Festive fundraising ideas for your unit

Posted On: Thursday, 29 October 2020

With the cold weather coming -- and while we are still battling a worldwide pandemic – veterans in your community need you now more than ever. Here are some unique, socially distanced fundraising ideas to help you raise a little money and spread some holiday cheer!

  Christmas Craft Night
You’ve heard of wine and canvas ... what about hot chocolate and Christmas crafts?
Depending on where you live and the space available to you, your unit can decide to meet in person and keep your tables 6 feet apart -- or meet virtually. Ask attendees to make a donation as an entry fee (and register on Eventbrite or a different online event management/ticketing program).
You can have everyone paint on canvas or create a craft such as a wreath, ornament, Christmas tree, or even a Gingerbread house. Be sure to promote this event well in advance so your members have time to gather supplies.
Do you have someone in your unit who is crafty and would like to lead your event by giving step-by-step instructions? If not, reach out to a local Wine and Design studio or college art department to find someone who can donate their time to run the art instruction portion of the event.
If you are going with the Christmas theme – encourage everyone to wear a Christmas sweater – and have a contest for the best sweater to have even more fun with everyone!
Christmas Caroling
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” -- Buddy the Elf
Turn your unit into a choir for the night by going door to door singing Christmas carols for your neighbors. Bring flyers along that include information on your unit, and how people can support you. If you have a way to give online, be sure to include the link. You can also bring a jar or box for cash donations.
Make sure to practice social distancing by standing in residents’ yards, and have your unit members stand 6 feet from each other.  
Movie Night
While most movie theaters are closed, you can still enjoy watching movies! You can either host a movie night at a location where people can spread out to watch, or set up a meeting through a video chat service and share your screen. Ask attendees to sign up for the event via Eventbrite or another online event management/ticketing program, and encourage everyone to make a donation as their entry fee.
With the holidays coming up, you can host several movie nights with different Christmas movies for all different audiences. You can encourage guests to show up (in person or virtually) in their best holiday sweaters … or even jammies!
Tips for all ALA Fundraisers
Here are a few things to keep in mind for fundraising events:

  • Be ALA branded — wear ALA attire, and use as many ALA branded items as you can. Always bring brochures to your events so participants can learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary, and tell supporters where their donations are going. Contact your ALA department (state) office to order brochures, and refer people to www.ALAforVeterans.org for additional information.
  • Get the word out — there is nothing more important than telling people about your event. Use social media, post flyers where you can in your community, and tell everyone you know. If they don’t know it’s happening, they can’t show up and donate.
  • Take pictures — designate a volunteer who is good with technology to take photos of your event, with the hopes of sharing these photos on social media, and spread the word about your event and your unit.
  • Thank participants — be sure to follow up with each guest and thank them for donating to your unit. This simple gesture goes a long way and may even make your guests want to donate again in the future.
Share your holiday fundraising events with us! Email ALAMagazine@ALAforVeterans.org or tag us on social media @ALAforVeterans.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.