Whether you compete in the Miss Arizona USA + Miss Arizona Teen USA pageant or another, one fact stays the same: there are some expenses associated with competition. And while there are many ways to keep costs down, you’ll likely need some new wardrobe pieces or have an entry fee to pay. Not to worry! Fundraising for a pageant entry fee or a wardrobe fund doesn’t have to be too difficult.

Fundraising for a pageant the old fashioned way: ask for sponsorships 

Perhaps you or your family have made a large purchase recently; whether you bought a car, a house, or finished treatment with your orthodontist, consider visiting businesses that your family has spent a large amount with or have done business with over a long period of time. A few examples of these kinds of businesses include an insurance agency, a realtor, dermatologist, car dealership, a private school (if you attend/attended one), or dance studio. Offer to include them in your ad page and promote their business via social media posts throughout the time leading up to the pageant. Another way to support and thank these businesses for their donation is ensuring you leave positive reviews for their business online recounting your experience as a customer. 

Or, try Giving Cards…

We love this idea from our Miss Arizona USA 2018 Nicole Smith. After competing seven times, she became an expert at fundraising for a pageant!

Fill out index cards with dollar amounts from $1 to $40 and reach out to your friends and family via social media, phone call, text… let them know you’re raising money in order to compete at Miss Arizona USA (or Miss Arizona Teen USA). Ask if they’re interested in selecting one (or more) of the cards and giving that amount toward your fund. The most important part- continue to update your social media channels as cards are crossed out. It reminds people that you still need support and gives you the opportunity to thank the latest donors. 

If you complete giving cards $1-$40, this fundraiser brings in $820!

Sell additional ad pages 

Every contestant is required to sell one ad page at $500. This can be broken up however you like, or it could be one business by itself. However, any additional ad pages you choose to sell only cost $250. Take this as an opportunity to raise money for yourself! For instance, you could include 10 businesses’ names + contact information on one ad page and charge each business $50 (a rate that’s very affordable for many small businesses). By doing this, you’ve earned $500- $250 toward your expenses and $250 to cover the ad page cost. There’s no limit on how many ad pages you can have, and it’s an extra opportunity for the judges and audience to see your beautiful face.

Invite a friend to join you

Did you know that our contestants receive $100 for every friend that signs up to compete? It’s true! Whether you refer a miss or a teen contestant, you’ll receive $100 when they complete their registration. There is no limit on how many contestants you can refer! We allow you to apply that money toward an entry fee or take cash. Either, way, it’s a helpful way to make the pageant experience more fun while minimizing expenses. 

Resell wardrobe

Maybe you’ve competed in a pageant before and have competition clothes you’re ready to part with. Or perhaps you’re ready to clean out your closet and part with some of your everyday clothes. Either way, don’t overlook the extra money you can earn by reselling clothes you no longer need. With apps like OfferUp, The Real Real, Poshmark, and Queenly, there are plenty of ways to safely sell your clothes online. 

Bonus tip: Seek in-kind sponsorships

Maybe you need a spray tan, or perhaps you’re looking for a personal trainer. While some businesses don’t have a budget for marketing, many are able to offer services that can help you. Don’t overlook businesses that are willing to provide something that can help you as you prepare for your pageant. Some in-kind sponsorships you may want to seek include tanning, personal training, clothes from your favorite boutique, teeth whitening, and more. 

If a business is willing to provide you with something you need in order to get ready for your pageant, treat them with as much gratitude as someone who gives you cash. Ultimately, they’re saving you money you’d otherwise have to spend.

No matter which ways you choose to raise money for your pageant expenses, always remember to say thank you and do what you can to promote or support your sponsors. You want to continue to grow that relationship so that they’re happy they chose to sponsor you and would consider doing so in the future (should you ever need them again).

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