Use paid Entertainers as Marketing Events
- Whether you invite family members of the residents, adults from local churches or AARP committee’s, get the word out about your community. When planning a pricey Entertainer, share the cost with your marketing department and assist the program in reaching beyond the walls of your community. Doing so will give you a bigger budget to work with and it will also open up opportunities for future residents and/or volunteers. Try inviting surrounding Nursing communities, the local newspaper, or potential future clientele and market the excitement in your building.
Create Tournaments with local Communities
- Host a tournament of Bingo, shuffleboard, Wii bowling, or even a Spelling Bee and rotate between surrounding communities on a monthly our quarterly basis as to who hosts the events. Doing so will not only offer you another way to market you building and Activity programs, but it will provide opportunities for your residents to become more involved in social settings, help them meet new people, and help them get out of their normal routine by getting out of the community and into others. This is also a budget saver by freeing up large program costs within other months when alternating who hosts the programs. Encourage the tournament winners to host the following month’s tournaments.
Share Ideas with Other Activity Professionals
- Naturally Activity Directors have the desire to keep all great ideas to ourselves, but there is a lot to gain with sharing program highlights and ideas with others Activity Professionals in your local community. By doing so you may find opportunities to implement some budget saving ideas of theirs into your programs, or create opportunities to work with them to assist you both in pinching some pennies. For example, if you plan a joint outing with another community you may have the ability to split to cost of the transportation.
Reuse, Recycle, and Bargain Shop
- Be dangerous and dig deep in the back of your storage closet and see what things are hiding out in the dark corners. You may be surprised to find left over items from previous projects that you can reuse and recycle into creating a whole new project. For example, if you had a scrapbooking session during a previous month and you find a lot of leftover scrapbook paper, use the leftovers for an origami craft or teach your residents how to make paper boxes. Also, try planning an outing with your residents to a thrift store or take them to yard sales and have them help you look around for cheap odds and ends that could be used for future programs. Doing this will give your residents a chance to be creative thinkers and will give them a sense of ownership over future programs while getting them outside in the community.
Use your Resources
- Individuals and groups are always looking for new ways to volunteer. Reach out into your community and bring some people in to offer new programs that will help you save your budget. Try inviting the local high school computer students to give a presentation about YouTube, Facebook, or some other social networks. You can also have children from local dance, karate, or music studios come and perform some of their newest pieces for your residents. Remember, there are a lot of organizations that are constantly looking for ways to volunteer and give back to the community. Instead of waiting for them to reach out to you, be proactive and start reaching out to them.