The most commonly used donor recognition program is the brick sale. Donors purchase a brick for the park which will be engraved as per their request and placed in a designated area (walkway, recognition wall, courtyard, etc.). The fundraising committee must determine the best price for bricks ($50 and $100 are the most commonly used amounts).
In 2013, the Friends of Jennie Drake Park launched a brick sale to reach their financial match required by an awarded Community Building Grant from Park Pride. A classy modification to the sale of traditional red bricks – which were sold with a $100 donation – the Friends group also sold black granite bricks which went to donors giving between $500 – $999! By the end of the campaign, the group had sold two times the number of bricks required to reach their fundraising goal.
Brick sales are a logical way to recognize donors as you build out functional park amenities. At Jennie Drake Park, the bricks sold through this campaign were used as part of the park’s new entrance and seating area.
Community: Collier Heights
Park: Jennie Drake Park
Class: Donor Recognition
Funds Raised: $14,000
Some Friends of the Park group members may feel uncomfortable selling bricks, or asking for donations in general. The Friends of Jennie Drake Park recommend preparing group members for fundraising and making “sales pitches” by pairing group members who don’t enjoy sales with those who do to act as mentors.
The Friends of Lang-Carson Park was keen on hosting an event to bring positive energy into the park and raise awareness within the neighborhood. In order to reach Reynoldstown’s growing demographic of young families, the group decided to organize an event that would speak to this generation: a cornhole tournament!
For $20, a team of two could enter the tournament in the park. The group’s primary form of promotion was through social media – they created a Facebook event and invited everyone that they could to attend. Friends invited friends, many of whom live outside Reynoldstown. A flier was created and shared online with neighbors via the web-portal NextDoor, as well as the neighborhood Yahoo! message board. The Friends of Lang-Carson Park also took advantage of promoting their tournament through traditional media as well and landed a mention in Atlanta INtown.
The group found clever ways to raise additional funds at the event. For $5, you could screen-print your very own “Friends of Lang-Carson Park” t-shirt (a great activity for kids). For $3, you could purchase a wrist band to get alcoholic beverages. Both the screen-printing materials and the alcohol were donated by community members, meaning that the money raised went 100% to the Friends group!
The tournament was a complete success. Not only did it raise about $800 for the group, but it also generated awareness of the park to those inside and outside the neighborhood and activated the park in a creative, family-friendly way. Most important to the group, however, was the cornhole tournament’s ability to bring neighbors together, giving them a chance to bond over a shared pastime.
Park: Lang-Carson Park
Funds Raised: $800
Contact: Amber Keen
Although this tournament raised just a modest amount, the group feels that it served as an important friend-raiser for the community. As the awareness of the park and the Friends of Lang-Carson Park increase in the community, they feel they will be able to build on the success of this fundraiser.
When the Friends of Peachtree Hills Park sat down to brainstorm fundraising ideas, they knew that to be successful in meeting their financial goals, they would need the support of the park’s “power users” – dogs! Or, dog owners to be more exact. And as it turns out, people will pay good money to have their pups featured in a community dog calendar 🙂
Getting people to sign up to have their furry friends included in the calendar was easy. The Friends group publicized the opportunity through emails to the group’s listserve, through the neighborhood association, and by posting fliers around the community. For $35, Fido could have his picture featured on a 1/4 page of the calendar; a 1/2 page photo went for $70, and a full-page layout for $100.
Additionally, the Friends of the Park group tapped into a second target audience, local businesses, by inviting them to purchase ad space within the calendar: 1/8 page for $75, 1/4 page for $150, 1/2 page for $300 and a full- page ad for $500.
The calendar was so popular with both dog and business owners that pages had to be added to the back of the calendar to accommodate all of the submissions!
Community: Peachtree Hills
Park: Peachtree Hills Park
Class: Individual Solicitations
Funds Raised: $7,000
Contact: Betty Hanacek
Adapt this idea!
Take a look at the demographics of your community. Does anything stand out? Use the unique personality and interests of your neighborhood to your advantage when thinking of fundraising strategies that will appeal directly to them.