Here’s s a summer camp marketing idea that will give you get direct access to lots of new camper prospects while costing almost nothing but your time in doing so. It has a nice philanthropic, community service component, too. Here’s what you do.
Sponsor an Ice Cream Social Fundraiser Event
Approach a local ice cream store to propose an affiliation. Tell them you’d like to host an ice cream social at their store, in the form of a fundraiser for local schools, with your camp as the sponsor. In general, you and the store owner/manager will pick a convenient day or night (preferably a weekend so more kids will come) for the fundraiser. Your arrangement will be that 50% (or whatever amount you two decide) of the proceeds will be donated to local schools.
It won’t be too hard to convince the ice cream store to get involved. To sell them on the idea, just tell them it’s a chance to make a bunch of new sales, acquire new customers, and support local schools.
(Then approach the schools to get them on board. This should be the easiest part of the process.)
How to Market the Ice Cream Social Event
The ice cream social fundraiser event won’t be successful unless you (and the ice cream store) commit to marketing it a few weeks in advance leading up to the event. You will face some (minimal) costs to promote the fundraiser. But remember, you’re the sponsor, so there are benefits to you as well. In general, any money you spend in advance (which, in fact, you can get covered by bringing on more sponsors) is nothing compared to the benefits this joint venture marketing activity can mean for your camp.
I suggest printing a bunch of flyers and making some signs to advertise the fundraiser. To keep your printing and production costs down, you could get other local businesses to sponsor the event by including their logo on the flyers and signs in exchange for them paying the printing costs.
A few weeks before the event, the ice cream store should hang the signs and distribute the flyers inside the store. They should put the flyers on the counter next to their cash register or some other conspicuous place.
Be sure to also send flyers home to every student family through the schools. Your camp’s name, website and phone number must be prominently displayed on the flyers since you’re the main sponsor.
The Day/Night of the Event
The night of the fundraiser, make sure you personally attend the event along with some of your camp staff to meet and greet all the customers coming into the ice cream store. Be sure to have flyers, brochures and business cards on hand. Assuming you (and the ice cream store) have marketed the fundraiser well, this will be a huge opportunity for you to meet lots of family prospects as they come through the door.
Will This Summer Camp Marketing Idea Work?
If you have any doubts this summer camp marketing strategy will work, the real question is, how could it not? The arrangement benefits you, the cream store, and schools. Hot weather (summertime) and ice cream to go hand in hand, right? And kids love ice cream, right? And small businesses (in this case, the ice cream store) always need more customers, right? And schools always need more money, right?
It’s pretty obvious, this one can’t miss!