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FireLink's Fundraisers for Firefighters

FireLink | Kendra Weikman, Associate Editor

Flamingo Flocking

A pink flamingo fundraiser is a fun and unique way to raise money. It’s easy for any size department to put together and requires very little effort to keep it going.

The basic idea involves deploying a flock of pink plastic flamingoes in a participant’s front yard or outside a business entrance. A note is left explaining that they have been selected by a local firefighter to be “flocked” for a good cause. The note should then explain that they will have to pay $10 per flamingo to have them relocated. Remember to state that this is for a fundraiser or charity cause.

The fun part for the participant is that each flocking victim then gets to pick the next location for the flamingos. The flocking process continues for the duration of the fundraising event.

Of course, you will always run into a few killjoys who don’t see either the humor or the good cause behind the flocking. When that happens, you just remove the birds, have the previous recipient select a new victim and get things going all over again.

There is a small upfront investment in the flamingoes, but you quickly recoup that cost within a few contributions. To speed up the fundraiser process, you may want to run one or two “flockings” at the same time.

Maximize the success of your pink flamingo fundraiser by dividing your flock into various size groupings. Reserve a couple of big flocks for businesses and divide the rest into groups ranging from two to six birds for residential locations.

Write up your fundraising manifesto and place copies in a large plastic Ziplock bag placed around the leader flamingo’s neck. This way your fundraising information and the previous victim’s note will stay protected from the elements.

Newspapers, radio and television stations are always looking for a humorous story, particularly one that’s for a good cause. Put together a press release stressing what the funds raised will be used for and include pictures of your entire flock at a prominent location.

To attract even more attention, dress up some of your birds in funny outfits. Give them plastic fire hats or water hoses. The more attention you can attract the more money you can potentially raise.

Being creative and a little wacky in your approach can be a good thing with your flamingo fundraiser. Don’t be afraid of offending someone because it’s all for a good cause.

Work the publicity angle to create public awareness of what your fundraiser is all about. Divide your flock into various size groups and create multiple streams of income by having each batch relocated every day. Use funny outfits and signs to attract even more victims.

And most importantly, have fun with your pink flamingo fundraiser!