Just like children, fundraising events come in all sizes and shapes. They can be simple, like a yard sale or birthday party, or more elaborate, like a 5K fun run or golf tournament. The Children’s Hospital Foundation loves community events, because the planners and participants have fun, raise money, and help spread the work of Children’s National Medical Center.
Here are some examples of past community events that have been successful. These are just ideas to get you started. Be creative!
- Music, Music, Music: Practice-a-Thon. Piano, flute, clarinet, and more. Every minute a child practices can mean financial support for Children’s National Medical Center. Music students at the Academy of Music in Gaithersburg, Md., solicit pledges from family and friends for every minute of practice for 60 days in a row. This effort links the study of music with an appreciation for the needs of other children. In its first year, the school raised $5,438 for the hospital in its first year and plans to continue the event.
- A Birthday Bash to be Remembered. How many birthday parties does your child attend in a given year? And how often do you stand in a toy store, bewildered, and wondering if the child will like the gift that your son or daughter is bringing? Consider following the example of one boy who invited his friends to his party and asked for donations to the hospital instead of gifts for him. The kids had fun while helping other kids.
- Always a Hole in One: Golf Tournaments. Business, pleasure, and philanthropy are a perfect mix where golf is concerned. Get those foursomes out on the links for charity. No event is too big or too small. The Vanderweil Engineering Company put together a golf tournament featuring sponsorship by their vendors. In its first year, it raised $8,135 for the hospital and now raises over $12,000 for Children’s annually.
Honoring a Religious Tradition
While she studied for a year in preparation for her Bat Miztvah, Jessica Sauber decided to incorporate another Jewish tradition into the occasion—deepening happiness by sharing joyous celebrations with those in need. So, instead of accepting presents, she asked her guests to make contributions to Children’s National Medical Center. Jessica was thrilled to raise $20,000 and used the money to buy Wiis to help give patients a fun distraction while in the hospital. Jessica said it made her special day even more significant, giving gratitude for the support from her family and friends that made her donation possible.
Need more ideas? Send an email to Michelle Chu or give her a call at 301-565-8551.
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If you want to make Children’s National Medical Center the beneficiary of your event, here’s how we can support you:
- Offer advice and expertise on event planning.
- Provide brochures and other publicity materials.
- Provide IRS-compliant receipts to donors as applicable.
- Provide formal acknowledgement for contributions.
- Approve the use of Children’s name or logo, as appropriate.
- Provide a letter of support to be used to validate the authenticity of the event and its organizers.
We are unable to reimburse and/or fund expenses, provide mailing lists of our donors or promote your event to an external audience.
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- Download our Communications Toolkit for tips and resources to promote your event
- Download our planning packet
- Register your event. Once you know what type of event you would like to organize, fill out our online registration form.
- Form a planning committee. The probability of success of any special event is increased by the enthusiasm and dedication of the people who plan and organize it. Your planning committee should have enough members to share the work and represents a variety of skills.
- Set goals. Have a realistic and measurable financial goal.
- Brainstorm ideas. Several heads are better than one. Throw those ideas out there.
- Be sure you've chosen the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interest, talents, goals, and time availability of your group.
- Identify your audience. Who is most likely to attend and support your event?
- Schedule the event. Schedule the event for a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Remember that two fundraising events that cater to the same audience, on the same day, will divide the support for each event.
- Budget. Identify possible sources of income and all expenses. If you keep costs down, you’ll generate a bigger donation. If you’re holding a large events with many attendees and sponsors, you should consider opening a bank account in the name of the event.
- Get the word out. Publicity and promotion are key to a successful event, so promote, promote, promote but remember that all materials should be approved by the Children’s Hospital Foundation before they are printed and distributed. The Children's National Medical Center logo is a registered trademark, and all uses of the logo must be approved by the foundation.
- Collect the funds. We ask that funds be forwarded to Children’s Hospital Foundation within 30 days after the event. Please allow four weeks from that date for tax receipts to be issued.
- Say thanks. Acknowledge everyone who participated in or supported your activity and let them know how much you appreciated their help. It’s also a good idea to report how much money was raised.
For additional information, send an email to Michelle Chu or give her a call at 301-565-8551.
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