If you're having trouble finding the funds or resources to buy a mobility van, you're not alone. With the average price tag for a new accessible vehicle topping $50k, government wheelchair van financial aid can help offset the cost. But if you want to lower your monthly payments significantly, launch your own fundraiser.
It may sound like a big endeavor. Well, it is. But with some brainstorming, help from friends and family, time and passion, you can organize a successful fundraiser. And if it helps you acquire an accessible vehicle for yourself or a loved one, it's certainly worthwhile.
Here are eight simple steps so you can regain independence with little or no cost to you.
An event can help kick start your fundraiser
While fundraisers can be ongoing, host an event to jump-start the campaign.
It can be an informal gathering at a home, a formal affair in a restaurant or anything in between.
Consider a theme, perhaps based around a hobby or interest of the person with a disability trying to acquire the wheelchair van.
Keep the fees realistic
Too often, people and organization alike host fundraisers that charge over $100 per person. Though its fine to charge for tickets to the event, you should still consider the finances of likely attendees and don't price unrealistically.
- Designate a highly visible place for attendees to leave additional donations.
- Remember, volume translates into money quicker than a limited number of over-priced single tickets.
Don't spend money to raise money
- Seek sponsorship to cover the costs of the party. This way, all incoming money is profit.
- A local restaurant may be willing to donate or discount their space and/or food.
- Find local businesses to cover overhead in exchange for advertising space and recognition.
Organize your helpers into a committee
- Delegate responsibilities based on individual strengths.
- Appoint one person to keep track of exactly who's doing what and when.
Use the power of public relations
- Contact local news stations and other media outlets in your area.
- Send out a press release.
- Hang flyers on community bulletin boards.
- Reach out to area nonprofits that work with disabled people.
- To help you with this, contact a local PR firm for pro-bono assistance.
Don't overlook the Internet
- Build a website to serve as a central source for information and donations.
- Advertise on Craigslist and other community classifieds services to drive traffic.
Engage on social media to make a major impact
- Take advantage of social media like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
- Encourage friends and followers to share information about your fundraiser with their online contacts.
- Make sure you direct them back to your website so they can donate directly online.
Make it easy for people to donate
- Set up a PayPal account to receive online donations. PayPal offers special web-based fundraising tools. This makes it easy for people to contribute no matter where they're located.
- Checkout crowdfunding sites where people from all over the world have raised millions for unique causes.
- Talk to someone at your bank about setting up a dedicated account. Many banks even offer special perks with such accounts.