We are a small organization that rescues horses and puts them to work for mentally and physically disabled children. Being a non profit organization, we rely heavily on fundraisers and donations.
This idea originally came to us from an American Idol fan who thought the community would really enjoy the chance to compete in a talent showcase while helping a local non profit group.
We decided that we should print up some flyer’s and run a short ad in the local paper so that people would know about the event. We contacted a local restaurant who agreed to donate a section of the restaurant and a sound system to the cause.
Some of our children and their parents created table coverings that looked like horses. We placed these tables in front of the stage area. This is where we placed brochures and other information about our group. We also placed the grand prize, which was a trophy donated by a local trophy shop. Runners up won a free horseback riding lesson.
The event itself was staffed by our volunteers and kids in shifts. The rules were simple. Each song cost a donation of $1 per person singing. There were lots of groups that wanted to sing together The event lasted four hours. We would try to separate each thirty minute period and choose an overall winner. At the end of the night, those who were interested in the prizes were asked to sing one more song. They were then judged by the audience and their cheering.
We made a big deal out of the awards ceremony and everyone seemed to love it. Overall, we made over $1500 between simple donations and the cost of those who wanted to sing.
The things that made this a success was the fact that our kids and volunteers came and enjoyed themselves. Without them, we could not have done this. The restaurant has invited this back, and we plan on making this into a biweekly event.