My twin sister Nichole leads student ministries at the church we attend. Each summer, she leads a group of high school students on a mission trip. To raise money for the trip each year, she implements the greatest fundraising idea ever:
Every night during the month of May, our church's group of high school students drives to someone's house (it's usually a church member's) and plant 20 pink, plastic flamingos in their yard. This is called "getting flocked." In order to have the flamingos removed the next day, the owner of the house must donate at least $20 to the youth group. That's pretty awesome by itself, but there are fantastically fun twists:
- Church members can purchase flamingo insurance for $10 to prevent their house from being flocked.
- Church members can pay $10 to request the flocking of an uninsured house.
- An uninsured house can be flocked more than once during the month.
On the other hand, people who really don't want flamingos in their yard can make a small donation to the youth group and avoid being flocked. Further, the flamingos in a yard spark conversations among neighbors who ask why they're there, giving church members an opportunity to talk about their youth group's great service trip.
Do things ever go wrong? Of course. Each year, the high schoolers accidentally flock the wrong house at least once, but it's almost always resolved peacefully. One time, the wrong recipient of a flocking kept the flamingos hostage for a few days because he was so upset, but my sister was eventually able to talk him into giving them back ("hey, it's for the kids!").
Add This To Your To-Do List
The flamingo fundraiser generates tons of donations for our youth group and the whole church gets into it every year. People post pictures of their flocked house to our church's Facebook page and it gives people something to laugh about before and after church. If you're trying to raise donations for a group at your organization, consider buying a flock of flamingos and setting them free. It will lift spirits, get people talking, and generate a lot of money for your group.
There's never a lack of ideas.