Breakfast is, as they say, the most important meal of the day. Why not use it to raise money for important causes? Breakfast fundraisers can be sit-down pancake feasts for the whole family or coffee-and-muffin affairs designed to attract businesspeople on their way to work in downtown offices. The most important aspect of any fundraiser is marketing, so be sure to get the word out about your breakfast benefit.
Set a goal. If this is your first fundraiser, start with a low goal, such as $200. Work your way up to goals of $1,000 or more. The goal will help you plan for the number of people you expect to attend. If the breakfast is going to be $5 per person, for example, you'll need 40 people to attend to achieve your goal, and 10 to 20 more than that to offset the cost of food and supplies.
Choose a menu. Pancakes are very popular for breakfast fundraisers, but are labor-intensive, not to mention sticky. Another option is fresh fruit, coffee and muffins or croissants. Calculate how much the food will cost (make sure to buy in bulk) and factor that in to your attendance goal.
Select a venue. You'll need to book a room or decide on a lobby or outdoor space for your breakfast. The venue is important. Is it easy to find? Is it convenient for the before-work crowd, in the case of a coffee-and-muffins breakfast? Does it have enough seating for children and older people, in the case of a community pancake breakfast? If you are doing pancakes, you'll need a kitchen to prepare them. Make sure you apply for a permit, if necessary.
Advertise. Use Facebook and Twitter campaigns. Email your contacts. Create posters and leaflets to distribute around town, especially in the areas frequented by your target market. Raising funds for an after-school program? Leave brochures at daycare facilities and the local hockey rink. Some community radio stations will air ads for free.
Buy supplies. Go shopping for napkins, coffee cups, plates and cutlery in bulk. Purchase these well in advance. Purchase fruit, baked goods and juice the evening before the fundraiser. Don't forget cream and sugar for the coffee, syrup for the pancakes and jam for the croissants. Ask volunteers to bake, or get a grocery store to donate produce to reduce your costs.
Round up your volunteers, set out the coffee and food, open the doors and start raising money.
Cynthia Vukets is a Canadian journalist who has been writing since 2004. Having worked in print and television in Canada, Rwanda and Kenya, her writing has appeared in publications such as "The Daily Nation," "The Times & Transcript" and "The New Times." Vukets has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Carleton University.