How to not fail horribly at a fundraiser

A few days ago, I witnessed a car wash that was incredibly horrible. It was bad enough that I decided against going to the store they were in front of, despite the fact that going to that store was the whole point of my trip. I turned around and went to another store.

So now, I’ve decided to give a bit of a rant, and a bit of a guide on how to not chase people away from your fund raiser.

Number one: Do not be race exclusive.

The car wash i saw yesterday was entirely African American. roughly twenty to thirty members in the group, and not a single white, Hispanic, or oriental person to be found.

I am not a racist. But I am aware of race. When your race comprises roughly 15% of the population, and your group of 20 some odd people fails to have anybody of any other race in it, it implies that your group is excluding other races from being a part of the group.

When 85% of the population feels they would be excluded from your group based on race, you are unlikely to get much, if any patronage from them. Either allow a diverse group of people into your group, or split up so you can be identified as families rather than as a large group of racists.

Number two: be polite, even to non-customers.

When you are running a fundraiser, you are relying on the kindness of others to help you afford something. if you are impolite, or downright rude, other potential customers will be chased away as well.

In the car wash I saw earlier for example, the sign to draw attention from oncoming traffic was ‘manned’ by about 8 teenagers. When a car was approaching, they would frantically wave at it to try to get it’s attention, and when a car did not pull in, they would start screaming, yelling and shaking their fists at the car.

When I saw them do that to the car ahead of me, I had no interest in even giving my patronage to the store that allowed them to be present. You can wager that a fair number of potential customers were lost in this way.

Number Three: Keep your members under control

Still related to the last example, the teens yelling and screaming at the traffic chase business away. But those kids probably don’t realize that. You should keep an adult around the kids, both for their safety, and to keep them under control. If they had just one adult watching the kids with the sign, he could have told them not to yell at cars passing by.

If you don’t have control over how your group behaves, people will not feel comfortable allowing you to touch something as expensive as a car. Likewise, if you are selling home made treats and the group is completely out of control, customers might not trust the food’s quality.

It all really comes down to the simple fact, if you are doing a fund raiser, you are asking for charity. People can get more reliable service from a business than a random group of people. So, if you want to raise money, you need to take every step necessary to make your group appear welcoming and trustworthy to the average person right away.

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