Winter Fundraising: When Lemonade Turns Into Hot Chocolate

Selling lemonade on street corners has been a childhood favorite for generations.

On hot summer days nothing refreshes quite like a cup of lemonade, especially if it's sold by a group of entrepreneurial neighborhood kids. But in the dead of winter lemonade just doesn't hit the spot — but hot chocolate sure does.

It might not be as comfortable, but you can apply the lemonade concept to your child's organization in order to raise money.

What you'll need:

  1. A booth of some sort. This can be a table, or it can be a booth that the children in the organization build. Either way, it requires a flat surface for serving the hot chocolate, and a sign letting people know that you are, in fact, selling hot chocolate.
  2. Styrofoam cups. In summer it's a bit easier with cups, since you can use paper or plastic cups. But with hot chocolate you either need thick paper cups, or else styrofoam. After all, what good is hot chocolate if it cools down quickly? As it turns out, styrofoam might be more environmentally friendly than paper cups, so you'll probably do better to get them.
  3. Hot chocolate mix. Without this you wouldn't have much of a hot chocolate sale. You'll probably do best to get this at a wholesale store such as Costco, if someone in the organization has a membership. You'll need plenty of it, hopefully.
  4. Mini marshmallows. No, the marshmallow isn't essential to hot chocolate, but people will really appreciate it if you sprinkle a few on top. Again, this is a good Costco purchase. You can get them in bulk and not have to worry about running out.
  5. A coffee urn. For a project this big, you'll need a mass brewing solution. Coffee urns will work just fine for these purposes. The only issue is finding a power supply. You might have to brew the hot chocolate in a nearby house and transport it to the booth location.
  6. A thermos. In case you can't logistically have an urn at the booth, you'll need something to keep the hot chocolate steaming as you pour it into a customer's cup. Thermoses will do the trick.
  7. Plenty of water. This isn't an issue if you're brewing it inside, but if you have the urn at the booth you'll need a constant supply of water. Unfortunately, the most abundant supply, the snow around you, just won't do.
  8. A location. This is last on the list, but it might be most important. In the summer it's easy enough to get cars to stop for a lemonade stand, but in the winter people are less apt to get out of their warm cars, even for a warm drink. Finding an area with heavy foot traffic is important, then. Asking a local shop or mall for permission to sell outside an entrance will probably work best. That ensures the greatest volume of foot traffic. It should also put you somewhere close to an outlet, so that you can make your hot chocolate right on site.

Comments

  1. nick says:

    Dont you need a food handlers degree? Mom says you have to get one and you have to be at least 14 years old to earn one. This website is confusing

    • Bob says:

      Nick,

      You mom is a killjoy or killer of dreams and fun and if you listen to her you will always be working for entrepreneurs.

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