Lions Fundraising Ideas
Unique Ways Lions are Showing Their Support and Getting Noticed for It!
Roll up those sleeves and put on your creative hats! What are other clubs doing to “think outside the box” when it comes to fundraising? After several conversations with Lion Club presidents and members, we found many clubs have evaluated their return on investments with their tried and true events and found it was time for a change.
Knock Out Blindness
The Shelby Lions (MD 11 A-2) hold a cage fight event night (you read that correctly!). It has been a huge success that has extended interest well outside of their area. The “Knockout Blindness MMA” event features a great night out including gourmet dinner, open bar and 10 great MMA fights.
Wine and Beer Tasting
The Rochester Lions (MD 11 A-2) hosted a Spring Wine and Beer Tasting event with a local grocery store coordinating the wine and beer distributors and offering up the venue and food. A portion of the ticket price and the proceeds from the silent auction that evening went to Leader Dog—they had over 300 in attendance! For more information on how to plan such an event, contact Lions Lowell and Kathy Gladd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rochester Hills Lions (MD 11 A-2) Spring Carnival has been rolling into town for 39 years, in conjunction with Kmart (whose parking lot the event is held on). Lion Walter states, “There are two key elements that are necessary for a successful carnival fund raising event; the carnival company and cooperation from the local city government.”
“Step into the paws of a dog” at the Roll, Rock & Lock Car Show hosted by the Westland Lions Club (MD 11 A-1). This combination event includes a car show, music and a “lock up”—“Place your feet in the paws of a dog and experience the Kennel Lock Up. Can you raise you bail? Or will your friends and family prefer to pay to have you locked up?” With the use of a mockup redesigned kennel, participants can spend some time in the new “canine suite.” We have plans so your club can re-create the canine suite to use as a “lock up” or, if you are close enough, reserve ours to borrow! Contact Lion Debbie Dayton email@example.com for information on hosting similar car show.
Lion and Puppy Raiser Therese Wheaton of Conneaut Valley Lions (14-F) submitted their project of a t-shirt campaign. Therese suggests buying the shirts for $4–$6 each and selling them for $15–$20 each. Customize a district or state logo on them.
Consider seeking sponsors to help defray the cost while adding their logo to the shirts. Contact Lion Therese for more information at (814) 434-0540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park City Lion Club (28-U) started Walk with Mischa as a way to support local vision organizations.
Think a dog walking event would work well in your area? Contact Lion Brianna with the Park City Lions Club for details how they set the dog walk up at BriannaBSeymour@aol.com.
Lion Sharon Eberhardt of Oak Creek Lions (27 A-1) shared this:
“…[Oak Creek Lions Club] will be holding its 2nd Paws on the Pavement community walk to benefit Leader Dog on September 14. Our committee is in full swing seeking corporate and local business supporters and getting individuals to form teams to help raise individual donations. We were thrilled to raise over $12,000 in our first year and have set a goal of $15,000 for our second year.”
Want to know how they do it? Contact Lion Sharon at email@example.com.
No One has to Cook Dinner Fundraiser
Lion Eileen Delaney of 11 C-2 in Michigan can tell you how she coordinated a spaghetti dinner fundraiser where no one has to cook! She teamed with A&W to have a portion of the dinner price goes to Leader Dog.
You don’t have to have a club full of athletes to pull off a race, but they are hot events for the fitness enthusiasts everywhere! The Burley Lions Club has the widely known Spudman Triathlon. Visit their website to learn more: http://www.spudman.org/index.php.
Don’t want such an ambitious race? Plan a walk in your own hometown, park or historic location. Hand out glow sticks for a nighttime Halloween walk.
Beer, Bands and BBQ
Need we say more? You can keep this as simple as possible. Have local high school teams or clubs (Leos!) pitch in to serve food, if you have the proper licenses then serve beer, and round up some local talent.
Screen on the Green
Show classic or family movies under the stars in your town park. Have food vendors set up (even invite several “mobile food vendors” a portion of the proceeds). Dinner in the Dark- This event can be as formal or casual as you like. Guests are blindfolded for the meal (or part of the meal). Free paper blindfolds are available from Leader Dog by ordering through our website. For tips on how to create a successful Dinner in the Dark, contact Lion Kim Giles of the Waco Women’s Lions at Kim@ByDesignWaco.com.
Leader Dog Chili and Donut
The NDSU Campus Lions raised over $2,000 during an at-will donation Leader Dog Chili and Donut event. The event was hosted at a local senior citizens center in combination with several local Lions Clubs.
The idea of serving chili and donuts originated from Leader Dog headquarters where visitors are provided with refreshments when they visit the facility. Originally, the donuts were served in the morning and the chili was available for guests who arrived in the afternoon. However, it wasn’t long until people were timing their visits to the Leader Dogs facility to get both donuts and chili. For more details, contact LionsClubNDSU@gmail.com. Why not tie in a donut eating contest while you are at it?
The White River Lions hold the Great Cotter River Duck Race in conjunction with a local festival. “People can adopt a duck for $5 and receive a numbered ticket. On race day, ducks will swim down the Big Spring stream competing to cross the finish line and win prizes for the people who have adopted them. First place winner receives a grand prize of $300 cash with second and third place winners receiving gift certificates and prizes from area merchants and supporters. Qualifying heats lead up to the 2 p.m. Grand Finale Race. Duck reports are flying in of tickets already purchased by folks living as far away as Florida (Duck race ticket holders need not be present to win). Want to hold a similar event? Contact Lion Gary Blanck at 870-453-7340.
Don’t have a river to float ducks? There are also Duck Pluck events where adults can purchase a rubber duck for a dollar then each child that pulls a duck gets a prize (usually in conjunction with a festival or community event). Takes rubber ducks, a kiddie pool, and some inexpensive prizes. The Rockville Centre Lions in 20-K2 host a Duck Pluck at their local KidsFest each year. Visit their Facebook page to view more (Duck Pluck picture from their Facebook page).
Want to take it up a notch? There are “Pluck a Duck” raffles that offer anywhere from $300 to $10,000 for the winner. Simply Google “Duck Pluck events” to see what other organizations have used this successfully.
More Ways to Fundraise
There are many websites set up with fund raising ideas. The website www.fundraiserhelp.com has some great ideas for all levels of commitment as well as Pinterest.
For more fundraising ideas, see the list in our Host a Fundraising Event section.