The Kiwanis Club of Spittal an der Drau, Austria — the home club of 2013–14 Kiwanis International President Gunter Gasser — knows how to fundraise. Its inventive members package and sell a popular set of game cards for children, and its annual Kiwanis Prize concludes with a lucrative gala dinner.
Another of the Austrian Kiwanians’ favorite fundraisers is an Advent calendar sale, for which they partner with the Kiwanis Club of Spittal Porcia — Gunter’s wife, Christiana’s home club. Here’s how the two clubs net an average 22,000 euros (US$30,000) annually:
- Find an artist to create a scene for the calendar. Spittal Kiwanians are very particular in their choice of artist, preferring local talent. So the annual announcement of their selection is a distinct honor, generating news publicity for sales.
This year, the clubs chose artist and Spittal an der Drau Kiwanian Wolfgang Daborer. A student from Vienna’s Graphische school of visual communication and media technology, Daborer has an extensive résumé of exhibitions, and his works have been purchased by Austria’s Federal Ministry for Arts, the Municipality of Spittal an der Drau and Lind, Austria. He also is a member of Kunstvereins Kärnten, an association of Carinthian artists.
- Make arrangements with the artist to donate the original artwork to be given away as the top prize of a drawing.
- Hire a local printer to produce the calendar, which consists of two A3 sheets (about 11.7- by 16.5 inches):
One sheet is printed with the artist’s scene and cut with 24 two-centimeter square windows – one for each day of Advent. Each window is numbered randomly 1 through 24.
The second sheet requires printing on both sides.
One side has 24 two-centimeter drawings of Christmas-related scenes, such as gift boxes, ribbons, toys. The placement of these drawings must align with the first sheet’s 24 windows.
The back side of this second sheet is printed with sponsors’ logos, along with a list of prizes and information about the club and its Advent calendar project. Also on this information side of each calendar, print its number for the drawing. (If, for example, you plan to print 250 calendars, the calendars could be numbered in sequence 001 through 250.)
- Secure sponsors to cover printing costs. Ask each sponsor to contribute an item for the drawing.
- Sell the calendars. Sell them to yourself, to your family, friends, co-workers, strangers. Enlist your sponsors and the artist to sell them too, as well as local shops. Gunter and Christiana’s clubs sell the calendars for 10 euros (US$13.50) each.
- When all the calendars are sold, invite the artist and news media to attend a press conference, where the drawing will be conducted.
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