Whether your kid's raising money for a new bike or for the local community center, you're giving him the opportunity to develop life skills in the process. According to Angel Tucker, a certified human behavior consultant, expert personality profiler and best-selling author, "It teaches them how to be accountable, follow through and contribute to the world around them." Now, all you need are some fun and fresh fundraising ideas to get your child excited.
Home-Style Movie or Art Show
Movie theaters are crowded and noisy, so make the most of your backyard and turn it into an outdoor theater for the neighborhood. Have your kiddo help make up some flyers and hand them out to his friends around the neighborhood. Set up a projection screen against the fence and charge a modest admission price of a dollar or two per person. Your youngster can host the movie night just once, or turn it into a regular routine and donate the proceeds to a local charity. If you don't have a projection screen handy, that's okay; skip the movie and opt for an art show instead. Have your little artist create a variety of masterpieces for the event or get the neighborhood kids involved, too, and have each child make a piece to put on display. There's nothing wrong with working together to raise money for a good cause. Tucker says that some children "need to be part of a team effort to succeed." You can put the artwork up for sale to contribute toward your fundraising cause or raise money on admission to the show.
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Cookie Stand or Bake Sale
A glass of lemonade is refreshing on a warm summer's day, but during the rest of the year, try a tray full of irresistible, home-baked goodies. If your child is too young to bake on his own, help him out in the kitchen for some one-on-one time together. When the baking is done, use a spare table for your front yard display and let your youngster create the sign to hang along the table. Work together on his money management skills to decide on his prices and then help him set up his stand on the driveway. If your child is hoping to raise a bit more money than a curbside stand might provide, host a bake sale for the neighborhood instead. Post handmade signs around the neighborhood or encourage your neighbors to spread the word. Help your youngster arrange the items on plates and then write up a price tag for each of his offerings.
When the holiday season comes around, help your youngster show off his crafty side and raise some money for charity at the same time with homemade greeting cards. He can make the cards for free by pulling out your leftover craft supplies from around the house. Use construction paper or cardboard covered in scrap fabric for the cards and then decorate them with tiny ribbon bows, foam letters, fabric markers and puffy paint pens. Offer to sell the handmade cards to family and friends to raise money for a holiday drive in your community.
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Just imagine for a moment – your basement is cleared out of all that clutter, there's room now to set up your new exercise center and your kiddo is thrilled that he traded all those old toys for a good deed and a shiny, new bicycle. According to Tucker, while some children will find the fundraising a challenge, others "also need to make things fun and have a little reward for themselves for completing their project." If your little guy's just itching for a brand new bike, help him host a garage sale to help him reach his goal. If you want to share your good fortune, talk to other parents in your neighborhood about working together to host one large garage sale and then let the kids split the profits for new bikes all around. Teach him about social responsibility and introduce him to the joy of helping others by donating a portion of the proceeds to charity. Let him help pick out the charity to make the donation more meaningful. According to Tucker, some personality types need to "feel a personal connection to the person/thing that will benefit from their efforts."
If you have a trustworthy teen, help him host a party at home or at an inexpensive local venue to raise money for his favorite cause. Dress up the venue with decorations and add a strobe light to wow the guests. Fill a CD with your teen's favorite music and set up the speakers for maximum effect. Charge an admission price at the door and then sell snacks and beverages throughout the evening to bring in more cash for the charity. In addition to raising money for charity, your teen will have gotten his first taste of event planning by the time the event's over.