How to Pull Together a Quilt Fundraiser

Fundraisers that offer participants the opportunity to get crafty, and maybe even learn a new skill are among the top successes. If you're playing with the idea of a craft fundraiser for your next charity event, consider a community quilt raffle.

Quilt making has quite a following in many communities, and what's even better is that you will raffle off the chance to win something that can become a family heirloom and be passed down from generation to generation.

Quilt fundraisers are the ideal charity raffle for local town fairs and other community fundraising drives because they tighten the bonds within the community. Oftentimes, the raffle winner will know each hand that created the winning quilt.

You don't need to be a master quilter to organize a quilt fundraising raffle, but each contributor will need to know how to operate a sewing machine to assemble the quilt. Really, one experienced quilter is all you really need to lead your group of eager quilters.

The head quilter will be the person who:

  • decides on the quilting pattern
  • determines what size the quilt will be
  • decides how many quilters are needed to finish the project
  • purchases all the materials needed

To make the quilt an authentic treat and a real reflection of your community, the head quilter may decide to ask each quilter to take a square and create the pattern of their choice.

Tips for head quilters/project organizers:

  • Purchase the material needed for the back of the quilt. Choose a fabric and color that will complement the collaborative effort. You may need to ask each quilter to give you the colors of their square ahead of time.
  • Buy quilt batting equal to the size of your quilt backing.
  • Purchase color coordinated yarn to tie the quilt the together during final assembly.
  • Determine the size of the squares you want on your quilt, and divide them equally between the volunteer quilters.
  • Find a quilting bee location. Many local churches or community centers would be open to hosting a regular quilting afternoon or evening for free. This will help the quilters stay on track with the project. It will also allow time for collaboration and color coordination. It may even offer time to determine a main theme before you start, so you can brainstorm about the images in each square.
  • If you can't find a local facility, a large, cozy basement will do. Take the bonding further by taking turns hosting the quilting at quilting members' homes.

How to Approach Quilting Sponsors

Now it's time to make some money towards your quilt materials, and towards your overall charity goal. Don't be shy about approaching people in the community for support. With the promise of some free advertising in exchange for material costs, many businesses and organizations will jump at the chance to help support your quilt.

  • Start by approaching local businesses and organizations in your community and ask them if they would like to support your charity by sponsoring a quilt square. Great places to start are local churches, civic groups, the mayor's office, local schools, the local fire department, and police station. Ask for a donation equal to the cost of the quilt fabric and design space, if you are renting a facility.
  • If you are getting local business sponsorship (per square) for your quilt, you might want to save your design planning for later. Many of the businesses and organizations sponsoring your quilt are expecting some type of recognition for their donation. What better way than to feature their name right on their quilt square? The quilt could end up featuring an array of integral community members and emblems, making it a fantastic and memorable prize for the college student leaving town for school, or the mayor leaving office.
  • Next, begin selling quilt raffle tickets. You can even go back to the organizations you asked for sponsorship to ask if they want a chance to win the quilt featuring their sponsored square. Chances are, they will!
  • During the raffle, be sure to put the finished quilt on display in a public location. This will go a long way to encourage people to buy raffle tickets, and it will also drum up some local press around your event and cause.

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