1. Make the rowers cook!
It goes like this: tickets are purchased for a “strictly dinner” event where the athletes both cook for and serve to the guests. There will need to be culinary standards, of course. A hoard of people would love to be served seafood chowder by an Olympic athlete, (especially when they can give their compliments to the chef in person!).
This fundraiser works equally well for under 23s – friends and parents would love to have little Tim hand pick a wine to go with the Linguine Alfredo that he so carefully created from scratch!
This is a great fundraiser to bring the rowers out of the water and into an entirely new setting (for better or worse, you be the judge).
Inspired by: Olympic Athletes competing in the kitchen
2. Bring the people to New York, and then take New York to the people
Pick a theme, such as New York, or Paris, Vegas, Delhi ……and then decorate your club room to resemble the city you choose. Here’s how one school transformed its common room to resemble NYC
The commons on St. Joe campus will transform to look like Central Park in New York City. Twinkle lights will dangle from the ceiling to look like stars. Students will perform like New York City street performers and Occupy Wall Street will occupy the commons. The red carpet will welcome guests as the paparazzi snaps a few photos. A bar made to look like Sardi’s in New York will be the place to go for a cocktail. Ask for a cosmopolitan, it’s their signature drink.
Encourage fancy dress and funny accents – it’s easy to research the history of cities using Wikipedia which should give you some ideas of fun themes and famous venues.
3. Dinner, dancing, and free child care
We all know about the classy fundraising dinner idea: open bar, raffle, dancing and entertainment is all purchased for a $35 to $50 ticket. But what the Orcas Island Junior Rowing Club added to its ‘Pure Pleasure Dinner‘ is an inspiration. Their event is a night of feasting, regaling and dancing in a historic lodge around a roaring fire. It starts early – 5pm with live music, free appetizers, a no-host bar, and free child care available. Parents need have no reservations about frequenting the bar and purchasing too many raffle tickets or even getting home early to relieve their baby sitters at the designated hour. Their children are cared for, for free, just in the next room. An excellent addition to the classic dinner and dancing fundraiser.
You could add to this further by offering a ‘chauffeur drive home’, by getting older students to drive the parents and children home after the evening in their own car so they could drink as well! This plan requires you to have a ‘collection’ driver who then visits each home collecting the driver afterwards.
4. A row-a-thon with a twist
It’s not exactly the Montagues and Capulets, but the Humboldt Bay Rowing Association’s junior rowing team has started a faux family feud to raise some money.
The club held a “Sunrise to Sunset” row-a-thon fundraiser that featured teams inspired by two local families that are involved in the sport: the Carlsons and the Daughertys.
Ezra Carlson, 17, said it keeps things competitive while also raising money for the team.
So go on, think about it, which families would you choose for your rowing club’s rivals? The Redgraves versus the Pinsents….
Rowperfect writes each quarter with fund raising ideas for your rowing club. This is the second article we’ve published. If you want more ideas, why not get the e-book from our store Fund Raising Tips and Ideas for your Rowing Club.
Read our previous Quarterly Fundraising Idea posts and see other Rowing Club Management articles in the archive using the categories list on the right side of the page.