At Valley Outreach, we are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of incredible initiatives of our community. One such event that has made a significant impact is the Carnelian Cares fundraiser.
Carnelian Cares, a close knit, neighborhood community on Big Carnelian Lake, hosted their eighth annual fundraising concert this summer. The event is an annual community-building event where people gather in their boats on the lake and enjoy music – all to benefit a good cause.
This annual summer event is a fundraising success every year and creates a sense of unity and generosity. It’s truly heartwarming. We recently sat down with the organizers of Carnelian Cares tolearn how they host such a large-scale, grassroots fundraiser. Here, we share their valuable lessons and experiences that could serve as a guide for anyone considering similar initiatives.
- Form a Committee: One of the first pieces of advice from the Carnelian Cares team is to maintain a small, core committee. In their experience, a smaller committee makes decision-making more manageable. The core team formed four working groups, focusing on sponsorship, marketing/social media, host site, and admin/finance. This structure allows for greater organization and ensures that each aspect of the event is well-managed.
- Leverage Tools and Resources: Carnelian Cares worked with the staff at Valley Outreach to track donations and process thank-you notes( things we already do as an organization.) They emphasized the importance of using online platforms like Give MN to give their group a professional appearance.
- Set a Goal: Beyond the financial goals, the organizers of the Carnelian Cares even set out to inspire long-term change in the community. They envision showing the younger generation the value of being generous with their time, talent, and treasure. Involving the youth in planning and implementing the event was a key strategy to achieve this goal.
- Create a Sense of Community Involvement: The Carnelian Cares team has successfully fostered a sense of community involvement and ownership. They’ve observed that the event has brought neighbors together, forming new bonds and friendships. The sense of unity has grown stronger over the years, all starting with the simple question, “How can I help?” The involvement of sponsors, leveraging the under-30 crowd for website development, and tapping into community resources have been effective strategies. Their dedication to raising the bar, expanding their online presence, and celebrating each donation received has created a shared sense of success and joy within the team. The generosity of people who believe in Carnelian Cares has been truly amazing.
Carnelian Cares is a wonderful example of a small community group coming together to host a large-scale fundraiser for a good cause all while strengthening the bonds among neighbors. We hope this story serves as an inspiration for other groups to initiate their own initiatives that make a positive impact on their neighborhoods and beyond.
Interested in starting your own fundraiser? Check out our tool kit and leverage the tips above to get started!