Community senior centers offer an important range of services to the populations in which they serve. From providing key health screenings to social opportunities for seniors, community senior centers often serve as a haven for the elderly. However, like many other social services, funding for these centers from the government is often the first to be cut. Nonetheless, you have ways to raise money to assist a community senior center.
Determine the financial need for the center. Find out if it currently has funding and whether it is struggling to pay operating expenses. Assess the level of need in determining your fund-raising goal for the center. .
Garner the support of the staff, center participants and the community. The more people you can get behind your efforts to raise money for the center, the more likely it is you will reach your fund-raising goals. Hold a town hall meeting to explain why you need to raise money and the important role the community senior center serves in the community. You might even have a couple of participants speak to the role the center plays in their lives to garner further support.
Request funding from local government. If you request it to continue to operate the center, local government leaders may agree to throw some funding your way. Generally, the best time to do this is at your local city or county commission or council meeting.
Implement a multi-faceted fund-raising plan. In other words, do just about everything to raise money, no matter how small it may seem. Have the seniors bake their favorite pies or sew their favorite crafts and hold a special sale at the center. Coordinate a fund-raising gala and invite local business owners and entrepreneurs to bring in larger sums of money. Apply for senior-oriented grants to get bigger sums of money at one time. The more you can do to raise money, the more options you have.
Keep track of successful fund-raising ideas and take those that succeed and do them again. For example, if the gala is a rousing success, make it an annual event. If the community loved the community senior center sale, do it once per season. Make it your motto to try any fund-raising effort once and if it doesn't work, try something else.
Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.