Colonial candle making was a vital part of life during the early years of the United States. Settlers brought their colonial candle making craft from Europe in the late 1500’s, relying on it for light. When the original colonies gained independence, and electric lights replaced flickering wax lights, the era itself ceased to exist. The colonial candle making craft, however, did not die. Instead, it became a nostalgic link to our past, making the craft a decidedly sentimental fundraiser.
Colonial candle making fundraisers base their success on wistful emotions. They rely on our reminiscences of a time that seems, from a distance, to have been so much more peaceful. No that we can really remember that era. We can’t, but our minds try to capture it as though we had lived through it.
Wistful emotions are the beginning of a good fundraiser, but there are other requirements, too. You will want to be sure you meet all of them.
Requirements for Successful Fundraiser
Colonial candle making crafts fit these seven requirements of a good fundraiser.
1. provide an exciting theme
2. involve customer emotions
3. proffer customer participation
4. supply useful products
5. provide consumable products
6. boast good profit potential
7. offer fun for your volunteers
Colonial candle making fundraisers provide an exciting atmosphere with a theme that touches potential customers at an emotional level. You attract visitors who might not be inclined to simply purchase your products without the excitement of the theme. Think of Williamsburg, Virginia. People flock to the town to enjoy the ambiance. They want to see all of the historic sites. They want to see the historic crafts and trades. They want to enjoy the period costumes and pretend they have traveled back in time. They feel a sense of nostalgia for “the way we were” and often wish they could be that way again.
The prospect of participating without upsetting their homes also appeals to potential customers. They may not want to invest time, effort, or money in pursuing the craft, but they want to try it. They want to create lovely, long tapers, and the resulting beautiful creations are useful products as well as consumable products they will want to replace in the months ahead.
Your volunteers will enjoy an event fundraiser far more than they would enjoy sitting at a table. Such an unusual, creative activity will be welcomed much more quickly than the option of going door-to-door to raise money for your organization. Those who like costume parties can dress up, and all can get involved in craft activities while raising big profits for your organization.
First, your group obtains necessary licenses, permissions, and insurance. You create intriguing posters featuring your colonial candle making craft. Your volunteers dress in clothing from that era to set your theme atmosphere. Those who can’t manage costumes wear long aprons. You hang large kettles over big (but contained) fires in the park. You spread park picnic tables with equipment, colonial candle making supplies, and extra aprons for customers.
As visitors arrive, you sell tickets to your enchanting event. Each ticket holder gets to participate in the colonial candle making craft, and then take home his or her creation. Those who don’t choose to participate may purchase luminaries made by your volunteers – or provided by a retailer that offers you appropriate fundraiser prices.
Colonial candle making event visitors receive printed reminders of how to replace their fundraiser creations when they have burned down.
It is never easy to get media coverage, but it can be done. When media are asked to cover a human interest event, the possibilities increase. Here are a dozen ways to grab media attention for your colonial candle making fundraiser.
· Plan an unusual event – the more unusual, the better!
· Check community schedules to be sure you won’t clash with another event.
· Try to get a local celebrity to attend your fundraiser or give a quote.
· Decide which media outlets to target: newspapers, radio, TV, etc.
· Create a news release with detailed outline of your intended event.
· Call and ask who should receive your news release and what the deadline is.
· Place a follow-up call to be sure the news release was received.
· Send a photograph of a volunteer involved in colonial candle making.
· Include costumed children in your event photographs.
· Offer to let reporters photograph event preparation and the actual event.
· Ask reporters to sign in at the event – and have printed info for them.
· Follow up with reporters after your successful fundraiser.
Colonial candle making fundraisers cannot help but be successful if your group plans well and gets fully involved.