Win A Pageant

94: Creating a Valuable Pageant Fundraiser


Pageantry, if you are performing at a high level is not any different than someone pursuing professional golf or Olympic ice-skating. Anytime you want to perform at a high level, you’ll have to first commit to an initial investment. In pageantry, your investment is an entry fee, fitting wardrobe, coaching, and a host of other expenses. Your investment is the seed you sow before you reap the great harvest. Even so, it’s expensive.

I did a 4-part series, starting at episode 27, that talks in detail about how to get sponsors, but there’s another way to get financial support for your pageant and that is fundraising.

In elementary school, you probably sold candy bars, Christmas wrapping paper, and lollipops to raise funds for various charities and school functions. The most popular fundraiser these days is Girl Scout cookies mm…thin mints are my fav! Put em in the freezer and… oh… these are amazing. Plus, they help young girls develop professional skills and support their organization.

However, there are other ways to fundraise, ways that can bring you far more profit in a shorter amount of time with a smaller group of people.

That’s what I’m going to teach you to do in this episode. I want to change your mindset from what you may have known in the past. Pageant fundraising isn’t candy bars and bake sales – think bigger! Think Valuable!

First, let’s talk about why thinking small is harder than thinking big.

Let’s say you want to raise $1,000 for your pageant. That’s not much in Pageantland, so it’s reasonable to assume you can do this. If you buy candy bars for 50-cents and sell them for $1, you make 50-cents each sale. You’d have to sell 2,000 candy bars to make your goal. Have you ever seen what 2,000 candy bars look like? Each box usually contains 10-20. Imagine 100 boxes of candy bars! That’s crazy! And do you know many people who eat candy bars anyway? I remember in school when I’d sell candy bars and someone would buy a box of 10 and I’d be like WOW I’m rich! But seriously, I only made $5, I have to find 200 buyers like that to make it work. Do you see what I’m saying?

That’s the hard way to your goal. I want to teach you the smart way.

Fundraising is a lot like negotiating your salary at work: you get paid in direct proportion to how much value you provide.

Candy bars are sold everywhere for pretty cheap. They don’t solve major problems or offer lots of value. Therefore, your profit is pretty low.

But, if you provide something of truly great value, people will be willing to invest in you to receive that value.

For example, let’s say you are an artist and you love painting. Could you paint a beautiful canvas of someone’s beloved pet and charge more than $1.00? Yes.
Have you ever heard of someone doing that in your hometown? I haven’t! But everyone I know with a dog would think that’s just the cat’s meow! (hehe, see what I did there?)

Canvas wall art at TJMaxx is around $30. Custom artwork is commissioned by famous artists for thousands of dollars. Depending on your talent, turn around time, and elegance of delivery, you may be able to charge $100 for a custom canvas of someone’s pet. If you did that, you’d only need to paint 10 pets.

Do you see what I mean? You get paid in direct proportion to the value you provide.

If you are a trained yoga teacher, you could host an hour-long Thursday night yoga class at your apartment complex or YMCA and give peppermints out at the end. You could even say it’s donation based and if you were truly excellent and provide insane value, you’d have a lot of people coming and paying you big bucks! I once gave $50 in a donation yoga class when I first moved to LA because she was that good!

My brother used to write and rap lyrics about a family member or friend of his and record it for their birthday. It was so awesome! He loved rhyming and had all the equipment, and he was so good at it! I kept telling him I wanted to start a business with him to sell them. It’s huge value and no one else is offering it at such a high-quality level, so you can charge more.

Before Uber, there was a guy at my college that was a designated driver. You could call him at any time of the night and he would be sober and use his own car to pick you up at a bar and drop you off at home. For college kids living in 2 feet of snow, that’s extremely valuable.

Maybe you can help a teen pick out her prom dress, redecorate someone’s home, or teach Spanish to the homeschool kids in your neighborhood I’m sure parents would love that!

Here’s your homework:

I want you to make a list of 10 things you can do that bring massive value to others. Think about what you do at school or work, but also creatively what do you enjoy?

Then, for each one of these 10 things, think of 1-3 ways you can apply it. Don’t rule anything out yet. This is all the brainstorming phase. As you go through this process, it’s likely something will jump out at you.

Once you have that ah-ha moment of what feels right, create a 20-minute outline of how you’ll pull it off. What resources you’ll need, what examples you have to show your work thus far, where you can find your donors, and what will get in the way. Don’t over think it. This is where lots of people get stuck. Don’t get stuck thinking of all the reasons to hold you back. Instead, when it feels right, go for it!

Because that, my dear, is how you win a pageant.

We’ve got a lot of great stuff unfolding this year for Win A Pageant. Our 100th episode is coming next month and I’m preparing several goodies for you to celebrate! I’ll have more announcements to share with you next week. In the meantime, the Pageant Interview Game Plan is open for enrollment. It’s $297 and offers a step-by-step program to help you nail your pageant interview in 4 weeks, plus I provide individual coaching for all the members of the Game Plan inside our Private Facebook Group. >> Now is the time to get in while I’m still giving so much away. <<

If you’re ready to take your pageant coaching to the next-level, visit I’ll see you on the next Win A Pageant Wednesday!

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