Sometimes the best fundraising ideas are not the typical golf tournament or 5K run. Sometimes you can do more than raise funds, you can create an experience that people will remember.
The Rummage Romp
In high school we did a fundraiser that could be adapted for any cause.
Imagine a month during which everyone in the school is bringing in their old clothes, personal belongings, workout equipment, movies, etc. Everything that would typically be donated to Deseret Industries or Goodwill are brought into the school and piled sky high in the gymnasium. Towards the beginning of the month there are a few items, but then you turn it into a competition between the grade levels in the school.
Now things get intense.
The sophomores want to beat the seniors, the juniors want to beat the seniors, and the seniors don’t want the other grades to beat them. Students start making phone calls and taking time out of their evenings to run grab their aunt’s old couch or their neighbor’s old lawn mower. By the last week of the month the gym is jam packed with everyone’s unwanted items. There are clothes piled over 12 feet high in the stands and stacks of movies as far as the eye can see.
Now comes organizing all of the stuff. Each grade’s student officers (who have been the main promoters of this project) spend time in the evening with you and your organization making sure everything is organized into the different grade levels sections. We don’t want to mix the sophomores’ movies with the seniors’ or else we won’t know who wins in the end.
Once everything is organized and separated into grades, the rummage sale begins. This sale has been publicized to the entire community as well as to the school. Everyone knows when the rummage sale is and there is hype in the air. 3 days. Three days is how long it will be open to the school and to the public. 3 days to buy everything they want at garage-sale prices. You can barter with the cashier as much as you would like, but remember, all of the money earned is going to a good cause.
Each grade wants to sell the most of their rummage and earn the most money. This is the competition. The grade that earns the most money wins. What do they win? Mostly the pride of beating the other grades, but you can also get creative—maybe they win coupons to the local bakery or somewhere else that was willing to donate. In my school I believe we just won pride, or maybe we got 10 more minutes for lunch one day.
Now, the sale isn’t the culminating event for this fundraiser. It is the Rummage Romp. Along with collecting rummage the whole month, we have also been selling tickets at the high school for a stag dance on Friday night after the rummage sale. Everyone is supposed to wear the most horrendous thing that they purchased from the rummage sale. You know, your best friend’s mom’s ski clothes from the 80’s or those pajama pants that you know someone found in their uncle’s basement. Everyone is super excited for the dance because it is so funny to see what everyone wears.
- Collaboration: Not only is your organization collaborating with the local high school, but you can also work with the local Goodwill or Deseret Industries. After the rummage sale, you will have extra items, clothes, etc. that you will be able to donate.
- Community Involvement
- Ticket sales to the school dance
- Proceeds from the rummage sale
Cost (unless you can get it donated):
- DJ for the dance
- Photographer for the dance
- Printing costs for dance tickets
This was one of the most anticipated months in the school year while I was in high school. Everyone talked about the rummage sale and the Rummage Romp. Also, it was a great success. Each grade would earn thousands of dollars.