This tried and true fundraiser is a whimsical take on the traditional Jail N Bail idea, but with some modern twists designed especially for the business executives and creme de la creme of your community.

At the Luxury Lock-up, area business and community leaders who ‘turn themselves in’ will be treated to an hour of good food and beverages, soft music, massages and other stress relieving amenities, while making phone calls to family, friends and business associates to get pledges for your organization.

Ask your ‘jailbirds’ to bring along their cell phone and their rolodex files so they can make their calls with ease. Or, you can partner with a cell phone company to donate phones to be used that day. Inform the jailbirds in advance their ‘bail amount’ so they can get pledges from friends and coworkers prior to the day of the event. Those who turn in their pledges and money in advance can sit back and enjoy the pampering and networking while those who didn’t raise bail in advance will have to spend some time on the phones.

The event can be held at a local spa or a hotel ballroom or conference center that can accomodate the number of people invited. Ask local spas, nail salons and independent massage therapists if they can provide some free services for the day, in exchange for some great advertising. Many of the services provided can be done in just a few minutes, such as a shoulder rub, neck massage with heated therapy bags and scalp massage. If you want to get down and dirty, a foot soak in some nice warm water can help relieve tensions. Many executives may shy away from a manicure, but remind them that looking good is all about the presentation of being well manicured… and the first three letters of ‘manicure’ are MAN. Many of these execs will appreciate the pampering, and will in turn recommend the spa to their friends and families, as well as purchase gift certificates for their employees and family members.

You can also ask local restaurants and caterers to provide appetizers and drinks for the executives. By asking several restaurants to provide a small portion, it avoids putting a strain on one restaurant having to do it all. This method also gives the execs a great overview of several restaurants’ best samplers. This will also showcase some of the catering available by the many restaurants and caterers in your area. All of the donations will be listed in a brochure for the execs to take home with them.

Your group can arrange to have some light classical music being played live by a local community string orchestra or quartet, or play music via a CD sound system. Light classical creates a great mood, but some natural sounds such as light rain, ocean waves, and rainforest sounds would create a wonderful atmosphere as well. And, be sure to arrange for an area ahead of time to have some aromatherapy oils in use, but not too close to the food so the smells don’t compete or overpower each other. Relaxing scents such as lavender and chamomile, and invigorating scents like peppermint and citrus can be on hand.

The potential profit for this event depends on the number of executives you arrest and the amount you set for their bail. Due to the nature of this fundraiser, you should be able to get many of the items free, including the spa services, the conference room and the refreshments. If you arrest 50 executives and charge them each $500 for their bail, you can bring in $25,000. Arresting 25 executives and setting bail at $250 would net you $6,250. The bail amounts can easily be achieved by asking friends and coworkers for a pledge of $5 or $10 to your charity. Some individuals may go well over their bail/ fundraising goal if they truly believe in the cause.

This event is a great way for your group to raise money while giving some local business executives the chance to network and to “do some good” while relaxing in a pleasing atmosphere. And, your group gets the opportunity to present some local spas and restaurants favorably to the executives. Everyone wins!

About the Author:
Danielle Hamilton is the editor of and moderator of a Yahoo group dedicated to helping animal rescue groups raise money for animals.

Posted on 10 May 2006

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