On our city days we have water fights, We string a keg in the air on a pully and push it against other fire depts. with a 2 1/2... It's a hoot and we have at least 20 depts that come an the crowd loves it, three man teams it takes all day and heck ya get wet and they people really see what ya can do ...

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Tony, our dept does a number of events to raise funds, here are just a few:

1. car washes approx $500.00
2. annual Valentines dinner $1500.00-$2.000.00
3. 4 man golf scramble $ 1800.00-$ 2100.00
and we just started doing a country music concerts- this is our 2nd year and it was a hugh success roughly $4.500.00 profit. just a few ideas for you good luck!!! by the way if you do these events keep in mind that you need everybody to particpate from your dept to be successful!
This is a big problem in our department, finding good fundraisers that keep our members interested. We have a fishing tournament every fall ( www.stoneylakcombo.com ) and a few car washes in the summer. We had a Boot Drive a couple of years ago and I think we are trying that again this year. That one made about $3000 in 3 hours.
We have a reverse raffle in the spring, a gun raffle and turkey shoot in the fall, a pancake breakfast once a month. We just started doing dinners one nite a month when the church next door isnt having one and coming new to us this sept. an anything street legal dice rally. Our JR firemen due boot drives and our aux. does bake sales and hoagie sales.
A good idea is to sell bbq plates, boston butts, hams, etc.
Right now now my company is doing letter fund raiser drives and we rent our hall to a group that runs BINGO.
We use to run our own BINGO but the people in charge threaten the membership with suspension if they didn't work one BINGO so most of the membership left or wouldn't show up to run calls. If no one was there to work their BINGO they would grab people there on standby and make them work BINGO and they couldn't leave if a call came in. So we gave up running it and let another group use our hall.
We had yard sells where we would rent tables to people to use to sell their wares to people that came to the yard sell.
We have done boot drives but the county outlaw that and we have done car washes if there was no water restrictions.
We need some other ideas to make money that are idiotproof or bring in a good amount of money.
We use to sell Christmas trees and there is an idea floating to cut down trees on the property the fire company owns and sell it for firewood come the fall when most of the poison ivy dies off and the leaves fall off the trees. We have even had mutch drive sells to the public.
We mail donation requests to our entire district two time each year. Our area is about 4 sq miles and split equally residential and commercial. Our mail-outs generate between $90,000 - $100,000 annually. 95% of this comes from the residential areas.
We do a letter drive to local businesses once each year, and this works pretty well. We have also checked into United Way funding for next year. For the last several years, we have worked night security for a local week long festival in our area and they give us a good donation. We have done hotdog sales, but it is hard to get people to work on Saturdays, esp. in the summer. We have never tried it, but if you have an Applebees in your area, I have heard that you can raise a lot of cash by doing one of their pancake breakfasts.
My dept does an annual photo drive. We contract a photographer who goes door to door selling tickets for a photo. I believe the tickets are about 40 bucks and the FD gets 25 and the rest to the photographer. The person comes up to the FD on a designated picture day and gets one 8x10 photo from the ticket. Additional can be purchased if desired.
My department does an array of things. I am unsure of all of the profits, but I assume they're pretty good for generating money if we do them annually.

-Haunted House: We have a training house in the back in which we convert into a Haunted House around Halloween. It generates a decent amount of money from what I remember, and it allows interaction with the community. The downfall to this is that there's a lot of work involved, a lot of overhaul afterwards to set the building back up into a training house, and you need a large array of volunteers as actors. They do it for 4-5 days, including the weekend, so it's hard since no one really wants to sit in a hot house full of fog on their night off. We used to get the Fire Explorers to help out which was great since they don't mind helping, but for some reason they discontinued that this past year.

-Carnival: We used a vacant lot and hired a carnival to come in. We received some proceeds and did stand-by at the carnival as well. I went for one night and it was pretty fun actually, and we received not only a lot of money from the carnival itself, but also a nice chunk of change from the raffle we held. We sold tickets at the entrance and did a 50/50 and raffled off other prizes. The only downfall to this was it was kind of hot out, and we didn't get any incentive to be there really. Some of the carnies there were really nice and allowed us to go on rides for free though.

-Hall Rental: At our main house we have a nice sized hall upstairs where we hold dinners and so on. I don't know if we do it for the public anymore, but we used to rent it out for a decent chunk of change. They also mandated that at least one person has to be there to watch over any festivities, but they were paid $100 to be there for the whole night.

-Spaghetti Dinners: Self-explanatory. Spaghetti is relatively cheap, so this is a decent money maker altogether.
Our dept has started doing a steak fry and gun raffle. There are several depts around us that have been doing this and they have made very good money and after only doing one we made a lot of money and we already have a waiting list. It takes a lot of planning but in the end you come out great.
we don't do a single fun raising for anything that we need....for the most part the town/city here provides everything that we need from hoses to fuel...just recently we went to the town to up-date the paging system, the town and the dept. went together to foot the bill....now other depts. here have BBQ's and car washes to raise funds...our biggest "fund raiser" across the island here and pretty much across the country is for MS. the previous dept. that I was stationed at all we did was fund raise for everything, with little to no help from the town/city we had no other choice
Tony, thank you for bringing this topic up!! I am a probie (almost a month now, yes, just starting out) with the FD here, which is blended consisting of 9 full-timers and up to 36 volunteers when fully staffed, and we are currently trying to do some brainstorming on fundraising ideas that would be family oriented and also get the dept. more in the public eye. Additionally, thank you to all that have replied as I will bring these ideas up at upcoming meetings!!

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