About Souper Bowl-a-thon
What is a Souper Bowl-A-Thon?This event is an opportunity to have fun with your friends while supporting the important, charitable work of Souper Bowl of Caring. The simplest Bowl-A-Thon will be an event where groups of young people will solicit pledges from friends and family, gather at a local bowling alley for three games of bowling and have fun while raising support for SBoC! For everyone $1,000 you raise for Souper Bowl of Caring, we can leverage your gift to mobilize youth to generate $19,000 for hunger-relief.
Ten Steps to a Successful Souper Bowl-A-Thon:1. Determine initial event details. Will you organize a bowl-a-thon with your youth group, classmates or group of friends? How many people do you think you can recruit to bowl? You will need an estimated number of bowlers before booking a bowling alley. You will also want to pick a date that will allow enough time for planning, recruiting and promoting.
- Secure a bowling alley and date for your event. Be flexible on dates as many bowling alleys have League nights where all lanes are already full. Use the Souper Bowl-A-Thon fact sheet to explain your fundraiser and ask if the location is willing to donate the lanes or offer them to you at a discounted rate. You will need to know the estimated number of bowlers in order to reserve the correct number of lanes. Bowling alleys typically accommodate 4-6 bowlers per lane.
- Create your bowl-a-thon event page. This page will allow you to customize event details and promote the event to friends and family. As organizer, you will make one page and can list all participating bowlers. If your event is something only your youth group is involved with, this is a great link to share with the entire church as people will have the opportunity to support as many bowlers as they'd like. Start by adding your event information and adding yourself as a bowler. You can then use this page to show your potential bowlers and help add validity to your event.
- Recruit bowlers. You can make this an event of your friends, youth group, classmates or any combination you'd like. You can also make it a competition among groups, but remember to keep it simple as you are the one responsible for coordinating all the event participants.
- Solicit donations. Each bowler will need to reach out to friends and family to raise money. Donations can be accepted as one-time gifts or people can pledge an amount based on how well you bowl. For example, if someone pledges $0.25 per pin and you bowl a score of 100, the donor would contribute $25 after the event. Donors can write checks or make donations online using your Bowl-A-Thon event page. Encourage bowlers to send emails, make phone calls and promote their involvement and need for donations as often as possible. Make sure each bowler is using the pledge sheet to keep track of all donations. As event leader, remember other bowlers will be looking to you to be a role model, so don't forget to solicit donations yourself, even as you coordinate event details and communicate with all the other bowlers.
- Bowl! Set up a registration table at the bowling alley so you can assign people to the lanes and also collect any donations bowlers received prior to the event. Be sure to keep track of how much money you get from each person. It is recommended you make an envelope for each bowler so you can keep the money separate. It is also suggested you set up the event to include three games--this should last anywhere from 1-2 hours. Be sure bowlers are keeping track of their scores after each game by writing down their score at the bottom of their pledge sheet. At the end of the night, bowlers will need to turn in their highest score to you. Use the score tracking sheet provided in the resource section to help organize bowler scores. You can also use the tracking sheet as the sign-in sheet for the event, so you can collect names/contact information at the beginning of the event and then just fill in each bowler's highest score at the end.
- Input final scores into your Bowl-A-Thon webpage. You will need to input the highest game scores into your Bowl-A-Thon webpage so any pledged donations can be calculated based on the scores. Once you input final scores, an email will be sent automatically to those with outstanding pledges.
- Collect donations. You will need to follow-up with all bowlers to remind them to collect pledges from their donors. Provide them with the sample letter/email included in your resources. Everyone who donated through the event website will be sent an automatic reminder.
- Turn in donations and paperwork to Souper Bowl of Caring. If possible, please do not mail cash, but ask your parents to write a check for all the cash donations you received (be sure to mark who has paid on the pledge sheets). Mail any checks to Souper Bowl of Caring (PO Box 23224, Columbia, SC 29224) along with Bowl-A-Thon pledge sheets, score tracking sheets, etc. Souper Bowl of Caring will send you a certificate for each bowler to share with your participants.
- Say 'thank you' and Celebrate! Invite your friends over to your house for pizza or take time during youth group to share the results of your Souper Bowl-A-Thon with the group! You can also send an email to your team to announce the total raised or even submit the information for recognition in your local newspaper. Be sure to celebrate the great work you all did together to fight hunger and poverty in America. Remember, for every $100 donated to Souper Bowl of Caring, we can leverage it to generate $1,900 for hunger-relief nationwide. Now that's something to celebrate!