The obvious is always at hand when a clown or clown alley is approached to help with a fundraiser, twisting balloons and face painting for donations. Let’s think outside the box for a minute; many people are used to clowns face painting and twisting balloons into the popular hats, dogs and intergalactic space craft for money but what about clowns doing everyday jobs in costume. From my experience this is not only great fun and a very hilarious spectacle for the crowd but can be very lucrative in the donations department.
Two fundraisers I have been involved with have involved clowns and ice cream. During National Clown Week, which by the way is the first week of August, my clown alley Clowns around Redford builds a 50’ banana split, and the shop that hosts this sells tickets for a cup full of this delicious treat and chooses a different charity each year to give the proceeds. Using this idea, we went to another local ice cream shop and the clowns would adorn your sundae with your favorite toppings, the proceeds from this went to Breast Cancer research. At both of these events, people told us they came just to see clowns serving up ice cream, a very normal activity but when clowns are involved it’s just so much more fun.
Another popular fundraiser I have experienced is to have your clown organization be guest cooks at the Mongolian BBQ restaurants. In this type of restaurant, the cooking grill is in full view and is part of the dining experience. How great would that be to have a group of clowns grilling up your shrimp and pea pods? A portion of the bill is donated to your charity, contact your local restaurant for details.
How about clowns washing cars for a fundraiser? A soapy sponge, buckets full of water and garden hoses… what could go wrong? I have yet to try this out but I think it would work out well. No matter what the fundraiser is, you must make sure to get the word out; post flyers at local business’ and take advantage of any free press that you can, it doesn’t matter how great your fundraiser is, if no one knows about it, the event will not be a success.
Finally, my favorite fundraiser event is to put on a show. Whether it’s just a couple of clowns or a whole clown alley, the crowd always loves to see clowns perform. Make sure to have variety in your show, mix things up with juggling, skits, jokes and even some magic. Many churches are very accepting of this kind of entertainment and would graciously help host your fundraising event.