Fundraiser Safety TipsTim Ahern | April 3, 2019
Your volunteers are really the cornerstone of your fundraiser, they work hard to keep your fundraiser going strong. One of your top priorities as an organization is always to keep everyone safe, especially if you have young volunteers. There are a few things your nonprofit can do on an ongoing basis to stay safe while still having fun during your fundraiser.
Keep Spaces Safe
With every fundraising activity you plan, safety should be part of the discussion. If you’re having a carnival, for instance, make sure the location and activities will keep everyone safe. If your volunteers need to drum up sales individually, make sure the methods you recommend are as safe as possible. Try to find alternative ways to raise funds that aren’t quite as dangerous as old-fashioned door-to-door methods. Participants should have a way to report any concerns they have immediately so you can address them.
Interact with Donors
Your supporters probably care about the safety of your volunteers as much as you do. If you communicate from the start that you’re concerned about the safety of volunteers, your donors are likely to help you out. Advise them on what they can do to keep your fundraiser safe, including looking out for younger volunteers and asking for suggestions on areas you can improve the safety of your events.
Provide Adult Supervision
From the start, make sure parents know that their children will be kept safe throughout every fundraising event. Give them reassurance that volunteers won’t be expected to go door to door, and make sure they know that adults will be on hand to chaperone all events. Recruit trusted adults to keep a close eye on youth at all events and, if necessary, hire security for bigger events for that additional level of safety.
Keep Selling Safe
If product sales are part of your fundraising efforts, you’ll need a plan in place to keep everyone safe. Chances are, parents will decline to participate if they feel that their children will be in danger, so this is in everyone’s best interest. Come up with a plan to both sell items and collect money that doesn’t put your volunteers at risk. Often the easiest fundraising sales today are done online, through social media, so make sure your supporters have a website they can visit to place an order and pay. You could also set up a table at a local farmer’s market or grocery store to let your volunteers sell in groups, with a chaperone on hand.
Make It Fun
The good news is, you can do all of this while still having a blast. In fact, when parents and employees feel safe, they’ll have far more fun than they would if they were constantly looking around for danger. If you know your volunteers and supporters, chances are you’ll be well aware of the activities they’ll enjoy. Make sure you plan events with plenty of adult supervision that also allow youth volunteers to have the peer interaction they want most.
Once you start planning your fundraisers with safety in mind, you’ll notice that it begins to come naturally. At the end of each season, sit down and evaluate how your safety plan worked and come up with ways you can continue to keep your fundraisers safe in the years to come.