Funding has become a challenge for many police departments. At all levels of government, less than one percent of the country’s GDP is spent on policing. Police actions often exacerbate this, leading to less support from the general public. Some have even called for the defunding of the police.
Ironically, adequate funding can help deliver training that promotes more effective and fair policing. It can also help implement strategies to reduce violent crime.
Organizing a fundraiser is one way you can help offset any budget shortfalls your police department may have. Trying any one of the innovative police fundraiser ideas in this article can help provide the resources needed to protect your community. Let the fun begin!
8 Police Fundraising Ideas
Modern fundraising efforts provide donors with many avenues to support various causes. Online donations are more common than before. Organizations now use platforms, apps, and social media to raise funds. However, traditional fundraising methods still exist. However, putting ‘fun’ into fundraising efforts is the key to garnering support.
Here are a few fundraising ideas for police departments that will create excitement and get more people involved.
1. Gala Event with Prizes
A police gala allows donors to dress up in their finest to support a cause. It can be even more spectacular when it’s a themed event. Depending on the time of year, you can host a masquerade ball or a Christmas-themed party. Giving attendees a chance to “go all out” makes them more likely to attend and support the event.
Once you have a theme, you must organize catering, entertainment, decorating, and any other elements. All these will help ensure your event is a success. The great thing about a police fundraiser is that many organizations are willing to participate by providing their services free of charge or at a discount. That allows even more of your proceeds to go directly to the department.
You can appeal for donations throughout the festivities and surprise donors with a token of appreciation. Challenge coins or lapel pins with your police department’s name and logo are a great touch that donors can cherish.
A raffle is a great way to raise funds, especially when all or most of the prizes are donations. Organizations are often willing to contribute their products as prizes at no cost. It gives them free publicity and highlights them as a socially responsible entity.
The more substantial the prizes, the greater the participation will be. Donors love giving to a good cause, but they’ll also enjoy the chance to win a prize. Consider approaching organizations that can provide the following:
- A trip for two or more
- Electronic items
- Gift certificates
- Dinner vouchers
You’ll want to set a target. That helps to determine how many tickets you need to sell to reach the goal. You’ll also want to ensure you don’t breach any of the state’s gambling laws. After all, you are fundraising for a law enforcement agency!
You’ll also need to ensure the raffle drawing process is open, fair, and honest. A raffle is a great standalone fundraiser or an add-on to another significant fundraising event.
3. Matching Gifts
Matching Gifts is a police nonprofit fundraiser that involves getting the support of local organizations. You can enlist companies to match the donations their employees make. They may volunteer for payroll deductions or write a check directly to the department.
You can also have the companies offer a token to employees who donate. A department lapel pin would allow employees to proudly show their support.
4. K9 Event
Creative ways for the community to donate could involve showcasing ‘other’ members of law enforcement. Police K9 fundraiser ideas are a way to do that.
Dogs may make great companions, but they also contribute highly trained support to police work. Seeing them in action with police officers can be captivating to the public. Hosting an event showcasing their skills is a great way to educate the public on their essential role in your local department.
It also provides an opportunity to let them know the cost of implementing and training a K9 unit. If donors know their contribution will go toward funding the unit, they will likely participate in a K9 fundraiser.
5. Compete With a Cop
It’s rare for the average citizen to have the upper hand on a cop. Why not create a sporting event with officers and civilians? You can rack up potential participants when you promote a Compete With a Cop fundraiser.
Out of all the PD unique fundraiser ideas, this one has no limits. You can host any competition, such as an obstacle race, arm wrestling, basketball free throws, or any beloved game.
You can charge both spectators and competitors a fee. However, you’ll have to ensure winners receive great prizes. Participation medals with the department’s insignia are also a great touch that will remind them of a fun day they supported local police officers.
6. Create a Calendar
What’s one way to ensure people donate to local police? Create a calendar that features the community’s law enforcement officers.
Calendars can feature officers with their canine counterparts. They can dress in silly costumes to reflect each month’s theme, or the calendar can show the department’s sexier side.
Calendars are popular because they depict officers in a more relaxed, playful setting. Make them available at local bookstores and shops. You can also send them out with your end-of-year donation reminders.
7. Police Vs. Firefighter Soccer Game
Competition is exciting to watch. Seeing two first responder agencies compete against each other is even more thrilling. Are you Team Police or Team Firefighter? It doesn’t matter, as proceeds from the game will help both departments.
You can also raise funds by selling food and memorabilia at the venue. Sell concessions before the game so that attendees can support their team. Create additional hype around the game with posters and other reminders before the main event. That will undoubtedly help these items sell even faster.
8. Doughnut Eating Contest:
Want to pick a funny fundraiser for cops? This one pokes fun at an age-old stereotype of officers’ love for baked goods — a doughnut-eating contest. It’s even better when you get the doughnuts donated so that all proceeds can go toward the department. Buying them in bulk can also reduce the cost.
Invite the community and charge a fee for spectators. It will be fun to see them try guessing who will be the ultimate winner.
You can also host an eating contest with any type of food. If a local store is willing to donate specific items, why not take them up on the offer?
How about a twist on promoting the stereotype? In exchange for a small contribution to a good cause, locals can have a doughnut and coffee with a cop. It’s an excellent way for people to get to know your department’s members better.
Encouraging Continued Support of Your Police Fundraiser Ideas
Innovative police fundraiser ideas will always garner more support than less creative ones. Officer involvement in these fun events allows the community to see your department in a different light.
It fosters a greater understanding of the department’s role. It can also create a new-found willingness to work together to safeguard the community.
You can sustain these collaborative efforts by reminding donors of the importance of their support. Lone Star Challenge Coin’s lapel pins, custom challenge coins, and medals are great ways to do this. They allow donors to proudly wear the department’s symbol, a conversation piece that can encourage even greater involvement from others. Allow us to customize a one-of-a-kind piece to encourage continued support of your police department. As a Veteran-managed business, it’s our honor to help celebrate the hard work and dedication of police officers everywhere. Contact us for a free quote today!