Soap, Suds and Fundraising

Are you looking for a fundraiser that is:

  • easy to plan,
  • easy to advertise,
  • takes 3 hours of your day
  • and brings in a good chunk of money.

If so, listen up!

From Left to Right: Brothers Megan Burns (2015), Amber Houtz (2016), Megan Gauthier,  Sharyn Beodeker (2015) Rebecca Pieffer (2016), Ashten Brinker(2014) and Kris Brew(2014) all working together to clean a customers car at our Car Wash Event.

From Left to Right: Brothers Megan Burns (2015), Amber Houtz (2016), Megan Gauthier, Sharyn Beodeker (2015) Rebecca Pieffer (2016), Ashten Brinker(2014) and Kris Brew(2014) all working together to clean a customers car at our Car Wash Event.

From Left to Right: Brothers Megan Wolfe (2015), Megan Burns (2015) and Tayania Brown (2015) advertising for the Teach For America Car Wash Fundraising Event.

From Left to Right: Brothers Megan Wolfe (2015), Megan Burns (2015) and Tayania Brown (2015) advertising for the Teach For America Car Wash Fundraising Event.

In May, the Epsilon Alpha Chapter at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania did all of the above by holding a car wash to benefit Teach for America. The Chapter raised $143 in less than three hours! We asked them how they did it.

When was it? The car wash ran from 9 am to noon on Saturday, May 3rd 2014.

Where did you hold the car wash? We chose to have this event at the local Firehouse here in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, because it was in the middle of heavy traffic and it was a perfect spot to hold it. We were able to have the event at the Firehouse because one of our Brothers has a relative who works as a volunteer firefighter at that location. We insured Risk Management was properly enforced by providing a safe, friendly, bias-free environment for our community.

How much did you charge per wash? The event itself was a basic concept; we charged $5 to anyone who wanted their vehicle washed.

Was there a plan set up to actually wash all of the vehicles? It acted similar to an assembly line, in which one Brother would hose down each car, and then a few other Brothers would start washing it with soap and a sponge. Finally, we had two Brothers at the end with towels to dry off their vehicles.

Did you tell the customers what the car wash was for? We told each customer what the car wash benefited, and as a result, a number of them ended up donating extra money on top of the price of the car wash.

Car Wash Flyer used to advertise about the fundraising event made by Amy Rocha (2015).

Car Wash Flyer used to advertise about the fundraising event made by Amy Rocha (2015).

How did you advertise for the event? The way in which our Committee Members advertised the event was by distributing flyers, which were made by one of our incredibly talented Brothers, throughout our residence halls on campus. We also placed multiple large poster-board signs throughout Kutztown on the morning of the car wash, which gave the time, location and price of the wash.

How were your Members in your Chapter involved? We gave our Brothers a few options when it came to being involved with the event and earning fundraising points:

  • One point for working at the car wash for a minimum of an hour and a half
  • One point for donating at least two car wash supplies

Also, because the car wash was a Teach For America event, Brothers were able to earn one service point by donating at least two school supplies to support our wonderful philanthropy.

Any suggestions for other Chapters who plan on doing this? Plan it out more thoroughly and advertise more in advance.

Now it’s your turn. What fundraiser is your Chapter going to do this semester? If you ever held a car wash, is there any advice you would give to other Chapters?

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