This is a quick and dirty (no pun intended) youth fundraising idea which is especially suitable for older kids. They will get wet and tired, but they’ll probably enjoy doing it.
As long as you have enough young volunteers to do the actual washing, the work is easy and can even be fun.
Each youth group will develop their own techniques, but the basic approach is as follows: A few young workers at a time wash a car with soapy water and sponges while another volunteer hoses it off. The car pulls forward and a few more volunteers dry the car with rags or chamois.
After a few cars have been cleaned, the entire process becomes easier as it works like an assembly line. The workers can rotate jobs to keep it interesting and provide rest for the ones doing the harder tasks.
No kidding …
The best time for your youth fund raiser car wash is in the warm months – late spring through early fall, or year-round in sunny climates. The best days are usually Saturday or Sunday in the late morning, which is when a lot of people run errands and wash their cars. On Sundays you can catch them going to or from church.
Bring lots of dry towels or chamois, buckets, soap, sponges, brushes, trash receptacles with bags, and a long hose (or several to join together). You’ll also want some large, colorful signs to attract attention and direct interested people to your car wash fund raiser. A couple of volunteers can hold the signs and wave to passing vehicles to draw interest.
Your youth fund raising group will want to get permission from a school, church or shopping center to set up the car wash. Select a parking lot near a busy street so you can attract lots of passersby. A location near a busy car wash would be good to pick up overflow. [IMPORTANT: Choose a location with a water source to connect one or more hoses.]
You will need lots of volunteers to run your car wash: people for washing, rinsing, drying, directing traffic, handling money, running errands to get supplies and to relieve tiring workers.
To increase traffic, advertise your youth fundraiser in local newspapers and on radio stations to appear on the day of the wash and a few days before.
FREE = More profits
Try to get a sponsor to pay for supplies or signs. To make your fundraising more profitable, add a small concession stand to sell refreshments to your customers, which would be especially good on hot days.
Here’s a free book to help your car wash that you can download (in .pdf format) or read online that covers just about everything you will ever need to know about the subject.