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"Think Outside the Box" FRG Fundraising

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): "Think Outside the Box" FRG Fundraising

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Think Outside the Box" FRG Fundraising

We all know the rules...or we should...Family Readiness Groups are not fund-raising organizations. That's fine...I had to laugh at friends, who 10 years ago were hob-knobbing with the Tennessee Titans and raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in concession sales and corporate sponsorship...yes, they did. That's why we have these new rules...that we all now have to follow. Things were obviously out of control. We can fundraise, but we can't solicit donations and the money has to be pegged towards something your FRG is planning in the future. So, we all end up doing bake sales...something unique to Germany, I think...brats burns, basically selling hotdogs at lunchtime...but else could we do that was something different? Here are some ideas to revamp your FRG fundraising.


  • Purchase a discounted rental quality Santa Suit (about $200-300 at a variety of stores on the internet) and then rent it out every year to the multiple organizations who are always looking for a Santa suit to borrow for whatever event. Charge $35 per rental, and book it multiple times for season, and you can see how it can make you quick money.



  • Get a porcelain Christmas Ornament made and have them available at your yearly holiday party for a suggested donation. We were able to use our unit crest and the name of our unit in fancy lettering underneath on white porcelain ornaments with red ribbon from CafePress. With a bulk and seller discount, plus coupon codes, each ornament cost us about $4. If we sell it for double, we'll make a nice bit of change there as well.



  • Giftwrapping at AAFES. Check with your local community to make sure this is allowed. People are amazingly generous here. Most people hate giftwrapping.  Since a dozen other organizations want to do this to, get the name and contact information of the AAFES manager EARLY in the season and tell him what dates you want right off the bat.



  • Since you can't raffle anything off, how about selling "opportunities to win" for a suggested donation for whatever you want to "give away" at your next event? Your item doesn't have to be something tangible. How about the Commander's parking spot, or the use of his office for a day or something like that? Be sure to check with your unit Legal Section though, as some of these things are illegal in some States and even in some military communities.  In Germany, since the parking spot was government property, that idea was shot down....but I bet you can be more creative than that...beyond throwing a pie in the commander's face I'm sure.



  • If your community has a yardsale or flea market, get a booth for your FRG. In the months before, have someone give up some storage space so people can donate small items. If they have large items, have them bring those the day of the sale. You'll also need volunteers to load up a minivan or two and people to collect the money the day of the sale.



  • A cookbook. Do a google search for "fundraiser cookbook". There are tons of companies out there that do this. Some will even ship to APO (ask first if you are overseas).  It also gives you a nice memory of your time at the unit. I have quite a few of these, and I have fond memories, finding a recipe in one of the books, and thinking of that person and their contributions to the unit while I knew them.





  • What do you do in your unit to raise funds for your next event?

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    2 Comments:

    Anonymous Jenn said...

    Love your ideas! I don't know where you get them but I wanted to say you are such an inspiration to me. I have been reading your blog since the beginning and this is the first time I posted. Please keep up with the great posts!

    March 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
    Anonymous susanna said...

    I like your "not raffle" idea. And yes, the soldiers (and families) are very creative when it comes to ideas 'giving away' intangibles. Shaving cream pies were always a huge success.
    The internet certainly has produced more and more opportunities for fund raising...print company/battalion 'memory' books, offering photography sessions (it just takes one photographer)and so much more...

    March 28, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

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