If you are thinking about holding an activity or event in your community to benefit the ALS Society of Canada but not quite sure what to do, we are here to help. There are endless event possibilities, but some of the most common community events are sporting events, golf tournaments, car washes or garage sales. The key is to be creative, organized and to have fun!
*Please note that ALS Canada is only able to provide charitable receipts for monetary donations received, as per Canada Revenue Agency guidelines. Tax receipts are not issued for funds collected in exchange for a good or service. For more information on these guidelines and what can and cannot be receipted, please contact us at 1-800-267-4257 x 205.
Community Car Wash
One of the most common types of third-party events is a sports game or tournament. People often choose to stick with what they know. If you love to play baseball or soccer, you may want to consider a tournament. If you don’t think organizing a big tournament is something you have time for, you can organize a smaller half-day tournament which will cut some of the costs and organizational time.
Once you are confident that you’ll be able to recruit participants, you will need to know what your costs are going to be. Determining your budget will help you to decide whether your fundraising target is realistic and attainable as well as help you to monitor your expenses. When determining the participant fees, make the registration price all-inclusive so that it covers entry and any food or refreshments you will be serving. You may also want to try to obtain sponsorship for the materials needed to make your event successful. ALS Canada can provide you with a letter of support, which confirms that you are holding this event for the charity, as well as a sample sponsorship proposal template to use for these purposes.
You will need to contact your desired venue and inquire about any necessary permits or insurance and what needs to be done to book a day. Some people choose to rent indoor facilities as a precaution against the weather. Inform them of what you want to do and why you are supporting ALS Canada, as some facilities will give charitable rates for rentals.
When your date and location are confirmed, you will want to start recruiting participants and teams. ALS Canada can provide you with customized pledge forms for your event which you can give to your players so they can begin soliciting pledges for their participation. We can also create a fundraising web page for the event for easy online fundraising. The event and fundraising site are then promoted through ALS Canada’s social media such as its Facebook and Twitter pages. ALS Canada is also happy to provide educational and awareness materials for distribution at your event, in addition to other promotional items such as a thank you banner and balloons. We can also provide ALS Society of Canada purple bracelets to be sold during your event to increase the amount of funds raised. Please contact us for more information.
If golf is your passion, you may consider holding a golf tournament for ALS, which will require slightly different preparation than other sporting events. Organizing a successful golf tournament requires a fair amount of work, much more than one person can do, so you will want to form a committee of dedicated people to drive the planning and execution of the event. When selecting a committee, be sure to recruit a team with the skills to assist you with the various components of your event, such as recruiting event-day volunteers, selling foursomes, soliciting sponsorships or handling registration.
Before you commit to the event it is important to know what your costs are going to be. Determining your budget will help you to decide whether your fundraising target is realistic and attainable as well as help you to monitor your expenses. When determining the participant fees, make the registration price all-inclusive so that it covers entry, green fees as well as lunch or dinner.
One of the most important decisions in planning a golf tournament is deciding which golf course will hold the event. You will want to ask the following things:
- How many golfers can the course accommodate?
- What type of food do you serve?
- How many people does your club house comfortably seat?
- What is the availability? Is there another tournament taking place that day?
- What are the terms of payment? Is a deposit required? Are taxes and gratuities included in price? Is the food cart included in the price?
- If it rains is there an option for an alternative date?
- Is there a dress code?
- Is there a coordinator who will be my main point of contact during the planning stage and onsite during the event? What kind of assistance will we receive on the day of the event?
Whichever golf course you choose, ensure there is a written agreement between you and the golf course, which will serve to outline terms, expectations and any rules or regulations.
If you plan to have additional fundraising activities at your event, such as a silent auction or raffle, activities such as closest to the pin or a putting contest, please let participants know ahead of time. Most participants will support additional fundraising activities, but they may not want to be asked to donate at every hole. You will also have to make sure you follow all rules and regulations required by law in your municipality.
In some cases you may want engage your committee members to approach companies for cash sponsorships to help off-set the costs of the event or for a donation of goods and/or services. You will want to offer promotional benefits to your sponsors, such as their logo on signage, recognition in an event program or recognition at a hole. ALS Canada can provide you with a letter of support, which confirms that you are holding this event for the charity, as well as a sample sponsorship proposal template to use for these purposes. We are happy to provide educational and awareness materials to you for distribution at your event, in addition to other promotional items such as a thank you banner and balloons. Please contact us for more information.
Community Car Wash
If you are interested in holding a third-party event in your community but do not have the amount of time needed to organize a sports tournament, a car wash is a simple and easy way to raise awareness and funds, while having fun!
A community car wash can be planned relatively quickly and easily. First you will need to select a date, location and time for your car wash. Most car washes take place in large parking lots; however these are private property so you will have to obtain the required permission from the lot owner. Schools, community centres or faith-based centre parking lots are great places to look into. Try to find a location that is close enough to a busy road so you can attract cars.
You’ll also need to determine how much you want to charge for your car wash. Most charity car washes range from $5 to $10 per car. A great idea is to pre-sell car wash tickets to family and friends, as well as in the community. Make sure your tickets have the time and location details printed on them. Pre-selling tickets allows you to get the money up front. Many people will buy a ticket as a donation and may not even show up on the day of the event for the car wash.
Next you will need to establish a committee of volunteers who will assist you before and during the event. This will include getting the word out to the community in the week or so prior to the event by word of mouth and signage posted in places where the community gathers and near your car wash location. You will also need volunteers for the day of the event to help draw people to participate by holding signs near the wash location and trying to recruit people driving by.
You’ll want to get a generous number of volunteers to help with the wash itself. You may consider having volunteers work in shifts if the car wash is going to last all day. It can be hard to predict how many cars will show up at one time, and if someone is required to wait for more than 10 minutes to have their car washed they are likely to leave. A great way to keep people engaged as they wait is to give them some educational and awareness material and explain to them what ALS is and how their donation is helping. ALS Canada is happy to provide these materials to you for distribution at your event, in addition to other promotional items such as a thank you banner and balloons. Please contact us for more information.
A garage sale or street sale is a great way to generate funds without having to worry about expenses. It is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of ALS as you interact with your community.
If you’re planning to do our own garage sale, there is little planning that needs to be done. First you need to determine that you have enough possessions you want to sell. Once you’re set to go, pick a date and let the community know!
It is a good idea to create signs around your neighbourhood to let the community know you’re having a garage sale. If you write that the proceeds will be donated to the ALS Society of Canada on your signs you may draw in more people than the average sale. You may also want to recruit a few volunteers who will assist you during the event with the sale of items and with explaining to the community about ALS.
A great way to keep people engaged as they browse or when they are purchasing an item is to give them some educational and awareness material and explain to them what ALS is and how their donation is helping. ALS Canada is happy to provide these materials to you for distribution at your garage, in addition to other promotional items such a thank you banner and balloons.
For more information or to start planning your own event, please contact:
Director of Development
ALS Society of Canada
1-800-267-4257 x 205
Manager, Projects and Events
ALS Society of Canada
1-800-267-4257 x 210