Fundraising Ideas from an Event Coordinator

Hello, my name is Nicky Sampson and I am a successful events coordinator from Phoenix, Arizona. I have been purchasing glow products for many of my night-time events from since 2003. Recently, Angela asked me if I would write an article about my experiences using glow products at fundraising and other events. I am happy to share my experiences and my hope is that you will take something away that will help brighten up your events.

Glow for sale or as giveaways?

The first thing that you should determine is if you are planning to use the glow products to raise money or if you will use the glow products as giveaways to liven up your event. In my experience, if you are holding a charity event that has a ticket price of over $25.00, it is usually good to hand the glow sticks out as free party favors.  If your event is something like a charity auction, casino night, dance, or other event where you plan on generating money at the event, selling glow products is a great idea.

What to purchase?

At my many events I have been the most successful at selling the 22 inch glow necklaces.  Everyone is familiar with the necklaces so people get excited when they see the product.  The 8” bracelets would be second on my list and are especially fun for the kids.  The bracelets are extremely versatile since you can easily sell three bracelets at a low price.  The three bracelets can then be used as individual bracelets or two bracelets can be joined together to create a 16” choker necklace or 3 bracelets can be used as a 24” adult necklace.  The other advantage of the bracelets is the price as three bracelets cost less than one 22 inch necklace.  I also like the 6” thin glow sticks.  These are the brightest of the glow products and come with Lanyards (a necklace string) so that they can be worn around the neck. The 6” sticks are good for outdoor evening events with lots of kids or events with emergency services, or military themes like a fireman’s ball. Other fun items to sell are LED blinkies or body lights. The only problem with the blinkies or body lights is that they cost substantially more than the chemical glow products and sometimes have quality problems like dead batteries, or defective parts.  I just recently learned that will soon be carrying high quality, guaranteed LED products.  If you are considering selling LED products at your events, purchase just a couple designs and/or colors.  If you give the consumer too many choices, it makes selling the product more difficult, and you can get stuck with left-over unpopular items.  I personally like the LED pendant necklaces, rings, and magnets.

Glow Funds:

You can easily generate an extra $500.00 at your event selling glow products.  The 22 inch glow necklaces can sell for as much as three dollars each and you can pick them up for as little as $0.33 each.  I usually offer package deals where we will sell a certain number of products for a discounted price (like five necklaces for $10.00).  Make sure that you trust the people that are selling for you and do not forget to have plenty of change.

Where to set up and sell?

I usually set up a table in a central location if I am planning on selling the product rather than giving it away.  I always use a black table cloth when displaying the products.  On my table I will display some activated (glowing) products, the pricing, and I will let people know where the proceeds generated will be going.  If the glow products are being distributed as giveaways, I will usually have people walk around handing them out at key event times.

Decorating and Creative ideas:

This might be a no brainer, but often times people don’t realize glow products are useful for things other than just holding or wearing. When it comes to decorating with glow products your imagination is really the only limit, but here are some great ideas to get you started:
Glow Walkways:  Want your guests to be able to make a grand entrance?  Then forget the red carpet and go with glow.  Just line the outside of the walkway with glow necklaces connected end to end, and watch as they light up to create a truly elegant look.

Hanging Glow:  If you want something more unique than disco balls or chandeliers, try glow balls! Every tube of 100 glow bracelets comes with plastic connectors that let you create a glowing ball.  Simply hang these from the ceiling or attaching them to the walls to add an excellent accent to any party or event.

Glow Art: Tired of bland and boring centerpieces for the dinner or drink table?     Then grab some glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces and see what your artistic skills can come up with.  Perhaps just place 20 glow necklaces in a vase like flowers. Or get more creative and try your hand at creating a glow sculpture. It’s really hard to go wrong here, as people are always mesmerized by just a single glow stick or necklace, much less something made out of many of them!

Glow Drinks: 
No, don’t break open a glow stick and spike the punch with it (that might not taste very good). But rather activate some glow sticks and drop them in the punch bowl and watch your favorite refreshment light up as they float around. You can also use the 8” glow bracelets as perfect drink stir sticks.

Hope my tips help and best of luck with your events!

Nicky Sampson
Sampson Events, LTD.
Phoenix, Arizona