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Get Fundraising Ideas

Teams can have a lot of fun organizing activities and events to raise money for the American Cancer Society. There are many team fundraising ideas, but we’ve found that activities providing a service that people already spend money on (e.g., yard sales, spaghetti dinners, or car washes) are the most successful.

Fundraising Do's and Don'ts

 

One of the most treasured assets of the American Cancer Society is our nonprofit status. We follow IRS rules, which state we may not sell products for profit. Sales of products, other than IRS-approved American Cancer Society greeting cards, could result in the loss of our nonprofit status.

 

As a Relay For Life participant, you need to follow these guidelines when raising money for the American Cancer Society:

 

We Cannot Sell...
  • Anything with the American Cancer Society or Relay For Life logo and/or name on it
  • Items that can be purchased from or returned to a store or vendor
But we Can Sell...
  • Homemade cookbooks bearing your team name
  • Homemade crafts
  • Baked goods
  • In Honor, In Memory, and In Support of Sun and Moon Donation Cards (see your team development chair or staff partner)
  • Services (yard work, house cleaning, babysitting, etc.)
  • Activities (bowling, skate parties, trivia nights, etc.)

 If you have questions, please contact your Team Development Chair or staff partner.

Outdoors
Food
Community
Work Place
Youth
At Relay
Miscellaneous

Bark For Life

fr ideas - bark for life

It’s a fundraising event that honors the caregiving qualities of canine companions.  As a revenue enhancer to a community Relay, a Bark For Life event can be organized as a pre- or post-Relay fundraiser or as a team fundraiser in which an entire community can participate.

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It’s a fundraising event that honors the caregiving qualities of canine companions.  As a revenue enhancer to a community Relay, a Bark For Life event can be organized as a pre- or post-Relay fundraiser or as a team fundraiser in which an entire community can participate.

Visit the Bark For Life page for more information »

Check out the Bark For Life Basics presentation »

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Garage Sale

fr ideas - garage sale

First you get all your team members together and have them bring over all the stuff they want to sell or get rid of.  Many teams hold their sales on Fridays & Saturdays, so on Thursday evenings after the kids go to bed, you can get together to organize and price everything.

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First you get all your team members together and have them bring over all the stuff they want to sell or get rid of.  Many teams hold their sales on Fridays & Saturdays, so on Thursday evenings after the kids go to bed, you can get together to organize and price everything. Have fun doing it. Hang signs the week before. Start the next morning at 6 am, usually with people already waiting outside to shop. It's a busy day, and when you tell everyone it's for a good cause, they don't haggle with the prices...they pay the asking price...most of the time.

Each weekend, you can bring in over $500. Some teams hold several garage sales per year.  Once you start telling your friends, coworkers, teachers....they'll all start pitching in items to sell, and are very happy to do it. It's so easy because they didn’t' have to write a check or give money and it cleans out the things they've been wanting to get rid of.

All you need is stickers for pricing, markers, poster board, tape, a few tables and a cash box with some $1 bills and quarters. And a few people to come over and help organize it.

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The Purple Toilet

fr ideas - purple toilet

For $25 the Relay team will put a purple toilet on the yard of a person you choose.

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For $25 the Relay team will put a purple toilet on the yard of a person you choose.  That person will then have the opportunity to “flush” someone else ($25 – however, you're not about to flush the person who flushed you!), get them removed as soon as possible $15, or enjoy the toilet for 2 days (at no cost).  At that time the team will come and remove it.  Flushin insurance is available for those who do not wish to be flushed!
This is a great way to say “happy birthday” or “congratulations”  -- or for no reason at all.  Be sure to leave a letter for the recipient to explain the 'rules' and a phone number for toilet removal service.

Variations on the Purple Toilet
Tired of cancer – use tires
“You’ve been grinched” – place grinch with purple relay outfit in yards around the holidays.
Freddy Flamingo - use a flock of Flamingos
Scare away cancer – scarecrows
Bumble bee swarm -  Use irrigation flags to put them on so they could be staked in a yard without making large holes in the yards.

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Washerboard Tournament

fr ideas - washerboard

Schedule a Saturday Washerboard Tournament in a public park or a store parking lot.  Pre-register teams, and hold develop a single or double-elimination bracket.  Charge an entry fee and have a local store donate a prize to be awarded to the winning team.

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Schedule a Saturday Washerboard Tournament in a public park or a store parking lot.  Pre-register teams, and hold develop a single or double-elimination bracket.  Charge an entry fee and have a local store donate a prize to be awarded to the winning team.  You can enhance the event by having a food/beverage tent, bleachers for attendees.  You can encourage teams to create 'uniforms' and have a "best uniform or best team flag" contest.  Be sure to have music with quality speakers...you can use a DJ during the day to also serve as the MC, and have a live band performance at the end of the tournament.  This can be as big or as small as you like...the key to long-term success is to make sure that the teams and attendees have a good time.

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Rose Bush Memorial

fr ideas - rose bush

Potential to raise $500.

Coordinate buying the rose bushes from a local nursery at their cost. Knock-out rose bushes should be affordable around $11 a piece from the nursery; you can sell them for $22.
 

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Potential to raise $500.

Coordinate buying the rose bushes from a local nursery at their cost. Knock-out rose bushes should be affordable around $11 a piece from the nursery; you can sell them for $22.
Sell the roses as a living memorial for people that have been lost to cancer or those battling cancer.

It is recommended that you take pre-orders for the rose bushes, but try to have a few available for purchase at the event.  Use 3" wide purple silk ribbon, cut it into 24" sections and using a paint pen write "In memory of" or "In Honor Of" and the persons name.....(very similar to the luminarias). Drape the ribbons across the rose bushes and display the rose bushes at the Relay For Life event. This is a great Mother's Day themed fundraiser, as well.

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Purple Bows

fr ideas - purple bows

Sell purple bows (for a minimum donation).  Blanket the entire community w/ bows.  A good Awareness campaign and fundraiser.
 

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Sell purple bows (for a minimum donation).  Blanket the entire community w/ bows.  A good Awareness campaign and fundraiser.
 

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Freezin' For a Reason

fr ideas - freezing for a reason

Teams hold a four person golf scramble, in cold weather, where each team member gets one golf club to share

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Teams hold a four person golf scramble, in cold weather, where each team member gets one golf club to share and they play 18 holes with one club.  Entry fees are what the region’s market will bear.
 

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Pump Gas

fr ideas - gas pump

Ask a local gas station to support your team by allowing you to pump gas at their self-serve pumps

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Ask a local gas station to support your team by allowing you to pump gas at their self-serve pumps.  Collect tips from customers.  Wear your Relay For Life T-shirt and place large signs at the pumps and at the roadside.
 

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