Mile of Pennies – a fundraiser that makes cents

Sometimes it’s hard for members to participate in fundraisers. It could be because the time commitment, because they are busy with their kids or grandkids, or perhaps because they themselves cannot financially contribute big sums to the cause.

penny jar

If your American Legion Auxiliary unit is struggling to get members or the community involved, try a “Mile of Pennies” fundraiser. People of all ages can participate, and giving as little as one penny can make a difference.

Challenge members to collect enough pennies over a certain time period to spread for a mile end to end. If you succeed, that’s 84,480 pennies, or $844.80 raised for your unit. If you want to be more ambitious, shoot for 2 miles, 5 miles, or even a half marathon of pennies.

How you raise your money is up to you. The easiest way is to have each member fill up a jar, empty water bottle, or some other container with pennies, and bring them back to your unit each meeting to be counted. Be sure to print out a label for whatever container you use and tell people you are trying to raise a mile worth of pennies to help local veterans, military, and their families. If it is for a specific project, make sure to include that.

Members can go door to door, ask family and friends, or set up a booth outside a local business or at a school sporting event (with permission, of course). You can even host a collection day for community members to drop off pennies.

Make sure to promote this campaign on social media, post updates throughout the process, and have fun with it! When you reach 21,120 pennies, you have made it ¼ of a mile. You could have your members walk that distance on a track and post celebratory pictures online – all of these things will help more people find out about your fundraiser and donate.

Though this fundraiser is simple, it can bring more awareness and raise some extra funds for your ALA unit – all while getting members of all ages involved!

As always, we want to see your creative fundraising ideas and success stories. Send them to alamagazine@ALAforVeterans.org or tag us on social media @ ALAforVeterans.

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