Outdoor fundraising ideas that get all American Legion Auxiliary members involved

Posted On: Friday, 14 May 2021

The easiest and most successful fundraisers are the ones that use your volunteers’ strengths and takes your community’s demographics or needs into account. Whether you want to support a military child through scholarships or make gift packages to send to servicemembers overseas, every unit could use some extra funds. 

You know your members and your community best – so if you want to raise more funds than before, then take an look at these fundraisers and use the ones that could best take your mission to the next level. 

If … You have a lot of children in your community/American Legion Family,

Then … Host a water balloon fight at your local park!

A water balloon fight is an exciting, low-cost fundraiser that can bring supporters of all ages together. All you have to do is purchase and fill water balloons, bring them to your local park (with permission), and charge participants a small entrance fee. 

You can also set up a separate booth with snacks or bottled water on a hot day – this can bring another source of income, and it will keep participants around after the balloon fight is over – giving you some time to share the good works of the Auxiliary and what attendees’ participation in the event really means for veterans. 

If … Many of your members enjoy gardening, 

Then … Try a “Planting Party” fundraiser!

Get some of the talented gardeners in your ALA unit to volunteer their time to help a person in your community plant or tend to their garden in exchange for a donation. This fundraiser is really all about word of mouth – post photos of your garden on social media, and put the ask out there for others to take advantage of! 

You could also work with local businesses to post fliers on their bulletin boards, stating that if you need help with your garden and want to support veterans, military, and their families, that your unit is willing to help. 

If you garner some interest, then all you have to do is set a time, grab your shovel and gardening gloves, and get to work doing what you love – all for your favorite cause. 

If … You have been meaning to take unwanted but gently used clothes, home goods, or collectibles to Goodwill for way too long, 

Then … Get your members to clear out their closets during spring cleaning and have a yard sale!

Have all of your members collect items from around the house that they have been meaning to get rid of, and bring them all together to host a mega yard sale! Be sure to share the details around town, including when your yard sale will be happening, and where. Social media is a great, free way to share the news – you could even use the events tool Facebook offers and invite all of your friends who live nearby. 

Be sure to get members of all ages involved – some can work on the setup; others can price items and collect donations throughout the day. Be sure to have fliers and information about the American Legion Auxiliary on hand – you never know who might be inspired to join the cause! 

Need more fundraising ideas and tips? Check out the ALA Academy course Unit Fundraising: Moving the Mission Forward by Engaging your Community, to hear from a panel of passionate fundraisers about their best fundraising successes, and how they learned from some past mistakes. Use this link and log into your member profile to access this course. 

NOTE: Please be sure to follow all local COVID-19 guidelines when participating in fundraising activities. 

By Sydney DeLong, Staff Writer

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.