Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yard Sales, A Fine Idea for Fine Weather!

The leaves are blooming , the grass is green. It seems only weeks ago, we were keeping our fingers crossed that it would not snow.

With the fine weather often comes a renewed energy for things like getting organized and spring cleaning! You can channel that energy and incorporate a fundraiser that will always be a hit: the yard sale!

The amount of energy you have for organizing a yard sale fundraiser will directly result in how much money you raise. The great news is that regardless, you will raise money and we all know every little bit helps.

With little effort, a yard sale can become a neighborhood or even a community event. It can be a win/win situation when families clear out the basement and garage and donate it to your cause. By asking for items for your yard sale, you may even get the offer of volunteers! Perhaps a lemonade stand from the kids! Just asking for donated items is a great way to spread the word about your fundraising efforts and your cause. You never know where it will go.

Recently we had the excitement of watching the family of one of our patients co-ordinate a fundraiser to assist with the many equipment needs of their son.

The goal of the family was to raise funds, but it was equally important to them to raise awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

With the amazing news reaching me that the family raised over $8,000.00, I had to ask if they had any tips on their success to share with other families.

Here are 5 excellent tips from this family on how they met their goal of raising funds and awareness:

1) Tap into Your Community. Find out who in your community can rally around your event. For example we had radio spots and were mentioned on Breakfast Television and had two newspaper articles that helped us raise awareness about our son's disease.
2) Marketing. Advertise and Promote. If people don't now you are having an event...they won't know to come!
3) Social Networking. Utilize all the social networks you have available and don't be afraid to ask for things. I am still surprised how willing most people are to help.
4) Have a Great Team of Volunteers. Hand pick people that you believe will do a great job for you and your family. I was blessed to have ten people.
5) Organization. Delegate activities to your volunteers and follow up. It's all about organization!!! Pricing, pick up donations, venue and working the tables.

Are your wheels starting to turn? Great, that is the first step. Here are a few more thoughts:

~Will your yard sale have a theme: baby clothes, books, perenials?
~How can the kids be involved? Perhaps they can do the art for the posters!
~What is the best month for your family and for yard sales?
~Don't want the whole community to know you are raising funds for your family, then just have a yard sale. You need be the only ones to know what your funds go towards!

There is a good chance most of us have been to a yard sale, and may even have a tale to tell on that deal of a life time! Are you ready to try hosting one?

Here is another resource to help:

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