In the movie "When Harry Met Sally", Billy Crystal, a.k.a. "Harry," said he just tries to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's. Harry was referring to being single, but anyone who handles the annual holiday shopping and decorating can relate.
That's what makes a Christmas decorating and removal service such a great fundraiser! There's not a husband in a 100-mile (161-kilometer) radius who wouldn't give money to get out of stringing lights, hanging icicles or blowing up an inflatable Santa. And it's also a great way to spread holiday cheer -- people can purchase these services for an elderly neighbor or family member.
This is a once-a-year fundraiser, but hey, if the Girl Scouts can do it, so can you. Plan ahead with your publicity, and get households to purchase their decorating in the fall; also, lock in your volunteers. Set prices, such as $50 to string lights or hang wreaths on a two-story house, or ask for flat donations based on the size of the project.
Services should be donated by members of your group and local volunteers. But also try tapping professional decorating companies to donate their time, talent and equipment; though this is a busy season for them, they may be attracted to a tax write-off at year-end.
After you've made the town a little more festive and raised a little dough, what's next? Take prisoners!