Hosting a St. Patrick's Day Fundraiser
St. Patrick’s Day lands on March 17th, just three days before spring technically begins this year. This holiday can also serve as the perfect opportunity to host your next fundraiser. Planning and executing fundraisers is a skill many learn in their college years. And there are plenty of creative ways to drum-up the money. Themes and unique concepts are an important way to drive traffic to your event, helping you raise even more money. But coming up with these unique ideas can be a challenge when your brain is preoccupied with school. To help in your fundraising efforts, here are 8 new ideas to earn your pot of gold.
For a truly unique fundraiser, consider celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in blue instead of green. Blue was actually the favored color at the time St. Patrick was alive. Light blue was the official color of Ireland and even named “St. Patrick’s Blue.” So, even though we’re already beginning to see signs of the spring season. Flowers are blooming, snow has melted, and green is beginning to pop up everywhere, blue could be the fun edge you should be exploring for your event.
If your group has more of an environmental focus, switch-up what “go green” means. Consider selling reusable water-bottles or other eco-friendly products. Hosting a scrap-metal drive is a cheap option that allows people to donate unusable items to be recycled as opposed to throwing them out. This also gives students an option to help-out by donating old bikes, barbecues, or car parts instead of money.
Lucky for you, this holiday falls around the same time as midterms for most universities. With the stress of the semester building, students may want cheap lucky charms to aid in their studies. Before you go on the ultimate four-leaf-clover hunt, check out shamrock shaped cookies or stickers to hand out instead.
Rather than indulging in typical practices of green snacks and four-leaf-clovers, what about introducing more traditional Irish and St. Patrick’s Day culture. Colcannon and soda bread are traditional Irish dishes some students may not have tried yet, and your fundraiser could be the perfect introduction.
On a similar note, perhaps there are active Irish student orgs or community associations you can partner with. Odds are they have resources and information helpful to your cause. Together you can brainstorm topics that are culturally relevant and bring in money.
Good, Clean, Fun
It’s no secret that beer companies make a killing after St. Patrick’s Day. But it’s not the only way to have fun, not to mention it’s less safe and unsuitable for most college campuses. Universities will often have resource centers or offices devoted to solving substance abuse and should have ideas to promote your St. Patrick’s Day event that don’t include a drop of beer.
Fun facts are just that, fun. So why not host a trivia night to test people’s St. Patrick’s Day knowledge? Not everyone knows about the color blue’s tie to Irish history (like you do know) or that St. Patrick was really born in Great Britain. There are also many possibilities for prizes without spending money. Local businesses often appreciate the opportunity to partner with good causes in the community. So, they may be willing to donate coupons or even some of their products.
The Blarney Stone
Traveling to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney stone is a 200 year old tradition in Ireland. Legend has it that once a person bends over backwards to kiss the stone, they will be graced with the gift of eloquence. This tradition could easily be adapted into an activity that doesn’t require a plane ticket to Ireland or swapping germs. Maybe your campus has one staircase that everyone dreads walking up and you can place a stone at the top, and that by simply touching it the person will also get the gift of eloquence. This is a great scenario to collect donations and adapt an Irish tradition that many students don’t know about.
St. Patrick’s Day is a unique holiday we all celebrate in our own way. Using this fun holiday as a backdrop to your fundraiser gives you many options to be creative. Whatever method you decide, focus on the fun of the day and students will forget they’re there to donate money. What’s your favorite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?