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Be Our Voluntine

So as some/most/all of you will be aware, the biggest holiday cash-cow is fast approaching, and we want you to have a slice of the takings. That is right, Valentine’s Day is happening on Wednesday February 14th. Here are a few ideas to help you maximise your fundraising on and around the big day!

A selection of red clothes on two clothing racks, with some red accessories in the floor beneath them.
© ©Shutterstock/luanateutzi

It’s Party Time!

Red is the colour of passion, strength, fire, desire, love and… danger (?).  You can always just focus on the first four. Utilise the fact that the western hemisphere paints itself red for Valentine’s Day, by throwing a Red Party. This can either be done by insisting everyone comes dressed in red, or it can be more fancy dress, with things that are red in colour.

  • Fancy Dress Theme – I can hear you all saying “but not that many things are red”, well that is where you are wrong. Think fire-engines, parrots, devils, a rose or Taylor Swift (who had an album called Red). You can also incorporate a best outfit competition into this party, with people paying £2 to enter and winning the Pride of knowing they have the best outfit, or a cheap prize, like a generic trophy. Alternatively, you can ask local businesses if they are willing to provide actual prizes. Don’t forget to bring your Letter of Authority.
  • Dressed In Red – This is exactly what it says on the tin, people wearing red clothes. You can have a penalty charge for anyone not wearing red, and also play red clothing themed songs during the night, such as “Lady in Red” by Chris De Burgh, “Red Dress” by The Sugababes and “Louboutins” by Jennifer Lopez (Louboutins have a red sole). But if that is too restrictive, you can always just have normal unrestricted music.

Don’t forget to charge people to come, between £5-10 should be affordable for most people, but set your own entrance fee, based on what you think your friends and family are willing pay.

A carton of popcorn, knocked over on a red background
© ©Shutterstock/Stock-Asso

Films about Love, Actually, are quite popular

Holding a film night is a great way to raise money, as there are so many ways to do this. Remember to charge a ticket fee, and also charge for snacks and drinks, like a real cinema.

  • You can hold a vote where people vote for the romantic movie they would like to watch. This is fantastic for people who have busy lives, and can only spare 2 hours of their time. You can use the same vote to determine the time and date that you hold the film night.
  • If a lot of people have a lot of time, you could do a movie marathon. The best thing about this one is that you have almost every film ever made to choose from, as Hollywood thinks that a romantic sub-plot makes a film watchable. You could even theme this a bit further with disaster films (Titanic, San Andreas, Volcano), War films (Pearl Harbour, Atonement, Australia), Horror films (the Scream series, Warm Bodies, Shaun of the Dead) or Comedy films (Mean Girls, Dumb and Dumber, The Austin Powers series). Believe it or not, all of the films mentioned above do actually have romantic sub-plots, so would count for the Valentine’s Day theme. The marathon, can be a film series in length, or a 24hr movie marathon, which has loads of random films in it.

Speed (Insert Present Participle Verb Here)

Whether you plan to hold a speed dating, speed mating (making friends) or speed networking event, Valentine’s Day is a great time of year to hold it. With speed dating, it is probably best to make sure all the attendees are single, but each to their own if not. Otherwise they all follow the same sort of premise.

 

Each person speaks to all the others present, for between 5 and 7 minutes, 1-2-1, depending on how many have shown up. At the end there is mingling time, and people can exchange contact details, arrange meet ups, etc…

 

You can charge for each person who comes, and encourage people not to come in groups, particularly for speed mating, as they will probably hang out together, negating the reason for going to make new friends. Make sure you advertise it as a fun, relaxed event, and manage expectations. No one walks out of these events with a new BFF or partner, but they do leave feeling good about how the event went, and feeling that it was time, and money, well spent.

Two paper love hearts with a stopwatch between them, on a wooden surface.
© ©Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov
Speed dating is a fantastic way to raise money, but if people are not interested in dating, then hold a speed mating or speed networking event instead.
A selection of biscuits cut into heart shapes and iced with varying degrees of pink icing.
© ©Shutterstock/Oksana Mizina

Please Don’t Bake My Heart

We say this all the time, and you might be sick of hearing it, but hold a bake sale! You can get really creative with the baked goods as well. There are the obvious heart-shaped biscuits, red velvet cupcakes, strawberry tartlets and Banoffee Pie (bananas and chocolate are romantic foods, apparently), but you can also create some real show-stopping and cute edibles.

  • Sharable biscuits – baked biscuits with a snappable line down them, so they can be shared with a friend, partner, parent, etc…
  • Personalised cupcakes – write people’s names on cupcakes for a slight premium. They will make a great gift for people.
  • Anatomically accurate heart cookies – this is a good one to do as a slight anti-Valentine’s Day thing. It will take a long time to draw it in icing, so price these higher than the other baked goods.

Remember that you can make more money by not pricing your baked goods, as people then have to decide how much they are willing to donate, and they can surprise you with their generosity.

 

 

There are loads of different fundraisers you can do for Valentine’s Day, and you do not have to anything, but you can really boost your fundraising by utilising the holidays during your fundraising period.

Please do let us know how your Valentine’s Day events go, we love to hear about your events. Also, if you can, send us some photos, so we can how everything has gone. Good luck with them, and do not forget to stay in contact with your fundraising support officer, we are here to support you, so utilise us!

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