Ever thought about hosting a few friends to crash in your spare room for a weekend?
Okay, well how about starting a Bed & Breakfast?
The other day when I was having lunch with a friend, one of her Sorority sisters happened to drop into the same restaurant. She sat down with us to catch up a bit, and we started talking about her use of this service that allowed her to rent out her condo to make a couple of extra dollars. Using the money to feed back into the unit’s furnishings and appeal, she said it was one of the most unique but well-worth-it ways she’d come up with to supplement her Chicago teaching salary.
It made me think of you.
Air B&B sounded REALLY insane to me when I first heard of it. Basically you create a listing through their company, allowing for guests to room with you. If you live in a pretty cool or interesting place, it’s a cheaper lodging alternative for people, and they may look to sites like this before they book a traditional hotel room.
Safety was my first thought and concern, but, you also don’t have to be present while they’re there. The young lady I met who uses the service, sleeps over a friends’ house on the weekends, and rents her upscale Hyde Park Chicago apartment to parents visiting their University of Chicago students, or those looking to be within close range of the downtown area.
The company verifies your information through a mixture of online and personal identification measures. They also encourage guests to provide detailed reviews, so that more renters will see your score and increase the amount of bookings you get. From what I saw in my brief tour of the site, they’re pretty flexible with your reservations, so let’s say you have to go out of town for business suddenly? You can open your house up to make a couple of extra dollars while you’re away. They also explain pretty thoroughly how to become tax compliant and ensure that your money comes in pretty timely.
The Host Guarantee, is also listed and included to protect you from any damages incurred during a stay:
The Airbnb Host Guarantee provides protection for up to $1,000,000 to a host for damages to covered property in the rare event of guest damages above the security deposit—or if no security deposit is in place.
The Host Guarantee Program does not cover cash and securities, collectibles, rare artwork, jewelry, pets or personal liability. We recommend that hosts secure or remove valuables when renting their place.
I found this review of them online, and it sounded very much like that what I’d heard from the young lady I spoke to.
I’ve had no issues with AIRBNB either as a traveler or a host. The problems have been with the actual hosts of properties I’ve booked. They have been the misrepresentative ones and I now carefully read all reviews and identification process on the people I will be interacting with.
As a host, I screen the requests the same way. Read the reviews and decline ANYTHING fishy. People will try to go around the system to get to your home.
AIRBNB is a tool and with skill of your own it can work well for your purposes.
Similar options for using your home as a fundraiser include VRBO or HomeAway.
I still don’t know that I’m personally comfortable with this service, but hey, you may try it and love it! Just a thought! Could be a pretty interesting way to make that one-day nursery pay for itself! As usual, go research it for yourself if it sounds doable, and if you try it out, don’t forget to come back and let me know how it turned out!
Looking for a fundraising idea? Here’s one on a smaller scale. How about a drive-in movie?!
Supplies: A projector, dvd player, speakers clean garage door or white sheet, popcorn, beverages, candy
Who doesn’t want to watch a funny movie with friends? Right? Right? This summer, my family and friends came together to do just that. I borrowed a projector from work, borrowed a musical from a friend, and asked everyone to bring their own lawn chair. We met up around dusk, my aunt made chilli dogs and popcorn, and we enjoyed a nice warm evening together in her driveway and patio.
Now, while we did it just to hang out and enjoy the summer, it dawned on me that this could have easily been a fertility fundraiser. I don’t believe it’s legal to charge for the film, but If I’d asked people to donate $5-$10 towards “backyard admission”, or made snacks and run a “concession stand”, I could have walked away with at least $100 to throw into my baby fund, without having spent a dime! Thinking outside of the box, ya know?
To avoid too much of a startup cost, I’d ask around or rent a projector rather than buying one if you don’t already have one. You never know who may have one lying around. I’d also recommend making the snacks yourself rather than buying up a lot. Also, resist the urge to go overboard cutesy. It’s nice to have little knick-knacks to give away, but remember, you’re trying to raise money-not give it away, so maybe sending a nice Thank-You card over email, is better than purchasing paper ones or party favors.
If you do want to give something back, consider having a roll of raffle tickets. Let people buy a few tickets and win a movie basket with a bag of popcorn, box of candy, and a couple of cheap DVD’s. All of these things can be found at your nearest dollar store, and you’d make the money right back(and more) just in the sales of the tickets!
Theres a few more summer weekends to be had, so think about this one, will you? And if you decide to try it, don’t forget to come back and let me know how it went! Good luck, and happy fundraising!
The later it got, the better the picture got!
A few days ago, I witnessed a discussion on FB about people using crowd-funding sites. Most of the comments were based around the idea of people who have taken to posting “Go Fund Me” pages for things that others have deemed frivolous. Pay for me to go to hair school, or help us fund my sister’s babyshower, are some of the topics I’ve seen across my Facebook feed through the last couple of years. For the most part, I tend to ignore the ones that I know I can’t (or won’t) fund. No harm, no foul.
In this discussion however, my spidey senses began to tingle when someone’s response was close to saying that it’s “tacky” to ask others to help “fund your dreams”.
In theory, yeah, okay, I can see that on some level. But then, as with most things, it made me think about those of us in the infertility fight, and how sights like GoFundMe have actually helped some of us do just that. Is growing our families a “dream” that others should scoff at helping us fund?
Crowd-funding sites have helped many couples on the infertility journey find a way that they can allow family and friends who previously felt helpless, assist them on their way. For many, the sites have given them the opportunity to take their own first steps into self-advocacy and find their voice. Even if no one ever clicked the donate button, for a lot of couples, this was their way of boldly announcing just what their years of struggle had entailed, and how hard they’d been trying to work towards it. I’m sure that countless individuals were able to at least send a message of support that was like a drop of water to someone dying of thirst.
Over the past few years, I’ve built up my skills at design. When it was time for me to suck up my pride and work on raising funds for my own IVF, my husband and I decided that the best way for us to do that was to use my designs toward our dream. I am also blessed to live in one of the few states that includes fertility treatment in health insurance. Many times, however, I wonder what I’d do if I didn’t have that skill or that health benefit. How devastated would I be if I had no money to start from scratch, AND no tangible thing to use as a fundraiser?
I can only imagine.
As people continue to exploit these sites for all kinds of reasons, that many will no doubt judge, I’m sure that those who were already debating whether or not they should move forward with fundraising for infertility will decide to go back into the shadows. There is a personal fight that many of us have when financial issues come into play in infertility. It is the fight that whispers, “If you have to raise money to even do this, maybe that says you shouldn’t do this”. We cower behind it, and swallow our sorrow, and retreat into defeat.
I don’t want you to do that. I want you to have a safe space to shout from the rooftops, “I’m struggling, and I would like some help.” Even if you never get a dime, I have always been about empowering others to self-advocate.
Fertility Fundraiser Fridays, will be a weekly promotional kickstart on The Egg, where I will share an idea for a cool Fertility Fundraiser, or a link to one that stands out. We’re in this together, and I hope your dreams come true. Allow me to be your platform, and please, if you can, reach back and help someone else by sharing theirs.