Field Problem – Family Readiness Group Fun (aka fund) Raising

I’m a new Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader. I’m looking for some fun ways to raise funds for our informal funds. Do you have some out-of-the- ordinary ideas that have worked?

Monica; Fort Sill, OK;
Active Duty Army; 6 years

Dear Monica:

Congratulations on your choice to volunteer for your FRG! It’s a wonderful “job” that is full of rewards. We know, too, that it’s a lot of work! It’s difficult to come up with something past the same old bake sale, car wash, or unit t-shirt sale. Working with families for several years now we have seen some extremely creative fundraising going on.  Here are some ideas that we have to share with you. Let us know if any of these prove to be particularly successful for your group.

Recycling Center

The soldiers all drink water, energy drinks, or soda while they’re on duty. Set up a small recycling bin to collect the empty cans and bottles. Take them to the recycling center and turn them into cash.

Lemonade Stand

Gather ice, lemonade drink mix, cups, assorted fruits, and several blenders and set up a refreshing frozen lemonade stand.

Sport Tournaments

Bowling or golf are the favorites. Separate the families/soldiers into teams, charge a small entry fee for participation or for spectators and play “ball”!

Civilian Clothes Day

Get the Commander to authorize a civilian clothes day for the unit. Each participant pays a small fee to be able to be out of uniform for the day.

Brown Bag Lunch Sale

Have FRG members donate bread, lunch meats/PB&J, chips, and/or fruit and brown bag lunches. Sell these out in the unit to the soldiers for an easy lunch and a fast buck!

Garage Sale

Most installations have a post-wide garage sale. Ask FRG members to donate what they would normally put into a garage sale and sell it all in one central location. All donations will be sold and the money put into FRG funds.

Commander’s Parking Space

Nothing beats that front parking space normally reserved for the unit Commander. Participants purchase an opportunity in the drawing for the space for a week. Be sure you paint a nice sign with their name on it – specifically reserved! The most fun is watching the soldiers get a kick out of making the Commander walk in from the back parking!

Dog Days of Summer

Do a pet contest. Participants pay for a chance to enter their pet. You could even partner this with a pet wash to make extra cash. Families love to show off their military pets!

Family Fun Run

Organize a fun run, 5k or 10k. Participants pay to register and run, and earn bragging rights when they win! You can add a unit t-shirt to sell for a bonus moneymaker.

Remember everything you do needs to be cleared with Legal on your installation. Don’t assume that because you’ve found it online that it’s something that is OK to do on your post/in your unit.

Looking for basic information on Family Readiness Groups? Check out these sites

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3 Responses to “Field Problem – Family Readiness Group Fun (aka fund) Raising”

  1. Mrs. Mootz March 7, 2011 10:52 am

    We made lunches a few days in a row and sold them to the unit and we made a decent amount of money. Once day we made subs, another day we made hot dogs, and third day we made sloppy joes. Along with the sandwiches, we sold chips and drinks. There was a good amount of prep work because we actually made the sandwiches ourselves and the wives that prepped the items basically donated the meats and breads, but it was a very good success.

  2. Candice Banks March 22, 2011 4:18 pm

    Pie the Commander

    At squadron formation, the FRG sold chocolate cream pies to the highest bidders. The winner of the pie was allowed to pie a commander. One of our pies sold for $800 in order to pie the CSM. All in all, we raised over $2,400. We took lots of photographs and posted them online, which was also a moral booster.

  3. Starlett March 28, 2011 3:34 pm

    We heard that some installation leadership doesn’t feel pie throwing is a good idea and have banned it altogether. As for all fundraisers and events on-post, installation policies and procedures prevail, and it’s the individual FRG’s responsibilities to make sure they know what they are and how that impacts their fundraising efforts. OK? Got it? Good; we’d really hate to stir up some trouble.

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