The Dickinson, North Dakota, Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center (DVRCC) hosted a prom/party dress fundraiser in November 2006. They were able to raise $1,300 from the sale of donated party/prom dresses with no expenses. Gloria, a representative from the DVRCC, shared how they met their success.
“The dresses were donated by various people from the community,” Gloria says. “The room was donated by the local Days Inn, and display racks were borrowed from a volunteer’s contact.” They were even able to organize a makeshift dressing room with borrowed partitions and mirrors.
The dresses were priced at $25 to $40 each. Over 100 people attended the event, and about half were able to select something from the variety of dresses, suits, shoes and accessories. Gloria says the first hour was the busiest. The remaining two hours saw lots of shoppers trickling in and out, she says.
A total of 10 volunteers put the event together. Eight of the volunteers worked to set up the dress displays, dressing rooms, and checkout area for about three hours before the store opened. These volunteers took payments and wrote receipts for the dresses and accessories. The same volunteers manned the shop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two other volunteers served as donation takers at their places of employment before the event.
They used a variety of medium for advertising the event. Gloria says they used all sorts of flyers, a press release and emails as well as a website. The website Dress4U.org advertised the event, donation locations, and linked to the DVRCC.
Gloria offered two pieces of advice for groups interested in organizing a dress fundraiser: “Hang the newer dresses in front, and get the word out. The event pretty much sells itself. We plan to continue this event at least once a year.”