Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY Scratch-Off Fundraiser

Every year my high school does a fundraiser event called a "Dance Marathon" (DM) for our local children's hospital. It involves eating, playing games, dunking teachers, a bit of organized dancing, and just having a really good time with friends while working for a good cause. We spend all year planning out this event and do tiny things along the way to help raise as much money as possible. One of those "tiny" things includes promoting the clubs in the school to do their own small thing for the DM, whether that means making tie-blankets for the hospital or raising money through their own mini-fundraiser.

One of the clubs that I help out with is Health Professionals of Tomorrow (HPT). The officers of HPT sat down and brainstormed many different ideas on how to do our own little fundraiser, and had our members vote on their favorite one. Having a scratch-off fundraiser won, which led to this fun DIY project :)

What exactly is a scratch-off fundraiser? A scratch off fundraiser involved a card that has money amounts hidden under a scratch off surface. Donors scratch off a spot and donate the amount shown. Sometimes you can make it more reward based and give a candy for every donation. It's just a more fun way to raise money.

Is this the only way to do a Scratch-Off Fundraiser? Nope, not at all. There's plenty of companies that would LOVE to help you do this by having you pay for it. :D Companies likes Skratchers and this site. Skratchers will even send you a free sample. While the sites are faster, in my opinion they are SUPER expensive and not really customizable to your specific fundraiser.

So how do you do it yourself? 

1. Get some supplies. You'll need acrylic paints, dish soap, tape (or a laminating machine, or white crayons), and paper (preferably cardstock).
2. Create a card design. This is where you get to make your fundraiser however you'd like it. I did mine on word, with one inch circles being the scratch off spot, inside which were rectangles with the money amount. Each card added up to $25 and had 24 spots ranging from $0.50 to $2.00 (so whatever the donor scratched, it was not an outrageous amount). And unlike what some people thought, there were way more $0.50 spots than $2.00.
What the word document looks like. This a little smaller than half a page in landscape mode
 3. Print your card design on cardstock or whatever paper you chose. Cut out the cards.
cutting these out was probably my least favorite part ....
4. Here's where you create a barrier between the paint and paper so the scratch-off doesn't ruin what's written underneath. There are many ways to go about this. You can run your cards through a laminating machine, if you have one. I've READ you can color in the money amount with a white crayon, but this is not tested by me (my paper wasn't all white, as you can see above, so it wouldn't have worked as well). What I chose to do is cover the cards with big packing tape. This basically laminated the cards AND made them more sturdy and nice looking :)
Tape I used
5. Time to paint! The rule is to have two parts paint for every one part dish soap. This isn't a hard and fast rule- I estimated for all the ones I did and they turned out fine. The cool thing is- you can use ANY color and even do designs, something you wouldn't get with online ordered ones. Below are some designs I did.
you can see the rainbow array of paints on the side

in between painting :)

And that's it! :) Here are some optional things that I did to facilitate this whole process:

*I attached envelopes on the back of all the cards for members to put the money inside. 
*There was a little sheet inside the envelope that explained the purpose of raising money for the hospital and all the good the hospital did.
*To make it more fun and involved, we had members actually paint their own card during a meeting. That way, everyone got to chose their own colors and make it their own and have fun with it. Plus, it saved a TON of time for me, since I only colored enough for people who didn't attend the meeting/example purposes. 
*We suggested that people can make this more exciting by creating some sort of game with the scratching off or  giving a piece of candy to every donor (a bag of 20-30 piece "fun-size" candy bars is only $2-3). The candy incentive seemed to pull a lot of donors.

At the end, we raised $609.24 through this fundraiser, so it DOES work. Most people in the club didn't actually finish their cards, but it evened out with some very generous extra donations. The cards help introduce the cause and initiate a good starting donation price. And you can always increase the amount of spots or money in each spot. Obviously, it takes some outgoing individuals to help make it work and lots of time to make the cards, but it's quite worthwhile for the end result. :)

If you do this fundraiser, please link to pictures! I did it pretty simply, I'd love to see how it can be expanded and fancified.


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