Hey guys, I am trying to come up with ideas for fund raising for my volunteer fire department. We do a mailing twice a year to the local residents and business in our town, and a boot drive during the Christmas season. This does not seem to be enough fund raising for our company. Does anyone have any suggestions for fund raising that has worked for you and your department or squad in the past? Or ideas of new fund raising that would potentially be successful. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot to any one who gives ideas, and stay safe.
Chicken BBQ's....we get the pieces at a good price from a local business, get ribs, sides, and advertize in the local paper and on big signs we put up around town for a few weeks. Then we have the event, usually on a weekend but not always. Turn-out is usually really good and we make some extra dough, maybe a couple grand. We do that a couple times a year.
Gun raffles and 50/50 chances....We do these usually after a parade or other event where people from the community will be at the hall. Again, advertize so people actually know it's going on. The gun raffles can make some big money if done right.
Bingo....if you have the space in your hall, do bingo. You can make a fortune doing this, and can do it 2-3 times a week if you have the volunteers to staff it. (These volunteers don't necessarily have to be active firefighters, and in fact usually are not) This here can be one of the biggest money makers you can do. Not only fire companies, I know one county over, a very, very slow ambulance service that is able to pay their medics surprisingly competetive wages due to....bingo.
Bar....if you have the space to expand on your building, or just build another buliding, make a bar. Get a liqueor liscence and make a nice little bar. Now, you're talking about alot of money up front, and alot of man hours every day, but if you can pull it off, this is another one of those big, big money makers.
This isn't really a fundraiser, but remember that the higher percentage of FF1 certified guys you have, the more federal monies you are eligible for in some cases.
I don't know that alcohol consumption contradicts with public safety. Consuming alcohol and driving yourself home does, but the act of drinking in of itself doesn't. I know departments that pay cash for the new rigs because of their bars.
Your right Blair about the driving part and tha's exactly what I was implying. Alcohol fueled violence does also. Alcohol even in/on the same building/ property as a FD could raise doubts and lead to temptation. Hope they don't get those new rigs taken in a drunken patron law suit cuz you never know. I'm glad for the new rigs though. IMHO TCSS
definately try appeal to families with younger kids. like a haunted house for halloween (next halloween of course) or a christmas party.
the more you interact with kids and what not the more families will like you.
getting involved in your community outside of firefighting gives more of a familial vibe. (at least with my firehouse)
show people you're willing to let them into the firehouse for tours and whatnot.
break down the stereotypes of a lot of firehouses and be open with the people.
we recently had an open house and cheif ceremony at our firehouse.
lots of people came for food and drinks and music and to get tours of the firehouse.
it was really nice. (:
We have a two night Haunted House for $1. We do it in conjunction with the auxiliary. Our town is about 3000 and we clear hundreds of dollars every year, May I suggest a time during the day when you turn on all the lights and invite the easily scared to come and view it.
Neighboring town had a haunted house... The easily scared could request a member guide them through. When the "actors" in the house saw a flashlight leading a group they were under orders not to jump out. I thought it was a heck of a good idea...
Do a comedy show I ran one a while back made 3200.00 after everything..we served as follows ..a table of 10 people got 3 free pitchers of beer..everyone else bought by the cup a dollar a beer..and tickets were 25 per person no food other than chips and stuff on tables.easist money we made hardest as any company was selling tickets or rather getting the "slugs" to go sell them
gun raffle or get up with some celebrity or "name" to raffle or sell off item or items and get the money from outside of your community. this leaves the home folks pockets for q's and such. its more work but is worth the weight in gold.
Our Department has 3 really successful fund raising events in addition to our mailing each year. One is a Toy Show when we invite vendors who have toys or collectibales they want to sell or display. The other is a Chicken Barbeque of which we have 2 one in the spring around April or May and one in the fall in September. We barbeque fresh chickens and the meal includes a 1/2 chicken, baked patatoe, an ear of corn and a dessert. Each of these fund raisers bring in upward of $1,000. profit.