As a member of a local Clown Alley you may discover the volume of requests for “free” entertainment. Churches, schools, community groups and many more organizations are on the look out for a means of free or cheap entertainment and clown groups can get overwhelmed with requests for appearances. While it is a great idea to help out, not all requests can be filled. Some of the clown and magic groups of which I have been involved will often reserve the free appearances for a worthy fund raising effort such as medical research that will truly benefit many people. Cancer, ALS and MS research or Autism awareness are a few ideas when looking into a charity. There are so many different things out there that may have touched your life in some way that you would want to bring that awareness to others or raise funds to help the cause.
First of all you may have a request to entertain at a fundraising dinner where your talents would help make a somber event into an enjoyable gathering. Being a part of the fundraising effort or spreading the word is also a great way to be an important part of the effort.
Spreading the word: Perhaps you wish to educate people on child hood diabetes, teaming up with a local health care provider or hospital at a health fair and hand out literature while in costume is a possibility. Having a knowledge of the cause for which you are involved is important so that you may answer questions guests may have.
*The American Caner Society will host Relay for Life fundraisers in many communities, which is a 24-hour event in most cases. Having clowns or magicians on hand to wander the grounds cheering people on and lifting spirits with a little magic or balloon twisting is a welcomed addition.
*Setting up shop at a local business to raise money and awareness benefits your cause and the business owner. Some of my friends and I have held many fundraising events at local shops offering face painting and balloon animals to patrons for a contribution to our charity. The business owner will often run specials and even advertise the date the entertainer will be on location to help draw people in. Many times the business owners will make a donation to your fund.
*Hosting games at a local gathering like the weekly farmers market is another way to have some fun and exercise while spreading the word about your charity. Again, asking a small donation to the cause for participation. Check with the organization you are helping and they may supply give-a-ways like stickers or little prizes.
Sometimes the things needed most are a friendly face and some company for those who are facing a trial in life. Visiting patients as they go through their treatment can make a world of difference in their comfort level and make the recovery process more bearable. Sadly in many cases the family must deal with the loss of a loved one when facing a great illness such as cancer. Although this may not be something the magic, face paints or balloons can fix, nor is it a time for the clown attire but a pair of open ears to hear their stories can be just the right medicine.
As ambassadors of good will we don’t have to be in character to make someone feel special and loved, after all, we should have the clown in our hearts as well as on our face.
I do hope you have found some encouragement and ideas to take with you as you confront the need of fundraising.