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What You’ll Need for a Car Wash Fundraiser

To ensure your car wash fundraiser goes well, you’ll need the following things:

  • A venue. Your venue needs to be large enough to accommodate several cars, all of your staff members, and the tools you’ll need to perform the washings. It will also need a water supply and hoses that are readily accessible to you. Ideally, the venue should be outdoors as well so that passerbys have the opportunity to attend.
  • Supplies. Common car wash supplies include tire cleaner, window cleaner, soap, rags, and sponges. If you have the budget for it, consider supplying handheld vacuum cleaners for the inside of vehicles.
  • Advertisements. Aside from flyers and social media posts that you’ll put up before the event, you’ll also want to create eye-catching signs for the day-of.
  • Staff members. Enlist staff members to help fundraise for your organization by washing cars on the day of the event.
  • Volunteers. For smaller organizations that don’t have enough staff members, you may need to recruit some volunteers to help out.

While these are what’s necessary for your car wash to work, feel free to spice up your event with extra items. These could be decorations to make the location appear more festive. You can even pick a theme for your car wash to make the venue more eye-catching and appealing to potential customers.

3 Tips for a Successful Car Wash Fundraiser

1. Strategically choose the event time and location.

When deciding when and where to host your car wash fundraiser, consider what factors will lead to the greatest amount of customers. Common considerations for event time and location include:

  • Weather. Will it be sunny or raining? If it’s raining, people will be less likely to pay for a car wash.
  • Season. Winter isn’t an ideal time for car washes, but the other three seasons make for great car washing weather, though you’ll want to avoid the hottest days of summer. If there’s high pollen in your area, hosting a car wash right at pollen season’s close is a great idea.
  • Location busyness. Is there a lot of traffic near the area? Do many people visit? To appeal to the largest number of potential customers, you’ll want to pick a busy area where people can easily see the signs for your car wash.

2. Diversify your fundraising offerings.

Offer additional services to increase your event’s fundraising capability. For example, your car wash service may take care of the exterior of a vehicle, and you can also have an interior car cleaning service. That way, customers that have need of one service but not the other will still be interested in attending your car wash. You could also offer a car waxing service after the vehicle is clean.

You can also provide services or items that aren’t related to cars. For example, you might stock up on snacks and drinks so that customers will have the option to purchase something to munch on while they’re waiting. 

3. Partner with local businesses.

To minimize the cost of your car wash, consider partnering with or requesting sponsorships from local businesses. For example, your local car wash may be willing to lend you their space if you include their branding on your promotional materials. Or, perhaps a local grocery store will provide you with the supplies you need in exchange for a heartfelt thank you message in your next email newsletter.