The Growing Need for Community Fundraising

Friday, April 5, 2013

Every year, as soon as the weather warms, local fundraising events spring up like daffodils all around our community.

Fundraising is something all of our schools and 501c(3) charitable institutions rely on these days to fulfill their missions. Most missions are designed to help fill a basic human need that has fallen between the cracks in our social system.

If it's parks and libraries we want, enriched education or restoration of that historic gate at Claremont Middle School, it's up to us as a community to raise the necessary funds. Organizations large or small are getting better at it all the time. Your talent and time are needed. Volunteer, and you will find out just how involved and complex a good fundraiser can be... and how rewarding.

Putting the Fun Into Fundraising

To ask for money without making people feel they are being pressured is a lot easier if the objective is coated with activities that people enjoy and will be happy to pay for. But, as more fundraising events enter the field, competition for donation dollars rises, pushing event planners to offer ever-more exciting themes, competitive prices, convenient dates and enticing food and beverages.

Event location is critical. The winning location this year is the Uptown Body and Fender Building on 26th Street, a noisy, hip environment where you can dance and not worry if an hors d'oeuvre falls on the floor.

The April/May Line-Up We admire the PTAs of Chabot Elementary School, Claremont Middle School, and Oakland Tech for their great successes in March. Now, three more events:

The Ligure Club's "La Dolce Vita IV" takes place April 20 at the Fratellanza Club, 1140 60th Street. This annual wine tasting event, raffle and silent auction raises funds for the Ligure Inc. Scholars Fund. If you like freewheeling, noisy events, go to this one. There will be food and music and fun and games galore. Buy a raffle ticket and you might win the grand prize, a week's stay in a beautiful beachfront villa in Mexico, complete with cook and chauffeur. For more information, see www.ligureclub.com.

The Annual Luncheon Benefit for Oakland's Elizabeth House, located in Rockridge, will be held at the Claremont Country Club April 25. This is a more reserved event. Be prepared to bid on some beautiful and substantial items, such as a one-week vacation on Galway Bay in the west of Ireland. The goal is to raise $50,000 to help sustain Elizabeth House's residential program for women and children. Visit oakehouse.org/events for more information.

The Peralta in Bloom Spring Festival 2013, open to the community, will be held May 18 from noon to 4 p.m on the Peralta School grounds, 460 63rd Street. The event, "Art Making," is built around school and children and is largely dependent for success on sponsorships. To help, contact Tara Horton at 510/333-2580 or tara.mcculoch@gmail.com.