7 Tips for Fundraising & Outreach with Custom License Plates

Getting your organization enthused, and ensuring follow-through, is easy with this straightforward license plate fundraising plan. The underlying process remains the same for business promotion efforts, church outreach drives, or for a school or nonprofit fundraiser.

Decide on a price for your license plates. Auto tags can reasonably sell from $10 to $15 to perhaps $20 each (depending on your community base), giving you a nice profit. The price you set will depend on whether you run your license plate program as a pure outreach or promotion effort (price set lower — at cost), or want it to simultaneously function as a fundraising drive (price set higher).

We also recommend that you include an allowance of 50 cents to $1.00 in your price to cover tag bolts and mounting brackets (available at your local auto supply store). Most car tags can be affixed quickly with bolts or screws. However, some cars will require mounting brackets, and such an allowance will help cover this small minority.

Find an energetic contact person to coordinate the program. The contact person should be someone who is enthusiastic and can motivate others to take action. Inform your organization about how the auto tags will help generate name recognition and community awareness, and how the proceeds will be used. (If you are doing church outreach: Let the congregation know the pastor is behind the project by having them announce the outreach effort and contact person at your weekly church service(s).)

Use images of your custom license plate on posters/ mailers, bulletin inserts, and notices to help publicize your efforts. Another possibility is windshield fliers at group events to generate interest. You can download images of your auto tag from the web page where we post your license plate design for you to review. Just right-click on your car tag design image (if on Windows) or control-click (Mac users) to bring up a pop-up menu that will allow you to download the image to your hard drive.

When you receive orders, keep organized by using a sign-up sheet.

Set a deadline for orders to motivate people and keep things moving. You can follow up with a “second chance” deadline and order additional custom license plates later if need be. You may also want to set a target number of tags to be sold as a motivator. Progress reports about headway toward your goal can be used in follow-up reminders.

Set up a promotional web page offering your license plate for sale. See www.leewardpro.com/sample/ for an example that includes viewable online license plate artwork, plus pertinent information such as contact person, deadline, tag price, and so forth. Use Facebook or find someone in your organization who has web skills and have them host a page. An immediately available image of your car tag like this you can point people to can help make things more real for them and generate enthusiasm.

Follow up with periodic reminders to maximize participation. Have your contact person mention the auto tags whenever your organization holds a meeting until the program wraps up. (Example: For church outreach efforts, have the pastor continue to mention the project each Sunday and/or other meeting nights.)

In addition to using posters, bulletin inserts, and fliers, email — if appropriate, and not perceived as spam — is a great way to remind people if you maintain a list of their online addresses.

After your car tags arrive:

Help those who need assistance put the auto tag on their cars. While affixing license plates isn’t very difficult, those who may have physical problems or simply aren’t mechanically inclined will appreciate the helping hand.

Be sure to thank everyone after the project has concluded. Give a wrap-up report and/or write a recap for Facebook, bulletins, and newsletters. Make it personal. Give participation numbers, dollar figures, tell any stories about what happened, and especially use the occasion to make people feel more a part of your organization, as well as its efforts to become more widely recognized. That’s important in and of itself — but it will also help pave the way with goodwill for your next promotional effort or fundraiser.

Fundraising & Outreach    Why License Plates?  |  Fundraising & Outreach Tips