I've received a lot of questions about how to afford nationals. Yes, a trip to Vegas comes with expenses, but I want to tell you: do not stress! Don’t believe me? I raised $3,000 for my trip to California by following this mindset and I’m here to share how, and to say: YOU CAN TOO!
This is crucial and should be the first step in the fundraising formula. If no one knows who you are, how can they help? As soon as possible get a press release out stating your accomplishments. Include little pieces of what makes you unique and how this opportunity will take you to Vegas to compete for a National crown. Next, social media! Create a separate Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page (whichever suits you) for your title and KEEP IT UPDATED! Lastly, wear your crown and banner whenever possible. Please, and this is my biggest pet peeve, be PROUD of your title; others will be too.
It’s all about Community
Churches, schools, local businesses…they all want something to be proud of. Let yourself be that pride! Get out in your community and introduce who you are and WHY (this part is crucial) Nationals will benefit you. Once people become aware of your achievements, start asking for financial support.
Don’t limit yourself
Remember the banner you wear. You don’t just represent one city. You represent an ENTIRE state or region; take advantage of it. Travel around to neighboring towns, call places and set up meeting times. The farther you go, the more chance you have reaching your fundraising goals.
Fundraising doesn’t have to be simply asking for money. Have fun with it! Pair with a charity and set up a benefit, ask your church to host a soup supper, bake sales, tip night at restaurants-the possibilities are endless! Plan a BIG fundraiser for each season (Winter, Spring, Summer) and then smaller fundraisers throughout the rest of the time. I held a hot dog/brat sale (German town) over Father’s Day weekend and earned $700, just think about what is important to your community and play off it.
Here’s just a few restaurants who offer fundraising:
· Cold Stone Creamery
· Orange Leaf
· Pizza Ranch
· Buffalo Wild Wings
Get a part time job. Not only does this bring in the cash, but it looks great on a resume. Another plus: you gain a whole group of coworkers who may just help out! Designate a certain amount of every paycheck to Nationals. You can even start a savings account with your bank. This is how I earned the rest of my fundraising money.
Do the Work
My last piece of advice, get off your butt. Maybe that sounds harsh, but no one supports someone who doesn’t work for it. Get out in your community and go door to door asking for sponsors. Offer to help out businesses in return for sponsorship. Clean windows, floors, answer phones-nothing is beneath you. Offering something in exchange for sponsorship makes it all the more likely for a business to help out.
There is no amount too small. Set yourself smaller goals and the big goal will seem much more attainable!
As always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.