Raising Funds by Doing Someone Else’s Dirty Work

It’s ironic how sometimes the simplest activities in life are the ones that busy people are willing to pay others to do. That’s why doing other people’s dirty work makes for a great school fundraiser. And by that we mean by doing simple household chores such as house cleaning, yard work, pumping gas, serving food and drink, painting, and doing dishes—for cash!

Doing Dishes

Here are our top ideas for dirty work fundraising:

Waiting Tables

You will need help from a local restaurant or fast food joint to get this one rolling. Choose a favorite local sit down restaurant. Or, if it’s a fast food joint, you can offer the customers sit-down service in exchange for donations.

Ask if it’s possible to take over serving duties for the evening in exchange for tips, or a percentage of each bill’s sales. Have your sports team or school group dress up in black pants, white dress shirts, and aprons, and take to busing tables, setting new places, and serving meals.

You will find that many patrons will gladly donate money if it’s for a good cause. Groups should print up some cards for each table with details on your charity, and asking for fifteen to twenty percent of their bill. You can also plan ahead by working with the restaurant’s chef to create a custom menu especially for the evening, perhaps with special meals named for your charity of choice.

Each individual member of the waiting for cash team will need a crash course in serving ettiquette and timing before the event takes place. It would even be wise to keep some of the full-time, experienced wait staff on hand to help mentor your group, because even though you are serving for charity, it shouldn’t get in the way of patrons’ expectations for impeccable service.

Butler for Auction

Any type of auction is popular if the team (football or basketball), profession (firefighter or police), or group (fraternity or sorority) is well known in the community. For example, the freshman students would jump at the chance to bid on members of the school’s sports celebrities.

After all, what’s better than a newbie freshman having a popular senior carry around their books and fetch their lunch?

The deal is that the highest bidder gets a day to have this person do all of their school chores for them. But be sure to set strict rules in advance, stating the time duration that the butler duties will take place and what the butler will and won’t do. For example, a butler will agree to carry books, fetch snacks, and make photo copies; however, the butler will not do homework or take tests for the bidder.

Gas Jockey

It’s not very common to see a full serve gas station anymore. Instead, drivers must pump their own gas at self-serve stations these days. With this service being missed by many drivers out there, why not bring back full service gas stations for your charity event? Ask a local gas station if your group can act as gas station attendants for the day, or a portion of the day.

Gas jockeys can provide services such as pumping gas, cleaning car windows, and even fetching road trip snacks for all of the folks who visit the station in exchange for a small donation. Fundraising groups should have a speech ready so they can quickly explain what charity they are raising funds for, where the donations will go, and how much patrons can donate.

Dish Duty

Everyone loves to eat, but not everyone wants to do the dishes after a meal. A potentially successful fundraiser would be one that offers this service in exchange for a donation. You can do this one of two ways:

Approach a local restaurant and ask them to pay your volunteers to do their dishes over a lunch or dinner rush.

Circulate the neighborhood and ask families if you can return to do their dishes in exchange for a donation. You will need a large group to cover each willing household in the area, but if you do a good job, you may have return customers.

Painting for Pesos

Painting fundraisers offer various options, including:

  • Circulate the community offering to stencil the household address on the curb out front. This is great for midnight pizza delivery and if emergency services ever need to locate your home.
  • Offer to paint the interiors of homes in exchange for charity donations. Donations should depend on the size of the room.
  • Come spring, folks often look to seasonal painters to repaint chipping doors, window sills, and fences. These are quick jobs that can be done for a flat rate donation.

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