For most teams, DI is inexpensive compared to many other activities and the cost of participation is fairly modest. But that can change overnight when a team advances to DI Global Finals! On this page, we’ll discuss fundraising ideas, and also answer some frequently asked questions about fundraising.
You might want to start with Destination Imagination’s list of fundraising ideas for teams, but we also have some additional ideas that we’d like to share with everyone:
- Compose a letter asking for donations, and send it out to local businesses and community service organizations. Many will be happy to make a donation, but you have to ask them!
- Car washes are a very popular way for teams to raise money. But you might want to consider selling car wash tickets in advance. This will allow you to promote the car wash in ways that can be much more effective than simply asking team members to wave signs along the side of the road on the day of the car wash (not that you won’t want to do that as well). And if you sell tickets ahead of time, you’ll still have raised some money if it happens to rain on the day of the car wash.
- Many restaurants will host fundraisers for you. You’ll need to publicize the event by handing out flyers and sending out emails, and the restaurant will then give you a percentage of all orders placed by customers who mention your fundraiser. The percentage that you will receive can differ widely depending on the restaurant. Many will give you 15 percent of all orders, but others are much more generous. For example:
- Chipotle’s Do Good With Burritos fundraisers allow you to keep 50 percent of the proceeds.
- Applebee’s Flapjack Fundraisers are a little different from the typical restaurant fundraiser. Local restaurants cook and serve a pancake breakfast at a low fixed price per customer. You would sell tickets in advance, and can charge whatever you’d like for each ticket.
- We’ve heard that Shorty’s, Panera, and Five Guys also sponsor fundraisers.
- If your team members are old enough to babysit, selling child care gift certificates can be a good way for them to raise money.
- If your school or organization is interested in a long-term fundraising possibility, Ecosmith Recyclers can set up a bin for collecting unwanted clothing, shoes, and textiles. They will pick up the donated items on a regular basis for reuse or recycling, and your organization will receive a check with very little work required on your part.
Here are additional fundraising possibilities suggested by our participating schools and organizations:
- Bake sales at school events, and at tables outside the entrances to supermarkets and other stores.
- Concessions at school sports events, talent shows, or plays./li>
- Hosted catalog parties with items from companies like Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, etc.
Email your ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We will update this page periodically as we receive new suggestions, so please check back again soon!
Frequently Asked Questions about Fundraising
Question: How can we make sure that donations will be tax-deductible?
Answer: This is usually very easy if your DI team is sponsored by a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, such as a nonprofit private school. You’ll need to get the organization’s EIN (federal tax identification number), because many potential donors will want this. The EIN should also be included on thank you letters.
Public schools are different. School districts are a part of local government and are not eligible for 501(c)(3) status, but contributions made to local governments for exclusively public purposes are fully deductible (26 U.S.C. 170). However, you should know that some corporate donors restrict their donations to 501(c)(3) organizations only.
Question: When a potential donor asks us for a federal tax exempt number, can we give them NH-DI’s EIN?
Answer: No, we’re afraid not. The donation would then have to be made to NH-DI, and not to your team (which would be great for us, but it wouldn’t help your team). You cannot open a checking account using our EIN, either.
However, if the purpose of your fundraising is to support a team’s trip to Global Finals, DI has a program that allows an individual or organization to sponsor a specific team. Details are in the SPONSOR A TEAM AT GLOBAL FINALS section on this page at DI’s main website.