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Example # 1: The International Zucchini Festival

Many people have shared the responsibility for the zucchini festivals in Harrisville, New Hampshire, but the starting idea can be traced to Chick and Pat Colony.

On the following screens, they talk about how it came to be.

"I was wondering myself how we fit it together. One thing that's important is that zucchinis themselves are kind of an agricultural joke around here. I mean, everybody who has a garden in New England has this problem of what to do with these things that grow so fast. Well, my wife Pat and I sort of came up with the idea we thought we should have some celebration of this phenomenon. The humor of it seemed to be a natural, and it seemed to be a nice idea to celebrate the wackiness of it and have a good time. We sort of fantasized about this festival, without ever thinking that it could happen.

Everybody seemed to like the idea. It was never meant to be anything very serious. It grew from a joke to being something that looked like it might actually be possible to do. We never could figure of a reason for it to happen. It had to be a cause, I think; just to do it for the fun of it would be pointless. So it needed a little more focus.

And then the cause arrived. Antioch-New England [a graduate school specializing in counseling and psychotherapy training] moved from Vermont to Harrisville. And while they were here, one of the projects they started was a preschool, a private preschool. Their fund-raising had been a constant problem for them, in that they could never generate much money at any one time. We talked to someone who was quite involved with the school. We said, look, would the school be interested in a major fund event? She said she thought so. I'd say the first meeting was sort of a spiritual meeting, you know--let's talk about the idea, get a lot of laughs.

Right away, most of the issues became apparent. It's easy to say what the jobs are. It was a little more complex to get them assigned and done. We sort of picked people who could be in charge of each different thing, like promotional materials, publicity, liaison with the town. The core organization became called Zucchini Central. Everything was kind of tongue-in-cheek. We were maybe eight, eight to twelve people I would say. We worked independently; there wasn?t much to do, physically. We knew that real involvement was going to come just the week before. What we wanted was to hold everybody back and then really concentrate on the day itself. We actually did do presses releases and things. We didn?t try to overdo it, although the media got kind of excited about it. We were selling T-shirts maybe a month before the festival. I took it to myself to make the buttons. People just did things they wanted to.

We charged people money to get in, but we didn't want people having money all over the place. So we thought it would kind of be adding to the festivity to have play money, and we came up with the idea of using what we called zukes and gadzukes, and I think it did work. They were actually poker chips.

There was a set-up crew that worked a little bit the night before. But seriously, until the thing started, we had no idea what it was going to be like. And it was exciting. Probably three or four thousand people came and went. Lots of people came wearing zucchini jewelry, dressed up as zucchinis, entered contests, everybody sort of took part. We had to sort of forcefully shut it down, about four o'clock.

The wastebasket just accumulated all the money. Nobody had any idea of whether we were making any money or not, although there seemed to be quite a bit floating around. We grossed about nine thousand, I think. And we made about half of that, which was more money than they'd ever made on all their fund-raising things put together in a year. The funny thing for Pat and me was the way the event came off was almost exactly the way we had visualized it. It worked just as well as we hoped it would work. And that was really amazing."

Adapted form Local heroes, by Bill Berkowitz. Used with permission.

Example # 2: Fundraiser planning sheet

Here you'll find a complete fund-raiser planning sheet, filled out for an hypothetical fund-raiser for the zucchini festival so that you can get a feel on how to plan your own event. A ready-to-use, blank form of this sheet can be found in the Tools section.

FundRaiser Planning Sheet

Fundraiser: International Zuccini festival

Set financial goal ? how much money do you want to raise?

About $ 8,000

Set other goals for your group:

Way of using omnipresent zucchinis

Bring attention to town

Bring awareness to Antioch-New England school

Have a good time

Choose the best fundraiser for your community:

Zucchini festival, because zucchinis are all around

Set the date for your event:

May 25th

Outline all the tasks you need to do:

Get permission from city hall

Contact media

Clean area of the festival

Build tents

Organize competitions


Who will be responsible for each job?

Chick--competition organizer

Diane--city liaison


Clarissa--event organizer


Brainstorm potential donors and supporters:


People from the community


Example # 3: Designing and Implementing a Fundraiser

ICT ArtDog logo

The Wichita Art Day of Giving (ArtDOG) is a 24-hour online fundraising event created to rally community support for local arts organizations. This unique one-day fundraiser is a project of the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF). The WCF brings this event to the area with several goals in mind, including:

  • To raise awareness of the current needs of arts organizations in the community
  • To encourage local arts nonprofits to learn how to use digital tools
  • To inspire donors to increase financial support of their favorite local arts organizations

ArtDOG 2014, held on Feb. 28, raised nearly $550,000 for 38 Wichita arts nonprofit organizations.

"There is no question that the community embraced the concept of ArtDOG, and saw the importance of both donating and promoting the arts in Wichita during last year’s campaign,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “WCF is proud to administer this project again, with the goal of raising even more dollars and awareness for the arts. The partnerships secured for ArtDOG 2015 have been a great testament to the value of this project.”

Fifty-three nonprofit arts organizations in Wichita registered to participate in 2015, compared to 38 in 2014. Golden Ticket opportunities are available throughout the day, awarding 12 $1,000 prizes to randomly selected participating organizations. In addition, all 53 organizations are eligible for Bonus Pool dollars, which are awarded based on dollars raised at the conclusion of the giving day. WCF has committed $25,000 from their operating endowment for the Bonus Pool, along with $25,000 from Spirit AeroSystems, as well as gifts from Fidelity Bank, Emprise Bank, Apples &Arrows, Lifeboat Creative, and several individual donors.

The locally-developed online giving platform,, provided real-time updates of the total raised on April 24 and announce the Golden Ticket recipients, among other features. Those interested in donating to ArtDOG organization(s) online did so from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on April 24. If a donor was interested in giving offline, they were encouraged to contact the organization they wish to donate to directly.

Several events hosted by participating agencies were held that Final Friday. A full list is available on

Founded in 1986, the Wichita Community Foundation's mission is to be the catalyst that creates lasting legacies by partnering with people, families, and organizations to devote resources to causes that matter. The Foundation is a public nonprofit organization with nearly 300 charitable funds and agency endowments, representing $69 million.