Snazzy Signs for Fundraising – Part 2: Table Top Signage
By Katie Cordy
In this series, we will discuss the use of signs for fundraising: from guiding people to your fundraiser, to signs at your fundraiser, to labels and posters.
Part Two: You’re here!
In the first part of this series, we discussed some methods and tips to draw people to your fundraiser using signs. However, signage can also be used in your fundraiser to encourage people to participate. This can range from anything to playing a game to purchasing goods. It all depends on what your fundraiser is.
Before this article kicks off, let’s go over legality. While not fun to think about, considering the legal implications during your fundraiser is a must, unless you happen to break a local law, and your fundraising money gets spent paying fees. Before you plan a fundraiser or begin making signs, always check with your local laws to see if you need any permits, permissions, or registrations. Your city or town might have some rules and regulations in regards to fundraising and signs you should know about. For example in many states raffles are illegal and considered gambling.
Your signs, media posts, and notifications have brought people to your fundraiser. Great! So why do you need more signs? Signage can help your donor or customer know what fun your fundraiser offers. We’re trained to be tempted by signs, from billboards to ads in the supermarket to the colorful packaging on toys. Signs make people want to come over and buy, supporting your troop or club! While the signs in Part One were purposefully simple, these signs should be personalized and hand-made by your troop or club members.
Let’s say that your club or troop is having a bake sale. You might want to have a few signs, depending on how you’ve organized your bake sale. Signage allows a customer to see what you have while they walk by, and encourage them to come drool over those homemade brownies. Plus, it lets them start analyzing what they want as they walk up, and encourages them to consider temptations, and therefore, more purchases.
A bake sale might have signs that say, “$1,” “$2,” and “$3” for separate sections. Another design is to have signs that say, “Cookies!” “Brownies!” “Homemade Jam!” “Pie!” Don’t just have a single Bake Sale sign, let everyone know what delicious goodies are available and make them drool.
A game night at your local community center can have signs above each of the games, “Go Fish!” “Cornhole!” “Charades!” “Pictionary!”
A massive yard sale at your local church might have signs that say, “Fantastic Furniture!” “Book Bonanza, 50 cents EACH,” and “Terrific Tools!”
You can always get creative! A snow cone fundraiser might have signs announcing flavors in fun ways, like “Giggling Grape,” “Laughing Lemon,” and “Chuckling Cherry!”
Of course, no matter what your fundraiser is, you should have a big sign up front that says who you are and what you’re doing!
Before you go buy materials, consider your fundraiser. What information do you want your signs to convey? How many signs do you need? What materials do you already have, or can get donated? Also, consider the weather and location on where your fundraiser is occurring. An inside event doesn’t need as durable and wind-resistant materials as a hot chocolate fundraiser held outside in winter. Brand your fundraiser well so that customers know who they are supporting and why.
Suggested materials are:
- Craft supplies, from scissors to markers and paint to tape and glitter. Stickers and stencils are also highly recommended!
- Brightly colored construction paper, cardstock, and/or posterboard. Depends how how large you need your signs to be and what weather you are fundraising in.
- Blue painters tape or duck tape, for hanging signs. Check local laws on where you are allowed to place signs and with what! Do not staple or nail trees!
- Boxes, poster board, or corrugated plastic, if you want to make signs using the methods described in Part One.
- Photo holders, for holding small signs. Great for tabletop fundraisers, like bake sales, snow cone sales, lemonade stands, and hot chocolate booths.
While your signs do not have to be as straightforward and simple as the signs from Part One, remember their intention: To Convey Information. They need to be legible from at least 10-30 feet, depending on the goal of the sign. Farther away the better, because then more people can be tempted to come over and visit. If you have younger or intensely creative members, it may be worth writing out the message in block print with 3-5″ black letters before handing them the sign to decorate. This is a method I’ve seen and used in classrooms to have students personalize the signs while having the information still visible.
If you have older or design-savvy members, absolutely encourage them to make the signs from scratch themselves. The more your members get involved in the fundraiser, the more they are learning about entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, independence, responsibility, and art! Plus, customers will more likely to feel the need to say yes to those cute and adorable faces with their handmade signs!
ART TIP: Can’t draw? That’s fine! Search the Internet for “Coloring Pages” or “Free Clipart” of the image you want (maybe a lemon for a lemonade stand). Print it out, and on the opposite side of the printed ink, cover it thickly with graphite from a pencil. Scribble thickly all over the back where the ink is. Then, place the paper graphite side down on your sign, and trace the ink side with a pencil or pen. When you lift off the paper, there should be a pale copy on your sign that transferred over! You can also buy graphite paper to put underneath your printed paper, but, hey, why not just use a pencil?
Honestly, best resources for this is simply Googling other people’s ideas. Look up “Sign Ideas for [fundraiser type].” Pinterest is your friend.