Anime Ascendant

An anime club help site that offers advice and support

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How to Get Businesses to Donate to Your Club or Event


How to Get Businesses to Donate to Your Club or Event

Looking for a business to donate to your club or event? Here’s a letter for you to take or send to businesses you want to donate to your club or event.

  1. Please fill in and review the information in the letter (see below for template). Make sure to un-bold all of the <bold areas> with your current information.
  2. Make a list of all the restaurants and stores in the area (see below for template). If you are looking for specific things (ex. science stuff, geek gear, cooking supplies), try to target specific businesses. If you’re looking for art or craft supplies, put your local Michael’s, Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, and Dick Blick on the list.
  3.  Once you’ve completed the letter, make several copies, and put each one into envelopes addressed to each restaurant or store.
  4. Go to the restaurants and stores on your list. It’s always better to go in person if you can. It’s better for you and another officer to visit these places together. When you go to the restaurants and stores, ask for the manager, tell the manager about the event (do NOT say party), and give them the letter. If the manager or owner is not present at that time, tell the waiter/clerk to give it to them. It’s best if you and whoever is going with you knows most of the details of the event in case the managers ask you questions. Also, it’s good to know exactly what you’re going to do for their business if they sponsor you.
  5. Follow up before the form submission deadline (you’ll decide that).

Please keep in mind that being organized and having all of your event details sorted out. If you don’t have the date, time, venue, and expected number of attendees, you most likely won’t get donations. It’s a give-and-take world, and you have to know how to play it.

Do not send this letter 2 weeks before your event. It’s better to send it 4 weeks before your event so that if the business has to mail back the form, it’ll reach you in time.

If you want to step up your game, you can also put a self-addressed envelope in the letter as well. On top of that, if you’ve sent out the letters to businesses and you haven’t heard back after 2 weeks, give the manager a call or send a thank-you card to them as a reminder. Maybe the letter got stuck underneath a pile of snail mail (which is why it’s better to hand the manager a letter).

Letter_to_Vendors – Excel (.docx) format

List of Vendors Template – Excel (.xlsx) format

Need a hand? You can contact me through email or find me on Skype at jeridel[dot]banks. Please make sure to indicate that you found me through Anime Ascendant, or I’ll decline any requests and emails.

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Fundraising Ideas Inspired by Japanese School Festivals

School festivals are central to all manga and anime centering around Japanese schools as well as Japanese society.


Everyone participates in the school festivals, even the foreign English teachers like myself. Last year, I was faced with the school festival, and though I wanted to do something as typical as a cafe, rules kept the maid outfits at bay. “There are only two places where food can be made, and they’ve already been claimed,” a teacher told me with a sympathetic smile. “You’ll have to come up with some other idea for the English Club.”

Great. I guess my anime dreams of doing a maid cafe couldn’t come true. Ideas, I thought, I need ideas. Of course, my students couldn’t come up with anything. You’ll find that unless you offer Japanese kids ideas, you won’t come up with anything concrete.

For those of you in the same situation or you want to do a fundraiser, here’s a list of ideas you can do with a small club (3 to 5 members) or more.

1. Cake Walk (Musical Chairs + Raffle): Use Daiso vinyl tape and make footprints or circles on the floor into one big circle. Put numbers in each circle. Participants will stand on the circles, and when the music starts, they will walk to each circle. When the music stops, a number will be called. The participant on the called number will win a cake or a prize. For more info: . (A similar game in Japan is called Fruits Basket.)

2. Costume Booth (Halloween Japanese traditional wear or costume + Photography): Get a lot of costumes and props. Designate someone who will print pictures and put them in cellophane holders. Participants will pick what costumes they want and the theme of their photograph.

3. Skit: Pick a Western Japanese-origin plays or skit such as Momotarou (“Peach Boy”), Tsuru no on-gaeshi (“The Crane Wife”), Issun-boushi (“The One-Inch Boy”), or Kobutori jiisan (“The Old Man with a Lump”). Adjust the script, pick the actors, and perform the skit on stage.

4. Names in Cursive Japanese: For more artistic people, participants will get their names written in pretty cursive. If you’re into graffiti, do names in graffiti.

5. Dance: Do a traditional dance from a different country (i.e. Philippine’s tinikling or binasuan or Mexico’s folklorico) a Japanese prefecture such as eisa (Okinawa) or the Lantern Dance (Kanagawa).

6. Western Eastern bazaar: Get lots of new knickknacks (stickers, posters, bilingual books, toys, stuffed animals, bracelets, snacks, etc.). Set up a booth or room with the items all tagged with prices. Get a register or cash box and put someone responsible for it.

7. English wanage (Ring Toss): Make rings and stands out of cardboard and tape. (I would use Daiso colored tape to make the rings and stands more interesting, seeing that cardboard is pretty ugly.) Use vinyl tape as a distance marker. Give participants the rings and prizes after they’ve gotten the rings on the stands successfully. For an English Japanese-involved ring toss, put pictures on the stands. Show the participants an English Japanese word. They will throw the ring onto the matching picture of the English Japanese word.

8. Basket Toss: Make balls out of tape and set up cardboard boxes. For an English Japanese-involved basket toss, put pictures on the boxes. Tell the participant an English Japanese word, and they will throw the ball into the matching picture. You can also do this with teachers’ pictures and tell the participants a teacher’s profile (where they’re from, the subject they teach, the homeroom they’re in charge of).

9. Western Anime Cafe: Pick any theme for your cafe. Get refreshments (cupcakes, brownies, muffins, breads), drinks, utensils, table clothes, napkins, and props that fit the theme. Set up nice tables and have the club members be waiters (make shifts!). Customers will come and order food and drinks from an all-English Japanese menu. The waiters will take the orders in English Japanese as best as they can. For the non-food option, still set up the cafe the same way but make a separate table with different candies, knickknacks, and lots of gift wrapping materials (ribbons, wrapping paper, tape, scissors, cellophane bags, hole punches, and stickers). Customers will look at a menu of themes and make a gift for their friends, parents, or lovers. The waiters will only clean up after the customers and offer suggestions to them.

10. Movie: Make a movie with the club before the school festival (summer vacation is the best time to do this if your festival is later on in the year). Sit down with the club, write the script, schedule times to film, practice all the scenes, film, edit, and add Japanese subtitles.

11. English Japanese Scavenger Hunt: Give attendees a scavenger hunt paper with tasks such as “Find three married teachers” (3人の結婚したの教師を探してください). If they complete the task, they get a stamp on their paper. They can show their stamps at one location (if you have no room, use a kiosk or table-top cart) and get prizes. If you’re looking for examples of this kind of activity, it has been done at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Okinawa for their annual festivals (おきなわ国際協力・交流フェスティバル[English][Japanese] ).

If you’re having trouble coming up with school festival ideas for your anime club, just think of a fundraiser or carnival event and try that.

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Fundraising Ideas from a Charity

Looking for some more fundraising ideas? Need some volunteering help? The Water Project, a non-profit organization that gives clean water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, has a list of fundraising ideas for you and your club. Some of the fundraisers include 2-week water challenges, water races, and water parties as ideas that can help your club and give to the charity.

For ideas, please go to (a PDF).


Fundraising Ideas

Auction or Silent Auction

What is it? An auction is a sale, but everyone must bid on items. Only one person will win the item.

How do you do it?

Gather sellable things from members and donors. Set a place, date, and time, and market it. On the day of the auction, put the items in a safe place on or near the stage.

For a regular auction, give everyone paddles with numbers (a plastic fan with paper over it works). An item will be shown and the auctioneer will called out prices. When a person raises their paddle, they bid on the item at the price the auctioneer said. When time runs out, the last bidder will win the item.

For a silent auction, make papers where people can write down their bids and contact information. Write a starting bid for each item. When the time ends (maybe two hours later), announce the winners of the bids. Each winner will pay before receiving their items.



A silent auction can be part of any event. Just make sure the items are guarded well!

Interesting paintings, new shoes, clean statues, artistic ceramic, and jewelry usually sell at the highest price.


Bake Sale

What is it? A sale of food.

How do you do it?

Get volunteers to make or buy food (for school clubs, you must buy the food and get permission to sell the food). Set a place, date, and time, and market the event. On the day of the bake sale, put the food out and sell it.


Car Wash

What is it? A fundraiser washing people’s cars.

How do you do it?

Get a lot of volunteers (10 to 20 people). Find a place who will let you use their parking lot and water (usually a grocery store) and ask permission to use them. Set a date and time, and market the event. Get a hose, clean rags, car soap, tire cleaner, buckets, sponges, microfiber cloths, a table, and a cash box. On the day of the car wash, go to the parking lot with your volunteers and set up your buckets and things.



Make big signs and send a few volunteers to the intersections with a lot of traffic. Send a few volunteers to the parking lot and ask shoppers if they want a car wash.


Corporate Support

What is it? Any kind of donation from a corporation relating to Japanese culture.

How do you do it?

Make a solicitation packet, and send out copies to different corporations.


Dance or Party

What is it? An anime-themed or Japan-themed dance or party.

How do you do it?

Set a theme, place, date, and time for your dance or party. Put officers in charge of certain areas (ex: marketing, room rental or reservations, food, entertainment, decorations, tickets, set up, break down). Get the room reserved, do the marketing, buy the decorations, book the entertainment (DJ, band, performances, photography), decide on the food and get it approved, and sell tickets. Before the dance or party, the set up committee will put up decorations.



Make sure to confirm everything before the day of the dance. That means calling or visiting the entertainment, the food providers, and the room rental offices and getting verbal or written confirmation. Don’t sleep on getting that confirmation!



What is it? Grams are small packages or gifts sent from a customer to a receiver.

How do you do it?

Get your officers together and decide on the kind of grams you’d like to sell.



Deliver the grams on a holiday such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas time, or Halloween.



What is it? A raffle is a lottery fundraiser where members sell tickets. Usually the raffle tickets are two raffle tickets with the same number (one ticket for the buyer and one ticket for the seller).

How do you do it?

Club members will ask people if they would like to buy a raffle ticket. This will be done until the set date to pull one lucky ticket.



Make the prize something worthwhile.



What is it? A swap is similar to a bazaar or yardsale where someone sells used items.

How do you do it?

Collect used items from members. Set a date, time, and place and market the event. Get permits, tables, and price tags. On the day of the event, set up the tables and put price tags on all the items.



Send members out to recruit some potential customers.


Eating Contest

What is it? An eating contest is an event where five to seven contestants eat one kind of food as fast as they can.

How do you do it?

Get five to seven people to eat the food. Find a food vendor and location to do the event. Set a date and time and market the event. On the day of the event, charge attendees at the door and set up the food.



Get a very good announcer. It’ll make a world of difference!


Writing Contest

What is it? A writing contest is an event where writers can submit their best written works for a chance to win something.

How do you do it?

Create a low entrance fee (usually somewhere around $5 per submission). Pick a last day to enter the contest and a few members to judge the entries. Market the contest. When the contest closes, judge all the entries and announce the winner(s).



When charging an entry fee, make sure that the prize is big.

Market writing contests on Twitter, Facebook, and your club’s website.