C onsider these ideas for creative fundraisers, which have been successful for Rotary clubs and districts:
Organize a purple pinkie project: Millions of children in polio-endemic countries know that a freshly marked purple pinkie means freedom from the disease. When members of your community make a small contribution to PolioPlus, have Rotarian volunteers mark their pinkies with the same dye used on National Immunization Days around the world. The purple pinkie will serve as a personal symbol of helping one child become free from polio forever. Learn more in the handbook provided by District 6940 (Florida, USA) .
Celebrate a big day: Rather than exchanging gifts for a special occasion, request that friends and family contribute to the challenge.
Hold a raffle: Raffle off a car, a seven-night cruise, or four tickets to a local event, such as a basketball game or concert. Also consider holding weekly raffles with prizes from area restaurants or businesses.
Skip a meal: Skip the meal at your club meeting and donate the cost to The Rotary Foundation to help eradicate polio.
Host a Rotary night: Work with your local baseball league to host a Rotary night at a ball game. Both major and minor league teams have pitched in to help Rotary “strike out polio.” Auction off a chance to throw out the first pitch, and set up a booth in the park with information on Rotary and the challenge grant. Read how Rotarians organized a polio public service announcement at a baseball game .
Organize a walkathon, bike-a-thon, or skate-a-thon: Have Rotarians, Rotary Fellowships, athletic groups, and other community members solicit pledges for the distance they walk, pedal, or skate. Read how a polio survivor cycled across Canada to help fight the disease .
Coordinate an online auction: Ask Rotarians, friends, and family to search their homes for items they wish to give away, including clothing, jewelry, furniture, and housewares. Collect the goods, and list them for auction on eBay. Enlist the help of Rotaract and Interact clubs to post photos of the items online.
Plan a special event: Dinners, festivals, picnics, wine tastings, and sports competitions can all draw contributions from Rotarians and other community members.
Sell a product: CDs, cookbooks, ties, teddy bears, and mugs are just a few of the items that have been sold to raise funds for PolioPlus.
Hold a white elephant auction: After the holidays, ask club members to donate gifts they do not want or need. Auction these items at a club or district meeting to raise money for polio eradication.
Collect pennies for polio: Ask Rotarians, friends, and families to place coin collection cans or boxes in local businesses, schools, and homes. Donate the proceeds to the polio eradication effort.
Coordinate a movie night: Work with local cinemas to organize a movie night in which all or part of the proceeds from admission benefit PolioPlus. Publicize the event in the newspaper, on the radio, and in all area Rotary clubs, and encourage everyone in the community to attend.
Host a million dollar dinner: Arrange a dinner with a district governor, Rotary senior leader, or local celebrity. Invite guests who can make a significant gift to Rotary’s polio eradication effort.
Plan a fireside chat: Ask a club member to invite other Rotarians from the district to his or her home for an update on polio eradication and an opportunity to discuss major gifts. This event may also be hosted by a Rotary officer or Major Donor .