Fundraising is the process of soliciting financial support for a charity, cause, or other enterprise. It’s essential for any dental association or organization that needs to bring in more revenue. A successful dental fundraising event will not only raise money, but will also build greater awareness of your organization, it’s message & goals, and help to engage and grow your community of supporters. We’ve collected the top 10 successful dental fundraising ideas you can use to help your association reach its goals.
#1 - Dental Cruise
This is #1 because it’s one-of-a-kind, out-of-the-box, and easy. You can hold your event onboard the one-and-only Smiles at Sea dental cruise run by its crew of sea-bound dental conference experts! All you have to do is promote the event offering a discount code for new attendees and you earn a whopping 20% of the event ticket sales!They’ll provide you with a designated event coordinator to guide and support you with monthly planning meetings and done-for-you marketing templates.The icing on the cake? You get a tropical dental CE vacation while raising money and building your community!
#2 - Host a Local Continuing Education Course
We all need CE credits anyway, right? To plan your own local CE event, you’ll need a speaker with course certified to offer continuing education credit, a meeting space to hold the course, and a vendor sponsor to help offset the cost. Leverage your network to find a speaker that’s willing to donate some time or take a reduced fee to support your group. Ask your local dental supply representative for recommendations for a local event space -- they may even have one they’ll let you use for sponsorship credit with a booth and a chance to address your audience.
#3 - Raffle
Ask dental vendors or local businesses to donate prizes and sell tickets as chances to win them in a drawing. You can have multiple tickets for multiple giveaways or one ticket that offers a chance to win from a pool of prizes. You can incentivize people to donate more by offering small discounts for buying tickets in bundles.
#4 - Car Wash
Cars will always get dirty, so a good old-fashioned car wash will always be in style. This one is best reserved for warmer months or locales. Partner with a business with a large empty parking lot you can use, preferably visible from the main thorofare of your town. You can have a pre-determined donation amount in mind, or let the car-owners come up with their own donation amount. Spruce up the event with entertaining music, outfits, and games for people to enjoy while they wait.
#5 -Themed Party
Pick a theme, throw a party, promote it, and sell tickets to attend. You could have a costume or masquerade ball, or have your event centered around celebrating a holiday, celebrity, or sporting event. You can get really creative with this one and have a 50s style sock hop or go traditional with formal gala.
#6 - Run/Walk
Rather than a party, you could plan a sponsored run or walk or even swim or cycling event. Provide t-shirts or other swag for participants who collect donations for you. At the end, host a party or barbeque to celebrate.
#7 - Bake Sale
Bake/food sales can easily be combined with any other kind of fundraising event, or can easily stand on their own. Popular foods to sell or baked treats, popcorn, or barbecue. Incorporating a holiday, sporting event, or other theme is a great option. You can even add a special spin and host a competition where participants can win in their category and collect votes from everyone who attends.
#8 - Talent Show
A talent show is another great opportunity to highlight your community and make it about them. You can enlist the help of a local or dental celebrity to act as Master of Ceremony and a vendor to sponsor the event. Allow plenty of planning and promotion time to market the event and collect competitors.
#9 - Sell Custom Merchandise
Creating and selling custom merchandise is a no-brainer fundraiser idea because it not only boosts revenue, but it’s a great way to connect with your community to show them you get them and offer them the chance to show their pride and advocate for you. It’s helpful if you have a great logo or catchphrase that you can put on items people use every day, like t-shirts or hoodies, phone stands, mugs, bracelets, hand sanitizer, anything and everything you can think of.
#10 - Charity Auction
This requires a lot of prep work collecting donations but can be as successful as it is fun and is a great way to engage your community. You can auction off anything, from a set of your favorite scrubs (Twice as Nice Uniforms, anyone?) to tickets to a local theater show. Plus, you don’t have to spend any money upfront, all you need is the time!
Put Your Conference Out To Sea
Is your conference profitable? Put it on cruise control like the New Jersey Dental Hygienists’ Association!At Smiles at Sea, we believe every organization deserves an enjoyable and seamless conference experience that proves both educational and unforgettable! Our Sea Crew specializes in crafting these such powerful events!From travel arrangements to group/meeting space, AV equipment, food and beverage details and networking events, all will be taken care of and planned for you! Yes, that means we take care of all AV and meeting space INCLUDED at no additional cost to you!
Dana Myers is a dental hygienist who serves on the Smiles At Sea crew as Exhibitor Concierge, Ship’s Log contributor, and purple-haired fun-enhancer. Don’t miss our upcoming events!Check out our Cruise Specials!