Yes, today is about birthdays and no it’s not even my birthday….Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake! 😉
Birthdays are good days. We feel good. We look good. And we want everybody to know it’s a national holiday they all should be celebrating. Ok, maybe the last part is just me. But our birthday IS the only day of the year we can pretty much get our friends and family to do what we want. Why not get them to do something good- for you and the community?! Altruism at its best! #winning
If you’re not sure what to do for your upcoming cumpleanos, keep reading. I have you covered.
1. Volunteer As a Team
A few weeks ago my friend Olivia hit me up to tell me she wanted to do something good- like volunteer- for her birthday. I told her her birthday weekend coincidentally fell on DC Cares Servathon and that would be perfect. Olivia was so excited! She signed right up! She then rallied a team of eight friends and got us all out at 9am on Saturday to scrape, paint and spruce up the historic site of Frederick Douglass’ home in Southeast, DC. Our team raised $200 and gave 32 collective hours of service for Greater DC Cares all in honor of Liv’s Birthday. How much more goody two shoes can you get?! (The rest of Liv’s birthday weekend was memorable too. 😉 ) Visit GoVoluntr, Serve.gov, DoSomething and Sparked for ideas you and your friends can volunteer for your birthday! (Above: Oliva & me)
2. Host a Modern Day Rent Party
Back in my mother’s day they had rent parties- aka guests pay a fee at the door to help pay the rent. Good food was served. The DJ was rockin. And in the end the host had a few extra dollars to pay the rent. (Go Netflix Cooley High for great rent party scene) Now take that same idea: party, food, and an ‘entry fee’- and instead of paying your house rent, pay your rent for living. Take the opportunity to host a birthday house party and have your friends donate in honor of your day upon entry. Set an affordable price of $10, $15- or even $20 depending on the crowd. No matter what your charity of choice will love you for it!
3. Have a Happy Happy Hour
Last year when my long-time friend Regina reached out to offer the support of B. Smith’s Restaurant for Friends of Ebonie, how could I say no? I took her up on their offer to do a special happy hour where 20% of bar sales would go towards a charity of my choice. I, of course, chose New York Cares! (Not to mention Tasty Morsels Bakery donated cookies for the evening!) My birthday rocked! While it made life easier to know Regina, you don’t have to be friends with the owner to get a restaurant to donate. Write a nice letter to the manager telling him/her you’re looking to do something special to benefit a charitable cause for your birthday and you’d like them to be a part of it. Suggest a happy hour bar split like I had or maybe they have an even better idea. Some establishments may match what your event raises at the bar! Cheers! (Above: My friends Jeanine & Leleah | Right: My friend Amy from New York Cares and me)
4. Give Up Your Birthday Gifts
What started off as Scot Harrison asking his friends to donate $20 on his birthday to support his then, new charity has grown into charity:water‘s annual September Campaign. The idea is simple. Set a goal. Set up a donation page. Pledge in lieu of gifts for your birthday, you will only accept donations to charity:water. The same model can be applied to whatever charity you want. Tell your friends what cause you want to support. Give them your goal. And send them to an online donor page so you can keep track of the gifts. Who really needs an iPad 3 anyway?! 😉
I know we’re half way through the year and your birthday may have already passed. If it has, suggest one of these ideas to someone else whose birthday is coming up. If you’re like me and have a birthday holiday on the horizon, plan your birthday giving now! I haven’t decided what giving event I’m doing for my birthday yet but it’ll most likely include a bar again- for donations, of course!
Until next week….do good!
SAVE THE DATE: New Webinar: May 22, 2012| How To Plan The Most Perfect Fundraiser| featuring Faisal Al-Juburi of aljubuirevents and Kelly S. Beaty, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Dress for Success Worldwide. Registration begins next week!