How to Host a Pajama Fundraiser

There are different variations of the pajama fundraiser, but there's one common theme: pajamas! The idea is that your participants pay (or get sponsored) to come to work or school in their pajamas. Everyone enjoys a day of casual, comfortable dress while raising some much-needed funds for your organization.

kids in pajamas

As the pajama fundraiser is so flexible, you can modify to suit all kinds of groups. Rather than having a pajama-wearing day at school or work, you could instead have a sleepover night where people get in their pajamas very early on. Choose whatever works best for your particular group and setting.

Planning

The good news is that pajama fundraisers don't require much in the way of preparation — your attendees already have their own set of pajamas, so all you need to do is to pick a day and an occasion to wear them.

How you use the pajama idea depends on the setting. If you're fundraising at a school, the kids will love to come in wearing their jammies. See if you can persuade the teachers to join in as well. To raise extra cash you could sell donuts and bagels in the morning as people turn up for school.

You can also use the same idea in the workplace, where staff pay for the privilege of dressing down for a particular day. Again, if the senior members of staff and bosses can be persuaded to get involved, so much the better. The most important thing is that everyone enjoys themselves.

Outside of school and work you can apply the pajama theme to special events, such as bowling trips or meals out. The same principle applies whatever you decide to do, with people chipping in with a small donation (say $1-5) in order to wear their pajamas for the duration.

You'll find that many local shelters and charities are eager for clothes donations, including pajamas and nightwear. Check with the organizations in your neighborhood to see if they would be interested in receiving donations, as this is one way of extending the pajama idea: you can get people to bring along old, unused sets of pajamas as well as wearing their current pair.

Advertising

The key part of advertising your event is making sure that everyone knows what's happening and when: you don't want some poor kid turning up in full school uniform while everyone else is wearing pajamas.

Your advertising material can include letters home to students and staff, posters up in your workplace or school, as well as flyers given out a few days in advance. Make sure you include the suggested donation price. If breakfast is going to be provided, you might want to suggest a higher level.

You do have the option of letting people collect sponsors for the pajama day to add to their own donations, but this may not be suitable for your event. If you're running it in a school, for example, then moms and dads and other relatives might want to chip in too.

Make sure your advertising includes details of the good causes that will benefit from the money raised. Letting the local community know what's happening with posters and notices in the press is also helpful — if everyone in the wider area knows what the funds are being raised for, they might want to add a contribution.

If visitors are likely to turn up at the office or school where the pajama party is being held, then it's a good idea to put some publicity near the entrance to the building — that way, the visitors won't be caught completely unprepared! They might even want to leave a small contribution of their own.

The event

Most of the day should take care of itself, but you need volunteers to be on hand to collect donations as people come in (and to distribute breakfast, if necessary). You might want to take some photos as mementos of the event, which could also be sent to the local press or displayed on your organization's website.

To add a little bit more variety to the day, you could arrange for a pajama fashion show or a simple vote on who has come in the best pair of pajamas. Dressing gowns and slippers can also be included if people want to feel really snug during the day or the event.

Another idea is to keep serving breakfast foods all the way through the day: the staff or school canteen might be able to help you out here. If your pajama fundraiser is focused around a trip out, then you might want to make sure that only breakfast-style foods are available. If you want to bring your own and sell them for a small profit you can add to the funds you raise.

Pajama party fundraisers can be a whole lot of fun in return for a little bit of planning and preparation. They'll be particularly well received at schools and offices where the dress code is usually very strict. As always, remind the participants about where their funds are going and the difference they are making by contributing.

Comments

  1. Michele says:

    Interested in doing this for a fundraiser

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