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Fundraising Flamingos!

How Pink Plastic Birds Raise Thousands of Dollars for Organizations

Article by Lori Balster

Photography by Fundraising Flamingos

Originally published in Centerville Lifestyle

One day about a year and a half ago, 13-year-old Rebecca Johnson bought 500 pink plastic flamingos. With her own money. On purpose.

Was she planning the world’s greatest prank? Maybe that’s what some other teen would have done with the extremely large number of iconic plastic birds, but not Johnson. Instead, she started a business.

“In 2020, I knew of a lot of organizations that had their fundraisers shut down, due to COVID,” Johnson recalled. “Those events are what allow organizations like International Order of Rainbow Girls, churches, schools, and many others to fund their activities and ministries. I was trying to think of what I could do to help.”

Johnson came up with Fundraising Flamingos, a company that “Helps Plan & Manage Fun Fundraising Events Today Making Tomorrow’s Activities Possible,” while keeping COVID-19 risk to a minimum, and with the startup cost and effort usually needed for fundraisers already done. Her program includes incentives to motivate both youth and adults. She designed door hangers, to encourage others in the community to join in, and created customizable “You’ve Been Flocked” signs, to promote awareness of her clients’ groups.

Then, with help from her mother, Lisa Johnson, Johnson designed the website for Fundraising Flamingos, providing a unique sales portal for each organization. Next she found an app that she could provide, to help save time and gas with flamingo drop-offs. Any organization using Fundraising Flamingos gets its own sales portal, custom signs, and access to the app at no charge. Finally she purchased 500 flamingos and turned her parents’ third car garage into her own office and Flamingo Care Center!

How It Works

An organization contacts Fundraising Flamingos, by going to and clicking on Contact Us. Johnson or one of her Fundraising Flamingos specialists will work with them to schedule dates and plan the target area, kickoff party, incentives, etc.

Next is the kickoff party. A flamingo specialist motivates members by introducing them to the incentive program, teaches them about the sales portal, and leads them in fun games, resulting in a contact list. Members use their list to contact family and friends, inviting them to send “Flocks of Love” or “Sneaky Flamingos” to people who might need a smile for a few days. “It’s a great way to let people in the community know that someone is thinking about them!” said Lisa.

On flocking day Johnson and her team drop off bags, one for each order that was placed. Each bag contains flamingos; a door hanger, with a personal message from the person who placed the order and the pickup date; and a customized yard sign. Members, using the routing app provided by Johnson, take the bags to their unwitting victims and quickly put the birds and sign into the yard, hang the door hanger, and move on to the next house. “People of all ages have a lot of fun with this!” Lisa laughed.

After three to five days, the members collect the flamingos and signs, and take them back to the pickup point. Johnson takes everything back to her Flamingo Care Center, where she cleans and sanitizes each bird, repacking the bags for the next round of orders.

What if someone doesn’t want the flamingos in their yard? “This is meant to be a fun event,” reassured Lisa. “At the bottom of every door hanger is a note telling the homeowner that they can call Fundraising Flamingos directly, and we will immediately send out our Flamingo Extraction Team and give them free insurance, so that no one flocks them again.”

Tips: Flock in groups of two or more. Encourage revenge flocking. Don’t leave anyone out: Some people get disappointed if they DON’T get flocked!

A great way to make a lot of money is to pick a leader in the organization and encourage people to purchase flocks to be sent to them on the same day. Imagine 500 or more flamingos appearing on a lawn at one time—a sight that is truly impressive!

Flocking occurs year round; but most groups prefer spring through fall, when it’s not too cold. Seasonal specials include Buzzard Blitzing in Oct.; and in Dec. 2022, there will be Santa-mingos for Christmas!

Fundraising Flamingos has been very successful raising funds for organizations, even in this time of COVID-19. The business shows no signs of slowing down. Currently serving central and southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, Fundraising Flamingos hopes to expand further, to get others teenagers involved in entrepreneurship.

Contact Fundraising Flamingos at