The Candle Fundraiser was chosen because it was September and Cliffdale Elementary School in Fayettevile, NC had figured candles would fit the Fall/Winter Atmosphere. We really wanted the kids to go to the special Christmas Presentations at the Zoo (and also needed funds for the school) and thus the idea of the fundraiser was born.
To generate the excitement of the fundraiser, we first bought a bunch of candles. We then had an outdoor (safer than the gymnasium) school meeting with the candles and told them what we wanted to do. We had posters from the previous years Zoo Christmas Activities and a tape of zoo animal noises. We then spoke with the children about what we were doing and why we needed their help!
As an incentive, we had gotten together with a parent who worked at the zoo and came to an agreement. The zoo had a special petting zoo and often times brought over some of the more “exotic” animals on special occasions.
To incite excitement and the competitive spirit of the children, we designated “rewards” in the petting zoo. For those who sold $500 dollars or more, they would be able to pet a wallaby. For those who sold $350 dollars or more, they would be able to hold and pet a parrot. For those who sold $200 dollars or more, they would be able to pet a turtle. Lastly, any children selling $100 dollars or more would be able to pet an EMU.
The candle fundraiser was a HUGE success. We had over 150 children sell more than the $500 dollar level! Hundreds more sold between $100 and $499 of candles. All those who didn’t were still able to pet goats, rabbits and other small animals.
The trip to the zoo was amazing and we raised hundreds of dollars for the school!