learned: It is a great idea to present your fundraising campaign to people in other cities or social circles if possible. Giving options were the most effective and well responded to fundraising technique I used.
  • How to Improve: Lock people in to RSVPSs as much as possible, and plan to have the event on a day and time that is accessible for people, if it is at night time then plan on providing more food and drink.
  • Money Raised: $2500
  • Added Advice: The more visuals the better, I paused the party three times to read stories of the children and to show videos of Flying Kites for everyone. The more ways you can thank people, the better. I gave beads from Kenya to each of the people as they left as well as a hand written thank you note. Allow multiple people to give to each option, and offer the option of more than one person going in on one giving option. Offer a wide range of price options, from $40- $5,000

 

Event: Yard Sale

By Mike B.
A yard sale with all proceeds benefiting Flying Kites. We found friends, family, colleagues and neighbors were eager to contribute gently used clothing, furniture, books, and assorted items.

  • Venue: A friend or familyʼs yard that was accessible and viewable from the street.
  • Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: All items sold were donated, and the friend who hosted the yard sale agreed to donate cookies and lemonade for the attendees
  • Planning Time: 2 months to 2 weeks
  • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Tables, cash box, donated items to sell, refreshments
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: A team of 2-3
  • Lessons Learned: The more you can add visuals and information about FlyingKites, the better because people were more willing to buy items knowing where the proceeds were going. Give people a few weeks in between asking for item donations and the yard sale date, so they have time to clean out their attic, garage, basement etc. 
  • How to Improve: Make it bigger by asking for donations of clothing outside of your social circle. The longer lead-time you allow, the more donations you will receive.
  • Money Raised: $300 - $900
  • Added Advice: Ask the local newspaper and local radio station advertise the yard sale; that is where most of the people said they heard about it

 

Small Concert Series

By Hannah P.
An intimate concert series of three local bands that agreed to donate themselves for small shows for Flying Kites.

  • Venue: I approached a coffee shop in my neighborhood that was able to sell beer, and they agreed to host the concerts after hours.
  • Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: The venue agreed to offer discounted beers
  • Planning Time: 3 weeks
  • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Evite, flyers, informational materials about Flying Kites
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: One
  • Lessons Learned: This event generated much less money than others, but the information about Flying Kites reached a demographic it might not have otherwise, and the excitement and fun that these concerts were made them unforgettable.
  • How to Improve: More advertisement
  • Money Raised: $250 ($5 a person)
  • Added Advice: The best promotion for this event was through the bands themselves

 

Farewell Dinner Party

By Hannah P
A dinner party for friends and family. It served as both a goodbye dinner and a fundraiser for Flying Kites.

  • Venue: A friend offered to host the event at his apartment
  • Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: The host agreed to purchase all food and drinks for the guests under the condition that I cook and host.
  • Planning Time: 2 weeks
  • Upfront Investment: Minimal (Only if food, drink and utensils provided.)
  • Materials Needed: Party decorations, pictures, lap top with video playing, food, evite.
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself and one other
  • Lessons Learned: Invite fundraising into everything you do, a casual event can turn into a big fundraiser when the people attending are those invested in you personally.
  • How to Improve: More visuals- check out the ʻFundraising Kit” Drop Box folder for pictures, posters, and videos that would add a lot to an event like this.
  • Money Raised: $400
  • Added Advice: The more you offer to people, the more they will offer to you. Hosting a full dinner, drinks and desert had people wanting to donate. The more personal the event, the more personal details you can add to express the meaningfulness of peopleʼs attendance.

 

The Month of Giving

By Becky P.
A yoga studio that was seeking ways to expand their Karma Yoga, agreed to dedicate an entire month to Flying Kites. Class fees were donated, they allowed me to guest teach donation classes, advertised Flying Kites on the website and newsletter, as well as held additional events for fundraising such as an Arts class for kids and their mothers.

  • Venue: I approached a yoga studio that I knew one instructor at with a letter about my mission, and they agreed.
  •  Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: None
  • Planning Time: 1 month
  • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Informational materials about Flying Kites
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself and one other
  • Lessons Learned: Holding long standing events, is invaluable in the amount of people you can reach. The more presence you have and the more you invest in a venue, the greater the outcome and the more likely their continual involvement will be.  
  • How to Improve: Advertise the venue more and make every event co-beneficial.
  • Money Raised: $1200

 

Blog

By Sara H.
I used my blog as a way to drive people to my  donation site, and to write stories of Flying Kites and the individuals involved in the organization.

  • Venue: I created a blog that I knew I would be able to utilize as part of my volunteer stay at Flying Kites before arriving, it was themed so that I could use it do display stories from home that would tie into the stories I would tell from Kenya.
  • Lessons Learned: People donʼt give to an organization, they give through an organization so the more you can display giving as an expression of the difference someone wants to make, the greater the impact. The more stories you can tell of Flying Kites, the more investment you will get from donors.
  • Funds raised: $7,000

 

Blog Candlelight Yoga 

By Angie W.
A candlelight yoga class held at a popular venue in which the yoga instructor gave a presentation on Flying Kites before teaching a class that was entirely donation-based.

  • Venue: I approached Lululemon through yoga instructors I knew, and presented to them the idea of an intimate class for an intimate cause.
  • Food/Drink/Raffle Prize: I contacted a local beverage retailer, Talking Rain, who agreed to donate sports beverages for each attendant in return for advertising them on the flyer.
  • Planning Time: 3 weeks • Upfront Investment: None
  • Materials Needed: Evite, yoga mats, information about Flying Kites
  • How many people helped to plan and execute: Myself
  • Lessons Learned: The yoga community is one of compassion, and a valuable demographic for fundraising and for spreading the word of Flying Kites.
  • How to Improve: Plan more in advance to gain greater attendance
  • Money Raised: $250
  • Added Advice: If you are working with a venue that has a large presence online, then really push for them to feature you on their social media, blogs, website, etc

 

Flying Kites Table at Farmers Market

By Ana Ruth D.
For five Saturdays in a row I sat down at the local community farmers market (3 hours each day)

  • How you got the venue: The local farmers market is open to anyone in the community, though some require pre-registration so call ahead!
  • Food and drink: I had cookies and brownies (free). Having the treats helped attract people.
  • Planning time: 3 hours
  • Materials needed: Table, FK brochures, Map of Africa/globe, fundraising letter, poster, pictures
  • How many people helped plan: Just me
  • Lessons learned from event: If the information is displayed in the right way people will come look/listen to what you have. Your community is willing to support you and FK if you give them all the information they want to hear.
  • How to improve: Have more pictures of the FK kids. Have iPad or computer available with Flyingkites.org open to collect online donations.
  • Money raised: $600.00 and $200.00 (two separate events)
  • How the donations were collected: Checks, and cash
  • Additional Advice: It will get and feel really repetitive, but the more you speak up about what you are doing, the more people will donate and be interested. Overall this is a simple and easy way to raise a good amount of money.

 

Event: Inside Out Project

By Hannah P.
Inside Out was a cross-disciplinary global art initiative. It was focused on the power of art and ideas to change perceptions, attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. We pasted large posters of children
ʼs faces from Flying Kites that were meant to raise not money, but awareness.

  • Venue: I scouted out an abandoned building in a popular neighborhood of Seattle that was accessible for me, and easy to see from many angles

  • Planning Time: 2 months Upfront Investment: Donation of $10

  • Materials Needed: Photographs from Flying Kites, posters from Inside Out, glue and rollers

  • How many people helped to plan and execute: 10 Lessons Learned: It is as powerful to give a voice to Flying Kites and their mission. More people saw this piece and were impacted purely by an image than came to any of the events that preceded it.

  • How to Improve: Go bigger, aim higher!

  • Added Advice: Social media is a powerful tool to spread social action