“A Fried-Turkey Fundraiser,” Say What?!

How to do a turkey fundraiser

Amazingly, Thanksgiving weekend is only about six weeks away. Many individuals, families, schools, and groups, among others, engage in fundraising activities around Thanksgiving time to provide Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, shut-ins, and needy people of all ages around the U.S.
Holding a fried-turkey fundraiser is a very “out of the box” idea but merits serious consideration by your group or organization.

There are several very important tips, however, which should be observed when planning such an event. www.Easy-Fundraising-Ideas.com  has developed a few recommendations which are very important:

  1. The location should be easily accessible. If, for example, parents are planning to hold a school fundraiser, the school cafeteria would be the best place to do so given the large amount of table space and ease of access to kitchen facilities. If the fundraiser is to benefit some other type of group or organization, a community center could well be the best place to hold the event.
  2. Good advertising fuels the success of a fried-turkey fundraising event. Brochures, fliers, letters, newsletters, social media, and word of mouth all form effective ways of publicizing the event. Advertising should be started well in advance of the event and should be done consistently.
  3. The group or organization sponsoring the event should ensure that several cooks would be available to fry the turkeys and to prepare all the other fixings that go along with Thanksgiving dinners. The cooking of the turkeys and the preparation of all the trimmings would be very time consuming so the cooks and helpers should be prepared to start very early and to work all day.
  4. To raise more money, it’s a good idea to hold a raffle during the fried-turkey fundraising event.

In sum, plan the fried-turkey fundraiser well in advance, ensure that a sufficient amount of advertising is done on a regular basis, make sure that an adequate number of cooks and kitchen helpers would be available the entire day of the event, and be sure that the event venue is easy to access and that it has adequate kitchen facilities and a sufficient number of seats and tables for the guests in attendance.

Here are a few more suggestions you may want to seriously consider.

Keep the Important Parts Primary. The bulk of the income usually comes from the sale of the turkeys. While raffles and other games can result in additional income during the event, be sure to sign people up for the event by selling them turkeys. After all, if the people don’t come, you won’t have people there to participate in the raffle. If individuals buy turkeys prior to the event, they are more likely to have a “sense of ownership” relative to the fundraiser and are more likely to attend.

Keep It Simple. The more complicated it gets, the more work it is.

Have a Coordinator. Even if you have a group leading the event, one person needs to have the responsibility of coordinator. In addition to completing his or her own individual tasks, the coordinator’s responsibility is to make sure everyone is doing their part and that all tasks are done on time. The coordinator should also be the go-to person if questions arise during the event or if any snap decisions need to be made.

Delegate. One person cannot do it all – most of the time. Make a plan and break it down into steps. Assign a person to complete each part and follow up with them, on occasion, to see how they’re (he/she) doing and ask them if they have any questions or are having to tackle any problems in what they’re doing. Fundraising is much like project management which requires careful planning, delegation, follow up, a very positive attitude, and a willingness to make decisive decisions when necessary.

More Ideas for Your Turkey Fundraiser

If you want to get some other ideas for your fried turkey fundraiser, do a quick search on your favorite search engine for “fried turkey fundraiser.” You will find a number of groups providing details to their members. For example, in 2010, a group (“All Walks of Life”) sold turkeys, but they also made turkey snack packs available at the event for people who didn’t order a whole turkey. Dawnbusters (a Kiwanis group) used an online form for ordering. All Around the World Children’s Center didn’t do an event at all. They simply took the orders and had people come by and pick up their fried turkey. Get the idea? You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.” Look at what others have done and get ideas for what you’d like to do.

Other Thanksgiving Fundraisers

By the way, a fried turkey fundraiser might not be the right fundraiser for your group. A wealth of other ideas concerning Thanksgiving Season fundraisers abound and a rich assortment of concepts for fundraisers year around exist.  Do a quick search of your favorite search engine or you might check  fundraising companies that offer multiple types of fundraisers, such as www.justfundraising.comwww.amazingfundraisers.net, and www.abcfundraising.com. Another source of Thanksgiving Fundraisers is the Holidays categories on The Fundraising Network.


About the Author

Dave S. Morse is a freelance writer/editor (published in the NY Times and other media) and serves as a community volunteer in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is also a strong social justice advocate. His years of experience in teaching as well as studies in Political Science (BS from Univ. of Oregon) and Public Administration Management (Masters from Univ. of Phoenix) give him both the passion and knowledge to help groups and underserved communities overcome their challenges.