On August 13, ERA Landmark Real Estate of Bozeman, Montana, recently held their 6th Annual ERA Agents of Hope Carnival while ERA Skyline Real Estate of Ogden, Utah, (shown at top right) hosted their first.

“To be honest,” as my 10-year-old would say – planning for and executing a carnival is no small feat. That said – I attend last year’s ERA Landmark Real Estate carnival (shown at right) and the hard work is well worth it.

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Plenty of planning and sponsorships go into the success of a family fun day meant to send kids to camp but the feel-good factor is two-fold: you are helping kids with muscle disease go to camp while providing a really great family outing for your local community. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Form a committee: It is important to have a team of committed people who will help you plan and implement your event from beginning to end. Before you even set the event date, form a committee of team members with a variety of skills and interests to assist you in creating a fun, safe and successful carnival.
  • Involve your community: Once you have a date and location in mind, reach out to community resources to ensure your event is a success and within town regulations. This means clearing the event with your town and local zoning committee, getting the proper permits, and alerting your local police and fire departments for help with traffic, safety checks, etc.
  • Keep a budget: With so many fun and creative ideas, your costs can get out of hand pretty quickly. Early on, set a fundraising goal and set a budget for expenses. See the next bullet for an idea on how to keep your budget in check.
  • Secure sponsors: To help offset costs and to increase funds raised, reach out to as many of your vendors and local business as possible and offer then a sponsorship opportunity. In return for a donation, you can put their name on thank you banners, the backs of t-shirts and in advertisements for the event. At ERA Landmark, they also gave sponsors the opportunity to host game booths where they could be a large part of the action while having their signage prominently displayed.
  • Rent necessities: If you are including rides, dunk tanks or giant inflatables such as slides or obstacle courses, be sure to rent them from a reputable source and confirm that they have the proper insurance and a good safety record. It is also a good idea to ask the company to provide the ride / inflatable attendants as an added safety and liability precaution.
  • Make it fun: Admittedly, the last five points covered pretty serious topics. Now, it’s time to have fun! Let your team include their families in the planning and onsite activities. My 10-year-old doled out snow cones and worked the prize booth with an agent’s son at last year’s carnival. He still talks about it and it was a great help to have an extra set of hands. Include balloons, a prize tent and plenty of salty and sweet treats. And to set the mood, ask a DJ or local band to donate their time and talent to provide festive music.

If you think a carnival complete with inflatable rides, funnel cake, snow cones, entertainment and prizes could be in your future, contact Tara Davis at ERA Real Estate for guidance.

In the meantime, check out this great ERA Skyline live promotional video for more details. They raised enough to send 5 kids to MDA Summer Camp.

And watch this fun video  and check out these photos from ERA Landmark Real Estate who raised enough to send 15 kids!

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Have more great fundraising ideas? Please share your ideas and successes in the comment section below.

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A writer at heart, Tara holds more than 17 years of marketing and communications experience. Previously a travel industry professional, she recently hopped the fence to gain a better understanding of real estate and to hone her Public Relations Skills. A mom and avid traveler, Tara tackles topics ranging from what to feed your kid to the next generation and great housing market locations. In line with her love of snowboarding, Tara’s next must-go destination is Sun Valley, Idaho – not for the celeb watching, but for the terrain and scenery.

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