Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Soda Float Fountain Party

This is a fun idea I've used the past two years to host a party at work as a March of Dimes fundraiser.  This would be a fun idea for a cheerleading or dance team fundraiser or birthday party for older kids too.

Here was my supply list - some of these things like the tablecloth and ribbon I already had on hand:

cups - I use the bigger Solo cups
ice cream scoops
curling ribbon
gift bag (for collecting donations)
rainbow sherbet
ice cream - vanilla, chocolate and strawberry
Faygo soda in multiple flavors - cream soda, grape, red pop, rock'n'rye, root beer, 
Faygo seltzer - plain and lemon-lime
cherries - red and green
whipped cream - regular and chocolate
syrup - chocolate and caramel
A pretty, brightly colored tablecloth and some cheerful flowers sets a light-hearted mood that goes with the bright colors of the float toppings.
While you could just do plain ice cream and root beer, you will likely make more by providing options for those who don't like those flavors, wish to make small sundaes instead of floats, or have things they have given up for Lent or dieting reasons.  
Plus, some people will kick in a little extra when they see the fun toppings.
 A nod to St. Patrick's Day.

Who can resist a cherry with the stem?
Make sure the order of your layout makes sense so people don't have to backtrack and the line moves smoothly.  Start with your collection bag right up front so people don't have to juggle holding their money and making their float.  I included a sign thanking our business sponsors - this sort of recognition is a little added bonus for those businesses.  I recommend setting a suggested donation amount of $3 or more.  I did this in the past at $2 per float and many people told me to raise it.  Many people will kick in even more than that.  
Start with your cups and napkins, followed by the ice cream options, then sodas, then toppings, spoons and straws.  
Because this was a fundraiser, I posted information for folks who wanted to know more about the cause they were donating for.  In this case, I posted another sign thanking our business sponsors, a sheet with pictures of the babies on our team as newborns in the NICU (people are very moved seeing the visuals), 
and last was a fact sheet about preemies gathered from data on the March of Dimes website with some of the visuals mentioned on the fact sheet actually displayed such as a coffee stirrer being the size of a preemie trach tube.
Because our team is also launching a bake sale, I had order forms and pens laid out at a nearby table for those who might be interested.  In my business of about 50 employees, I received over $100 in donations even though not everyone participated.  I considered my expense for the food items to be part of my donation to March of Dimes so the entire amount of the donations goes directly to March of Dimes.

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