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Do you have a child with autism who desperately needs therapies you can’t afford? What about doing an autism fundraiser? While it can be a lot of work, autism fundraisers can be very successful and can be one of the best ways to pay for autism therapies for your child. Here is the process you can use to do a successful autism fundraiser or even more than one.
1. Know your why? Why are you fundraising? What exactly will you do with the money once you have raised it?
2. Get prepared to fundraise. In most cases, the money you earn from a fundraiser for autism therapies will still be taxable unless you do a few key things. One of these things is using a separate bank account for the funds and then being very careful to spend the money only on autism therapies. Then you can claim a tax deduction under medical expenses and reduce or in some cases eliminate your taxes. Another way is to either create your own 5013c or find a way to run the fundraiser via the 5013c of someone else and then use the funds for autism therapies. You can also contact the provider or providers of the therapy or therapies you are planning to use and see if you can make arrangements for the money raised by your autism fundraiser to go directly to them. By having the money go directly to the provider and never having the funds touch your bank account you may be able to avoid taxes. However, as with all tax issues, if you think that you may be raising a large amount of money to pay for autism therapies, consult with a tax professional first.
3. Have a goal for how much money you want to raise. Then break it down and determine how much money you will use and for what purpose. You will find that some people may be more motivated to help you, if they know or are able to decide precisely what their money will pay for.
Decide what kind of fundriaser or fundraisers you will do. While you can ask for money directly via something like gofundme.com, personally I’ve found that event fundraisers or fundraisers where you sell a product or products are more successful. People prefer the idea of getting something for their contribution and they are more fun anyway.
4. If you sell a product, sell something that people actually want or need. There are too many fundraisers for cookie dough or wrapping paper that is overpriced and that no one wants. Examples of successful products include candles, food like Tastefully Simple or Wild Tree, tomato plants, essential oils, bath and body products, Tupperware, pampered chef, and other similar items. Look for something that people buy on a regular basis whether it is for a fundraiser or not. You also want to get at least 20% of the purchase price towards your fundraiser. If you need help finding someone who can help you with a product fundraiser, let me know. I have lots of connections.
5. If you do an event fundraiser, plan at least two months ahead and invite everyone. Make it fun and something the whole family will want to attend. Ask a variety of businesses to donate items for an auction or raffle. You can also do a carnival type event and sell tickets, or you could do a dinner and get the food donated.
If your goal is to raise more than $2,000 you will want to consider doing both a product fundraiser and an event fundraiser. You may even want to do 2-3 product fundraisers and more than one event.
In short, fundraising for autism therapies can be a lot of work and effort. However, it can pay off and be well worth it. You will find that more people will help you than you expect.
1. Go slowly. Avoid trying to force your child to give up all unhealthy foods at once.
2. When eliminating foods, eliminate one food at a time.
3. Don’t be afraid to sneak in vegetables into foods your child likes. For example, you can blend spinach into tomato sauce for pizza, or you can blend broccoli into cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese.
4. Try getting your child to drink fruits and veggies. You can make delicious juices and smoothies your child will love.
5. While too much gluten free breads, cookies and cakes are not the best choices, when first beginning a gluten free diet with your child, it’s better to start with them rather than create caos by not allowing them at all.
6. Pinterest and blogs can be life savers when it comes to finding healthy eating and recipes for your child with autism.
7. Don’t be afraid to use bribery and rewards to encourage your child to try new foods.
8. Involve your child with the cooking.
9. Show your child pictures of fruits and vegetables and ask him or her which ones he or she wants to eat.
10. When it comes to healthy eating for your child, you the parent are ultimately responsible. If your child is a brat who only wants fries or cookies, you created the problem whether you realize it or not.
11. Healthy eating or unhealthy eating with a child with autism can be at the root cause of allergies, asthma, digestive issues, behavior troubles and sleep issues plus much more.
12. You may not be able to do it all on your own so don’t be afraid to reach out to a health coach like me, a nutritionist or other professional for help.
13. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stress and just get back on.
14. Having the full support of the rest of your household including other children who aren’t on the autism spectrum is a must.
15. Taking the extra time to look for store specials and sales, find coupons and deals and exploring online options such as Amazon and Vitacost is worth the effort to same money on healthy foods and on gluten free and dairy free options.
16. Think simple. A one pot meal of sauted veggies and chicken can be a delicious and healthy option that is simple to prepare and serve.
17. Get a crock pot and rice cooker and learn how to use them.
18. Avoid having your child watch food commercials as much as possible.
19. Find other fun activities to do that don’t involve food.
20. Teach your child how to cook healthy meals so that he or she will know how to cook and will enjoy healthy cooking.
21. Realize that all children and adults have taste preferences. Once you know your child doesn’t like a certain vegetable, stop forcing him or her to eat it. That said, you need to make sure first that your child really doesn’t like it and that he or she has tried it at least a few times.
22. Plan ahead with a grocery shopping list and menu plan.
23. Having a costco and or sams club membership can be a life saver especially if there are more than 4 people in your household.
24. Plan ahead. Then plan ahead again. Seriously though planning ahead will save you a lot of time, money and headaches. It will also make it more likely that you stick with healthy eating with your child even when it’s hard.
25. Think about the big picture. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish with healthy eating for your child with autism?
Which tip is your favorite? Have any healthy eating for autism tips to share that I missed. Share them below in the comments.