Host a Fundraiser
Thank you for choosing to organize a Community Fundraiser to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois. We truly appreciate your efforts to make a difference in the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
Funds raised through your efforts allow RMHC to provide comfortable and affordable temporary housing to hundreds of families faced with the daunting challenge of caring for their seriously ill or injured child at a hospital in the Iowa City area. Worrying about one less thing by knowing that they can turn to RMHC makes a great impact on a family, whose only concern should be caring for their child.
Thank you for your support!
Let’s get started helping families.
The first step is to get your fundraising activity approved by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois (RMHC). Before you begin fundraising or promoting your event or project, please follow these steps:
- Review the Third-Party Fundraiser Policies & Guidelines
- Complete the Community Fundraiser Application, providing as many details as possible. Don’t forget to sign the application to acknowledge that you agree to follow the Policies and Guidelines as stated. Feel free to contact RMHC is you have any questions!
- Return the completed application to RMHC for approval. Upon approval you may begin fundraising.
- To learn more about promoting your event, download our Event Communications Guide.
- All forms and applications can be found HERE.
Consult with RMHC development staff if you have questions or need advice along the way!
Your RMHC Contact:
Heather Wilson, Development Director
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois
730 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City, IA 52246
(319) 356-3939 | [email protected]
Community Fundraiser Ideas
Below are some ideas and examples of successful events. Remember, your only limitation is your imagination.
Incorporate fundraising into your club. Buy your next book club book in bulk for a discount and donate the savings to RMHC. Rent a movie for your next film club outing and donate the cost of the theater tickets to RMHC. Have a collection box at your next knitting or supper club meeting.
Turn a day of your favorite sport into a fundraiser! Golf, snowboarding, disc golf, croquet or pool – it all works. Organize a tournament, charge an entry fee and donate the fees to RMHC. If you want to have a large event, solicit corporate sponsors to underwrite the costs in exchange for exposure of their product or logo.
Hold a walk, run or other activity and ask participants to collect pledges. Pledges can be per mile, bowling pin, pool lap, etc. You can even piggyback on an existing activity like the Annual Red Shoe Walk/Run and have your teammates collect pledges for the House.
If you have a business or know of one that is having a Grand Opening, ask them to donate a portion of the proceeds to RMHC. Ask your favorite restaurant or bar to have a charity day and donate a portion of the proceeds of that day’s sales to RMHC.
Bake sales, car washes and other “sales” types of events are great and can be regularly scheduled events. Monthly events can raise a significant amount over the course of a season or even a year. Consult with RMHC development staff if you have questions or need advice along the way.
Fundraising Tips For Success
Choose the “right” fundraiser.
Your fundraiser should be something you can passionately be involved with and it should serve as a way for others to support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois. Some important questions to ask yourself: What are your interests and time availability? Does the fundraiser fit RMHC’s mission and image? Is the fundraiser LEGAL in Iowa?
Form a planning committee.
Forming a planning committee provides the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and then “divide and conquer” tasks. Ask committee members to take responsibility in a certain aspect of your fundraiser that interests them or fits their skill set. When you have formed your committee, schedule a visit to the House. It’s a great way to help build their passion for the House and the event.
Define your event.
Decide what type of fundraiser you want to host and what you hope to accomplish. Think about themes, venues, food and beverages, prizes and programming. The event should be kept to a manageable size that captures the interest, talents, goals and time of the group and the community. Your event should also compliment the mission and image of RMHC.
Set a realistic and measurable financial goal for your fundraiser. Consider setting additional goals that aren’t necessarily measurable. For instance, did participants enjoy your fundraiser? Did they learn more about RMHC? Creating awareness about RMHC is an important aspect of a successful fundraiser.
Identify your target audience.
Knowing your audience will help in planning your marketing and promotion strategy. Who will be most interested in supporting your fundraiser? Do you or your committee members have access to these groups or individuals?
Schedule the fundraiser.
Select a date and time that is appropriate for your targeted participants. Refer to a calendar to avoid holidays or popular vacation times. Check out local calendars to make sure your fundraiser doesn’t conflict with other fundraisers.
Develop a budget.
Creating a budget is something most folks dread. However, it is important to identify sources of income and expenses before you start fundraising. Costs should be monitored carefully, as RMHC cannot be liable for expenses or fundraisers that do not raise money. Plus, you want to make sure your fundraiser helps as many families as possible! Establishing a budget will provide a benchmark to ensure that your fundraising stays on track!
Plan your promotion strategy.
How will you promote your fundraiser to build awareness, attendance and donations? In addition to traditional advertising (fliers, posters, speaking to groups), think about using email and social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. If you need RMHC materials (brochures, fact sheets, etc) to hand out, just call RMHC and we can have some available for you!
Collect the funds.
Please forward all funds to RMHC of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois within 30 days of the fundraiser. Once the funds are received, RMHC will automatically send a thank you letter with tax information to the donor, if the check is made payable to RMHC of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois.
Be sure to thank everyone who participated or donated to your fundraiser. Don’t forget about the folks who helped you plan the fundraiser, let them know how much you appreciated their help as well!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will a Ronald McDonald House Charities representative attend the event?
Ronald McDonald House Charities relies heavily on volunteers to achieve its mission. We often have volunteers represent us in the community. If you would like an Ambassador to represent RMHC-EIWI at your event, we will make our best effort to secure an Ambassador for a check presentation and/or to address the attendees.
2. Can the Ronald McDonald House Charities provide materials such as brochures, donation forms, giveaways, etc. for my event?
Yes, with advance notice staff can provide materials suitable for your event and donors. Please note that due to a limited amount of supplies, the amount allocated for an event will be at the discretion of RMHC.
3. Can I provide receipts or an acknowledgement letter from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois?
Donations made online or sent directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & western Illinois will receive a receipt or acknowledgement letter. We can provide a single acknowledgement letter for the event coordinator and/or organizations. For cash gifts received at the fundraiser, we are able to provide a tax donation card; however, for accounting purposes, we will keep track of how many cards are sent out and will need to collect the remainder of cards not used to present to the appropriate RMHC department.
4. If participants donate directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis, can staff provide names and amounts donated?
Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis respects the confidentiality of its donors and will not release their contact information.
5. Can I use the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ tax-exempt status when purchasing materials?
Third party fundraisers cannot use the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ tax exemption status in conjunction with the event. However, RMHC staff can provide a verification letter confirming the organizer’s intent to raise funds for RMHC-EIWI. All checks from participants of third party promotions, whether they are local, affiliate-wide or national, must be made out to the third party organization, not RMHC. For individuals requesting donations to RMHC-EIWI in lieu of gifts for a special occasion, checks should be made out to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois and sent to the local or affiliate office with a note stating what promotion it should be applied to.