How To Host a Fundraiser Car Wash in 8 Steps
Fundraising for Success
Hosting a successful fundraiser car wash relies on how much work the host puts into the task at hand. A car wash requires dedication, motivation and a drive to succeed. Yet, no matter how much work you put into planning a fundraiser the outcome might not go as well as you had hoped. Either way, you did your best and hopefully you enjoyed the adventure.
Step One: Deciding which cause your car wash is for. Having a cause that is near and dear to your heart will give you the motivation for success.
The cause I choose was the Prostate Cancer Foundation in honor of my husband who passed away on July 6, 2015 from prostate cancer. At pcf.org there are teams of dedicated personnel who go above and beyond to research treatments for prostate cancer and of course, the hope to find a cure.
Plan Ahead for Your Car Wash
Step Two: Selecting a venue that has an adequate water supply, is a safe location, has plenty of parking spaces and air conditioning when you need to slip in for a cool down. My friends Ray and Tim who own the local 7-11 in Avalon Park were actually the ones who suggested we hold the car wash at their store. I gladly accepted their offer. I did have other options after accepting their offer, but the deal was sealed and I knew I made the right choice. You should also confirm a date. This will give you a deadline for the following six steps.
Step Three: Enlist recruits who will give up their precious time to help make your car wash a success. These recruits could be family, friends and those who have a connection to your cause. Yes, even children and grandchildren are able to wash a car. They could also hold up signs. I noticed all they had to do was smile and look cute as coins began to clink in the donation can.
I requested the help of family members and they jumped at the chance to help raise awareness for prostate cancer. So many men are still clueless on the fact that every 19.1 minutes a man dies from prostate cancer. This is ludicrous since early detection and preventive care could help prevent these senseless deaths from a horrible disease.
I requested the help of our favorite nurse and chemo nurse, they arrived ready to cheer on the cause. The 95* Florida sunshine did not stop us from our mission of honoring Dave and helping to support prostate cancer research.
Have Your Voice Heard
Step Four: This step will bring out the creative side of you while preparing your signs. I suggest using cardboard and poster board, the bigger the better. Use lettering that is large enough for passing cars to read without causing fender benders. You surely do not want to be held responsible for any mishaps from drivers straining to read your signs.
Be sure the signs are easy to read. The less wording the better, remember you are creating a sign to read quickly, not writing a novel. Placing the cardboard on a stake to stick in the ground would be helpful. Having recruits hold signs while smiling proudly also helps. I suggested my daughters and friends wear bikinis to flaunt their goods, but they opted out. Kudos to them! I never said being scantily clad was mandatory, I just offered the suggestion.
These signs are your voice. Having your voice heard will make or break your customer count. Use your voice wisely. Pack a punch with as few words as possible.
Reasons to Host a Fundraiser
There are many reasons to have a fundraiser. Such as:
- Students for school related events
- Medical bills whether for yourself or a family member or friend
- A charity of your choice
- Family member or friend who is down on their luck
- For a missions trip
- For field trips
- For the Girl Scouts or the Boy Scouts
- For Summer Camp
- To help stock a food bank
- To raise money for college
- For a church that needs a new program or building
List of Supplies
Step Five: Purchase supplies or borrow them. You could also ask your recruits to bring supplies.
You will need:
- Garden hoses. I attached 3 garden hoses to make one long run that we all shared
- A hose sprayer that is powerful enough to rinse the gunk and soap off of the cars
- I filled four large buckets with dish soap and water. I prefer Palmolive, which is gentle on the paint of the car. This soap also is good at removing grease and grime from the tires
- We had two large sponges, quite a few cloths to wash the vehicles
- A brush to scrub the tires and rims
- A few towels to dry the cars and to also wrap around the children after they are washed a few times
Benefits of a Fundraiser Car Wash
- Bonding time among family and friends
- Making new friends is always a possibility if you are the social type
- Washing cars is a great workout, along with being outdoors in the sunshine and retrieving some Vitamin D
- Acts of giving back helps to teach kids about giving back
- Your cause benefits from the proceeds
Pimp Out Your Car Wash
Step Six: Leading up to the date of your car wash pimp out your cause.
Create a virtual sign to post on social media that includes the necessary information.
Such as the date, time, location and the cause.
Share this virtual sign on:
- Via email
Just pimp it! Ask friends to share the photo. They could ask their friends to share. The power of the web could bring in many customers.
Give out Goodie Bags
Step Seven: Who doesn't like something for free? I like freebies! Tell your friends who own small businesses about your plan to have a car wash and that you would like to hand out goodie bags.
Suggest they offer coupons for their business and add these cards to your goodie bags. It is a win-win situation!
Your customers get their cars washed for a donation, they then get a goodie bag with coupons, your friends get some additional business. A brilliant idea!
Be sure and place the cards, along with a candy of sorts into a plastic Ziploc bag because the bags might get wet, remember you are at a car wash and nothing stays dry there.
Car Wash - Rose Royce
Mingle While You Wash
Step Eight: Now is when the fun begins, actually the work, but work could be fun if you allow it to be.
Have some recruits standing in high traffic areas, but out of harms way. They hold the signs with the large lettering that drivers could clearly read. Once again, bikinis are optional, but not mandatory. Children should not be in the high traffic areas. Be sure and smile and wave to the drivers.
You could also dance, but pole dancing is not suggested due to ordinances in the community, unless your locals do not mind it, then by all means pole dance while holding a sign.
Greet customers as they enter the establishment. Make them aware of your cause. I had my recruits wear blue awareness bracelets from Prostate Cancer Foundation as conversation starters.
These days most people are in a hurry, they do not want to wait a few minutes for a car wash, instead they will just give a donation, which is fine! Every dollar helps. I heard many people say they wait for a rainstorm to wash their car off, like I said previously, who doesn't like freebies?
Our car wash was a success. Everyone had fun, we met some very nice people. We educated men about Prostate Cancer and I was surprised that grown men were still so clueless about this disease. That was sad, but we did our part in our small corner of the world by advocating others.
Dave was smiling down at us, thankful that I didn't pole dance. I sent a donation to pcf.org the following day.
Wishing you a successful fundraiser car wash.
Prostate Cancer Foundation
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© 2015 Linda Bilyeu
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