One of the negative side effects created by the urbanization movement is the lack of community spirit. It is no longer uncommon for long-time neighbors to not even know each other’s names. Likewise, fewer and fewer people in communities look at the needs of people beyond their homes because it’s a hassle to get involved in the lives of others.
It’s no wonder so many people, who are mostly older folks feel incredibly lonely despite living in busy and supposedly exciting cities. Thankfully, some groups or organizations are working toward reviving community spirit in towns. They encourage volunteerism and create opportunities for more social collisions.
With increased volunteerism and meaningful social collisions, the goal to elevate the standard of living in the community becomes the majority’s commitment. There’s a growing number of special programs created to contribute to the goal. Some of these are fundraisers.
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The Value of Fundraisers for Communities
Fundraisers are fun activities that gather neighborhood people and generate the necessary financing for projects that can benefit the community. Additionally, it’s a chance for community members to discover each other’s skills and strengths that can be used to build up their city or town.
Unlike cash donations, fundraisers capitalize more on the time, commitment, and talent of the people who want to get involved. It’s more personal, impactful, and less annoying. Best of all, it can create deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Different Kinds of Community Fundraisers
There are different kinds of fundraisers to choose from in cultivating community spirit, discussed below are five.
1. Old-Fashioned Cook-Offs and Food Festivals
This fundraiser can bring excitement to the local food and restaurant industry because it’s competitive. And, amateur cooks and foodies can also bring new and great things to the cook-off. The rest of the community will first serve as spectators, and later on, be able to participate.
Of course, their participation comes with a price — a rather affordable one — but it’s not just the food that they’re sure to find delight in. They’ll get the chance to know their neighbors better and show support for a good cause, which is always appreciated.
Other states have their mile-long yard sales, but your town or city can opt for something with a bit more class and panache when putting things up for sale. An auction fits the bill. There are so many things that can be auctioned off, and for fun, even time with someone famous can be included in the roster.
The event can enjoy impressive profits, especially if you’re able to gather a vast collection of amazing items. But, it’s crucial to remember that auction experiences are often energy-charged. Thus, to keep the event thoroughly orderly (especially if it’s not an exclusive auction), it’s best not to put inexperienced people in charge of the affair.
Instead, turn to highly experienced auction consignment companies and let them do what they are good at in achieving the core objective of the event.
Community fairs are so much fun, and it usually does not take much to organize one. In some neighborhoods in the United States, a fair is just a single day event where members of the community contribute their time, talent, and other resources to help the event raise funds for community projects.
For example, during Halloween, they can organize a parade, deck out a home for a haunted house tour, sell homemade pumpkin spice cider, set up game booths, hold a costume fun run that anybody can join for a few dollars, and turn their hobbies into a temporary source of income.
Members of the community always get a huge kick out of such an event, and they build closer relationships, which is integral to the future execution of the project for community improvement.
4. Spirit Night
This event is a popular fundraiser for PTOs and schools and is held at local restaurants or other dining establishments. For a successful one, you can prepare different kinds of entertainment like a poetry reading session, mini-concert, or even show a film.
This event creates ties between local businesses, students, and their families. Funds are raised, and at the same time, the business benefits from the heavier flow of people to the establishment. This is a smart way to turn a typically slow night for the business into a more profitable one.
5. Exclusive Movie Premieres
Even if this is the age of Netflix and watching films on portable devices, a lot of people still enjoy going to the movies, especially if it’s made to be a luxurious film viewing experience.
Your community can reach out to the official movie distributor of the film you know will draw in a crowd, and work out an agreement that will allow you to use the movie as a fundraiser.
Afterward, rent a great venue for that true-blue VIP film premiere experience — a luxury cinema is always a good idea. And, make sure to sell special merchandise and hold contests to build hype for the exclusive event.
Fundraisers that foster community spirit do not just gather monetary support, they serve the community in so many other ways. They can revitalize local industries, provide a testing ground for potential startups, and bring great pride, joy, and even a better sense of security to residents.
Darran Brown is the CEO and Founder of Go Charity. A graduate of UMASS Amherst, Darran has spent the last 20 years managing auctions across the United States. Having run some of the most successful live and silent auctions in the US, Darran has the insider know-how to every aspect of the industry. From memorabilia to trips and experience hospitality to fundraising 101, Darran is the leading expert on auction management and fundraising success.