By Emma Craig, Community Engagement Associate • Autism, ASD, autism acceptance, neurodivergent, fundraising, fundraising ideas • March 18, 2021
The goal of the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, is to support Minnesotans with autism and raise awareness and acceptance in the community. In Minnesota, 1 in 44 children will be diagnosed with autism.
Fraser is Minnesota’s largest and most experienced provider of autism services. We help every individual and family achieve success — however they define it. As a nonprofit organization, Fraser relies on the financial support of foundations, corporations and individuals to sustain and expand our programming. Fundraising events, like the festival, help Fraser reach even more Minnesotans with diverse cognitive, emotional and physical needs.
Maybe you’re already planning to join us for a day of fun at the festival on Saturday, May 1, at Mall of America. The event will include a drive-thru parade of activities — featuring a virtual photo booth, giveaways and therapy animals — that everyone can enjoy from the safety of their vehicles. If you haven’t registered yet, sign up here. If you’re already planning to attend, check out some fun ways to raise funds, and you could even win some Fraser swag!
1. Enlist the support of your friends, family and networks
You can register for the event as an individual, but like most things, the festival is more fun with friends! Invite friends and family to join your team, or ask them to contribute to your fundraising goal. People give to people, so explain why this cause is important to you and how their donations will impact the lives of their friends, neighbors and Fraser families.
2. Go digital
It’s easy to reach a wide group of supporters through social media, text messages and email. Post your team or individual fundraising page on your Facebook account, send it in an email blast to your friends and family or try out Instagram stories’ “donate” function. You can read more about that in our virtual fundraising guide.
3. Gamify it
Want to get people excited about fundraising? Try making it into a game. Consider holding a drawing for everyone who donates to your page. The prize could be a batch of your homemade cookies or a gift card to a local shop or restaurant. Or, challenge friends to complete a task and post about it on Facebook or donate to the festival (think ALS Ice Bucket Challenge).
4. Think outside the box
Sometimes, you need to get creative to capture people’s attention. Try purchasing or making a cardboard cut-out of a favorite figure or character. Then place it in a coworker’s office with the deal that to remove it, they donate and put it in someone else’s office. You could also sell fundraising squares and split the proceeds with the winner of a drawing of all your donors. Consider hosting a virtual event or bake sale. The possibilities are endless. Our fundraising guide contains many other ideas to spark your creativity.
5. Thank and update your supporters
When people give to your fundraising page, be sure to thank them. After the event, consider sharing your experience by sending photos or videos along with a message of gratitude. A good old-fashioned thank you card also does the trick.
Good luck fundraising. We’re so grateful to everyone who shows their support for individuals and families with autism. Visit our event site to learn more about our three fundraising contests running until Friday, April 16. Hope to see you at the festival!