Host a Fundraiser

Thank you so much for your willingness and efforts to help raise money for the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter. The information below should provide you with general guidelines about holding a third party fundraiser.

If you have questions about hosting your own fundraiser, please call (858) 309-1267.

Not quite sure where to start? These tried-and-true steps will help you on your way.

Decide on your Fundraiser
1. Define what type of fundraiser you want to do.
2. Set a goal. How much money do you want to raise? What else do you want to accomplish?
3. See below for fundraising activity ideas!

Get Approval
1. Contact Megan Blanek at (858) 309-1267 to get started.
2. IMPORTANT: Print the appropriate guidelines and forms, and submit to
Third Party Agreement Form

Plan Your Fundraiser
1. Set a timeline for yourselves so you hit all the major deadlines.
2. Decide on the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHAT IF.

1. Who will help with the fundraiser; how many people are needed? Make sure you have enough!
2. How can you involve other groups or members of the community?
3. Plan a team schedule and make sure everyone knows what is expected of them – when do they show up, where and what do they bring? Assign responsibilities to each person and set deadlines to get their jobs done.

Where and When
1. Where will you hold the fundraiser? Do you have approval to use the space?
2. When is it? Can you piggyback on another event?

What and What If
1. What tasks and activities do you need to plan? How do you get the supplies? How do you publicize? How much will you charge, etc.?
2. Discuss WHAT IF situations: think ahead of what else could happen to better prepare and handle surprises during your event.

Make a List of Materials and Supplies
1. Don’t leave anything off the list, even if it seems unimportant.
2. Obtain donations to help with your costs and expenses. For example, if you need to make fliers ask a local print shop if they will donate printing in exchange for adding their logo to the bottom of your flier. Check with restaurants, grocery stores, and other local businesses, depending on what products you need to complete your fundraiser.

Advertise/Publicize your Event
1. Plan a strategy for advertising your event. Get the word out in any way that you can.
Practice Run of Your Event
1. A day or two prior to your event, have a meeting to make sure you have everything you need. Possibly even do a dry run or walk-through so that everyone understands their roles.

Hold your Event
1. Make sure everyone understands their tasks and responsibilities. Designate a contact person in case of questions.
2. Even the best laid plans can have glitches, so you’ll need to troubleshoot as the event takes place. (If you discussed “WHAT IF” scenarios beforehand, you’ll be able to handle some surprises!)

After the Event
1. Keep your documents and notes so that the event can be easily repeated in years to come. Keep materials that helped you plan the event (letters to restaurants that donated food, notes and suggestions on how the fundraiser could be improved in the future, etc.).
2. Assess how the fundraiser went. Did you reach your goal? If you do it again, can you aim for higher attendance, or to reach more people?

Send Thank You Notes
Thank the people who helped and donated to your fundraiser. Include information on how well your fundraiser went.

Things to Remember
1. Exhibit professionalism in advertising, execution of your fundraiser, and in all contact that your group has with other community members. Remember that you represent the Red Cross.
2. Have fun with your event – and take pride that what you’re doing will help others. We appreciate your support!
These are some of the successful fundraising activities that have benefited the American Red Cross:
  • “Restaurant Night”: many local restaurants will donate a portion of their sales to nonprofits. Contact your favorite restaurants for details!
  • Recycle Cans: Keep an extra trashcan in the break room for cans only
  • Concession Stands at Little League games
  • Loose Change: Put containers out at retail businesses for loose change
  • Softball Tournament: Charge an entry fee for each team
  • Basket Auction: Put together theme baskets for auction
  • Car Wash
  • Book Sale: Have a used book sale at work
  • Silent Auction: Have a silent bake auction for a sweet fundraiser
  • Crafts Auction: Make and sell all kinds of crafts
  • Yard Sales: Have a community-wide sale
  • Window Washing: Wash car windows at the bank drive through
  • House Cleaning: Clean houses for donations
  • Taking Care of Pets: Charge to take care of someone’s pet while they are away
  • Skate-A-Thon: Host a special night at a skating rink
  • Face Painting: Charge for face painting at a community event
  • Chili Cook-Off: Charge entry fee and for samples
  • Ice Cream Social: Charge admission to sample this sweet treat
  • Lemonade Stand: Set one up on a hot summer day!