Holy Conversations: Looking for Fundraising Events

In this month’s column, I’d like to talk about special fundraising events at UUCA—to suggest what success looks like, together with ideas about some possible fundraisers. I’m taking advantage of this venue because I’d like to expand the circle of involvement in this important area of programming. I’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas. And, above all, I’d like to invite your participation in helping make our fundraiser dreams come true.
Consider one aspect of what success looks like: community building and FUN-raising! People develop and deepen relationships in the context of good fundraisers—their sense of connection to UUCA and to each other increases. When you help run a fundraiser, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that your efforts led to smiles and laughter, to strangers becoming friends, people sharing talents with each other, to a needed night out. Your efforts made it possible. You made a difference in people’s lives!
Besides FUN-raising and community building, I see successful fundraisers as having the following characteristics:
  • they affirm our Unitarian Universalist values
  • they achieve the biggest financial bang for the buck—get the most results from the least effort
  • people leave the event saying to themselves, “This was truly worth my time and money—I’m glad I came!”
  • they are distinctive—we become known in the community for the event
  • longevity—the event has the potential to become genuine tradition—it builds over time
  • they are a good fit with everything else that’s going on, including the time of the year
  • they have enough “breathing room”—the events don’t undermine other planned fundraisers
  • they are family friendly—parents can enjoy the event feeling confident that their children are safe and engaged
  • they are “green” events
  • they are sustainable for volunteers and staff—putting together the event is not utterly overwhelming—no burn out!

What do you think about this vision of success? Is it missing something? What does success look like to you?

Keeping this vision in mind, here are just three possible events that your UUCA staff brainstormed during a recent inservice/staff development event:

  • A casino and poker night
  • Chili cook-off
  • An elegant dinner in the garden, in which only local foods are served

If one or more of these events really jump out at you—they have YOUR NAME written all over them, and you’d love to get involved—then connect with me directly. Email me at adavid@uuca.org. On the other hand, these ideas might spark some of your own—let me know!

A final word: I’m writing all this just having heard the news that we raised $7536.50 on Sunday, January 17 for the UUA-USC Haiti Earthquake Relief Special Fund. This goes way beyond the prior record of $5,725 for Project Harvest Hope set in 2007. I’m proud to be part of a congregation that is so generous!

Let’s continue to hold the people of Haiti in our thoughts and prayers, as they continue the hard work of grieving their losses, together with healing and restoration.

Anthony David, Senior Minister