Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fundraising Idea:  Flamingo Flocking

We'd  like to start sharing great ideas and success stories of our current customers!  Mendham HS Competitive Cheer Club is currently raising $$$s and having fun by engaging their town with a Flamingo Flocking!  What is flocking?  Well late at night a flock of flamingoes appears on your front lawn.  The family then  'DONATES' by leaving money in an envelope to have them removed and perhaps "DONATE MORE" to flock another friend or foe of their choice.  

How?  It's Easy... simply purchases pink flamingos (approximately 250 but the # is up to you).  There are many different ways to organize your 'flockers' or fundraiser in general.  Best to visit the website to find out more. (HINT:  Leave a sign on the lawn with the flamingoes with a note describing "Flocking' to your victim.  With this note, leave the envelope and a cellphone number of the Person in Charge.  They can text to have the flock removed and to send the address of the next victim).  Then parents & children migrate the flocks from house to house. Best to run this fundraiser every night to every other night for 3 weeks.  Mendham Cheerleaders flocked their fall sports stars each week with notes of encouragement throughout the season! What a FUN-draiser way to CHEER on their school! 

Details of this fundraiser can be found on
Made easy by

What's Hot With After School Programming?

What's Hot with After School Programs?

Ranging in age from 8 to 18, Young Makers Clubs do just that…they make things!  Find a club in your area or start one in your school.  This club serves those who may be just starting on their making adventures, or they might already be well versed in sewing, paper craft, and woodworking. They may have never touched electronics or might be in the midst of programming their own robot and computing platform. Young Makers have the opportunity to make their own project, individually or with a team, to exhibit at your school or local library or even a Maker Faire, becoming part of are a community of makers and learners who inspire each other with their interests, curiosities, and abilities. Learn more about the Maker Movement and Maker Faires at .

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Fundraising Idea: Hoopapalooza!

Fundraising Idea:  Hoopapalooza!

Free -Throw Fundraising is a great way to earn fast, fun cash for your organization!

At any designated HOME basketball game, invite spectators to take their "Best Shot" during half time for a small donation of $5, $10 or $20 dollars.  You can split the proceeds with the winner like in a 50/50 raffle OR you can solicit a prize or monetary donation from a local business.  Either way, the winner of the Free-Throw Contest and your organization both WIN!!

If there are too many participants for half time…no problem!  Most schools have a secondary gym to run preliminary rounds during the first and second quarters. Best to showcase only the top 10 Free Throw Finalists during half time.

You can continue to raise money week after week with various games…3 Point Shots, Ladies Only, Adult Only, and Under 12 Free Throws! And remember the secret formula…
Bigger the Prize= More Sign Ups= Most $$$s (hint: get a local sponsor to dedicate prizes or cash each week.  Small Community Businesses love to promote themselves as well)!

Made Easier by

Lonnie Allgood, NFL All-Star and CEO Dreams for Kids, Inc.

Best Fundraiser in New York/ New Jersey! Dreams for Kids is a passionate 501-c3 non-profit organization committed to helping kids reach their dreams in life. Lonnie Allgood is the founder and he works tirelessly on his mission is to help build a child's character by giving them the tools they need to believe in them and respect others. Through interaction with current and former professional athletes as mentors we want children to understand the importance of education and inspire them to become great people in society. Dare to Dream is designed to reach adolescents form ages 7 to 18 years of age, when children are more vulnerable to peer pressure.  It is an educational support program that concentrates on providing the maturing adolescent with valuable information about life experiences. Our program utilizes the experience and insight of professional athletes, entertainers, business and community leaders as role models for the youth of today.  Lonnie coordinates NFL Celebrity appearances, speaking engagements, assemblies and camps.  But what I love most is his FUN-DRAISER! 

Scoring Points for Kids  is a fundraising program where they team up with schools, charities, churches, and other community non-profits to meet their fundraising needs and provide fun for everyone who gets involved. Your audience will shout, laugh, jump and applaud as our all-star team of NFL players takes on the teachers, police officers, government officials, and children of your community for a fast-paced FUN basketball game. Ticket sales, food concessions, sports memorabilia sales, autograph sessions, and half-time contest generate revenue. The BEST part is there is no money needed upfront!  Lonnie simply works tirelessly for your school and you split the profits 50/50 after the event!  I've seen it in action and it is AWESOME!
Connie Calabrese and Nora Noll,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Are Club Sports Worth It?

If your child wants to play competitive soccer, softball, cheerleading (plug in any sport), just go online and you will most likely find a Competitive Club  close by.

What do I know about Club Sports Teams?  Well they are guaranteed to cost a lot of money, take up a lot of time, force your child to commit to playing the sport for more than just one season, pull you away from town EVERY vacation and holiday weekend, eliminate family dinnertime, and require excessive travel and carpool coordination.  Grandma (my mother) thinks our generation of team moms is crazy to put our children and ourselves thru this stress and scheduling. So, is she right are we crazy?

I had to think about that one.  What are the benefits of club sports? Are they worth the financial and time sacrifice? Why not just sign up for the low cost, low stress, town rec program where the children are engaging with their school friends?

Here are the top 5 reasons Club Sports Are Good!.

1. Gives Them Skills to Play in High School & Beyond

Club sports are typically coached by professionals, not just  a willing Mom or Dad.  These coaches are trained and experienced in the sport; teaching our children the skills they need to succeed on the field, court or mat. We live in a highly competitive world where more and more kids are playing a single sport, sometimes year round.  Unless your child is a 'superb natural athlete' they will need more than just town rec training to be competitive at a varsity level. So, if your goal is to have your child  participate in Varsity sports in high school, then you need to give them the tools to succeed!

2.  Teaches Commitment

Most Club Sports demand a ridiculous level of commitment.  Few absences are excused, injuries simply not allowed,  and studies or a job commitment must take aback seat.  While most of us are rolling our eyes in frustration that little Sally can't miss a tournament for Grandma's 80th birthday party, it is one of few activities in todays age, where commitment is enforced.  With the coming of internet and cellphones, our families are in a constant state of flux. No one commits to anything until the very last minute.  Why?  I don't quite know...maybe they are waiting for better offers or maybe they just don't have to.  Heck, I can't even get friends to commit to a party more than a week before.  In our constantly changing technological word, we are fooled into thinking we don't need to commit to anything and yet commitment and hard work are essential principles for success!

3.  Improves Social Adeptness

Club sports typically draws kids from a variety of towns and demographics.  These kids also tend to move between Club Sports Teams which guarantees your child will be forced to meet, accept and  work with many different people...people they don't already know and outside of their community.  They will be constantly introducing themselves, defining and redefining friendships. They will be both leaders and followers, being challenged by each new  super star that walks on the field. Learning how to build friendships, understanding their own strengths and weaknesses, and how to work with ever changing teams of people can only strengthen their social adeptness and independence, preparing them for the challenge of college and beyond!

4. Strengthens Your Relationship

Okay so family dinners may be halted for a while with practice schedules, but they're not gone only replaced. I spend a lot of time driving to and from practices and tournaments.  I relish that time to talk with my daughters and their friends.  I find out more in our one-on-one time together than I would at home. Home has distractions like the CELLPHONE, my work, television and other siblings.  As a parent, when I agree to a Club Sport and commit to an activity they love, I am reinforcing my love and belief in them. I am putting time aside to watch, support and focus on what they enjoy and who they are.  These special moments seem  too infrequent these days, and time flies by too fast for  regrets.  With the myriad of home and work pressures each day, we don't always take the time we should to give our kids the attention they deserve.  Club sports demands this time from forces parents to watch, listen, and engage with their kids!

5.  It's Hard!

Club Sports IS hard.  But hard is good!  I feel in this generation (and here is where I may loose some) that parents spend a lot of time protecting and serving their kids.  We don't let them struggle through The Hard!  It is hard to balance late night practices with homework, or play through injuries, or get benched because someone is better than you or you missed a practice or two.  It's hard to navigate your way through coaching styles and peer groups.  But let's not forget parents, hard is good!  It builds strength of character and maturity.  It prepares our children for the realities of life and our competitive world. It's okay to let our kids be challenged, stressed (to a point) and tired.  Hard is Good!

So, the next time you are writing out that check or filling in your calendar, remember all the benefits you are gifting your children.  Somehow, it makes it all seem a little bit more worth while!

The Most Creative Fundraisers

5 Lessons To Learn From The Most Creative Non Profit Fundraising!
This past summer everybody was talking about the ASL Ice Bucket Challenge. I bet you saw a lot of videos and photos of your friends, athletes, celebrities and top managers of big corporations participating in this viral sensation across all social media channels. The challenge was dedicated to raising money and awareness to research a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as well as helping those who suffer from the disease. As of September 3rd, the ALS Foundation had raised $107.4 million. However, it’s not the only one viral challenge, nonprofits have enjoyed a long list of creative fundraisers that brought a lot of attention before. Many of these campaigns were successful raising millions of dollars in a short period of time
Here are some other recognizable and Creative Non-Profit Fundraisers:

1) Movember ($22.5 million raised) – an innovative social fundraiser, which motivates men to grow moustache in November while raising money for programs to improve the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
2) St. Baldrick’s Foundation ($34 million raised) – head-shaving events that take place everywhere as a challenge to raise critical funds for childhood cancer research.
3) Polar Bear Plunge ($20 million raised) – jumping into freezing cold water in order to help raise funds for Special Olympics athletes.
4) Operation Sharecraft ($1 million raised) – a social experiment within the gaming community for Save the Children organization to raise money for starving children in East Africa.

After Reviewing These Challenges, Here Are The 5 Essential Lessons That Should Be Taken From These Creative Non-Profit Fundraisers:

1. Identify Your Cause And Message Simply.
People need to feel a little bit better about themselves, so many of us look for helping others in need. However, raising money for non-profit’s general expenses is not as important as supporting a specific cause with a goal.
The key to success of these campaigns is the clarity of the message, because simplicity matters. People usually don’t have time to read through a lenghtly article or newsletter to learn more about your causes, goals and challenges.
2. Create Fun And Emotional Connection
We always look for some entertainment!
Keep in mind that people love having fun, sharing emotions with their loved ones, being a part of something big and feeling a sense of unity. If you make fundraising for your non-profit fun and easy, you will get support and emotional connection.
3. Ensure The Right Timing
One of the essential factors helping build a momentum and keep supporters engaged is to set up a deadline or choose the right timing. Whether it is 24 hours to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge, or a month dedicated to grow a moustache, or a winter day to plunge into freezing water, or a video game tourney, people should be informed and prepared. The deadline creates a sense of urgency, motivating participants either to take an action or donate sooner. Starting a fundraising campaign for a cause requires time for proper planning, promotion and outreach.
If you want an idea to thrive, make sure to give your supporters a deadline to encourage engagement and initiative!
4. Use The Power Of The Crowd
Let your supporters have a chance to involve their network into your challenge, so that they can experience fun and joy, and be proud of helping spread the word of your cause. Get maximum visibility over Social Media, this will result in raising more money. You will be able to enjoy the benefits of increased awareness and exposure to your non-profit.
5. Empower Gift Matching
Non-profit organizations can reach out to well-known entities in their local communities to ask for sponsorship such as providing rewards for fundraising campaigns, matching donations to charitable projects and causes. Many companies already have corporate social responsibility programs in place to increase the awareness of the good work they are doing for their community. Many companies are very interested in making a matching donations for your nonprofit cause that could increase the impact on their community.
Now think about what you want to achieve and raise money for and then sometimes the simplest, most entertaining idea, combined with the right timing, can have a big impact!!
When I read about these lessons from a guest contributor to CrowdClan and an Onlin Marketing Expert for Fundrazr, I needed to pass it along. Sure anyone group can sell candles, or pies, or entertainment books. They are good and easy ways to fundraise, but are they FUN! Think about the above whenever you are planning your next FUN-draiser!
Connie Calabrese,