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How To Hold A Wheelchair Van Fundraiser

Got Money? If the answer is no, we're here with the basics for hosting a handicap van fundraiser for financing mobility vehicles or modifying an existing minivan to be handicap accessible with a ramp or lift. A fundraiser is a wonderful way to raise money or to supplement cash received through a grant or wheelchair van loan. The wheelchair user, family and friends can hold the fundraiser, or you might find community-outreach programs, churches or other groups of individuals-for-a-cause to rally for an individual or organization needing a handicap van. Whether you do it yourself or it's by group effort, you'll benefit from the following fundraising ideas to help you buy that wheelchair van or modify an existing minivan to be handicap accessible with a ramp or lift.

A fundraiser is a labor of love, for which family, friends, volunteers, sponsors, etc. donate their time, goods, and services toward its success. As you can imagine, there's a lot to consider when you plan a wheelchair van fundraiser.

Step 1: Brainstorm!


Get a few ideas for a fundraiser theme on paper before you ask others to help. The theme might be inspired by the wheelchair user's favorite hobby. If it's sewing, a costume party might be fun. Brewing beer might lead to a tasting event or an Oktoberfest celebration. Ask volunteers to collect donations for a gigantic yard sale. Take advantage of sponsor offers—a neighborhood service station might be willing to provide an outdoor lot and water for a car wash. Request access to a playing field for a sports tournament. (If you want hold an outdoor event, consider the season and likelihood of inclement weather.) Determine a reasonable donation range for your audience. Would they attend an elegant—and expensive—dinner in a ballroom, or would they be more likely to spring for a reasonably priced spaghetti social?

When you determine the theme for your wheelchair van fundraiser, enlist recruits to help put it together. Enthusiastic volunteers are beneficial in many ways—their help is free, their enthusiasm inspires others to participate, volunteers often have good ideas, they can network and spread the word and—it’s worth saying again—their help is free! A lot of spirited labor might even influence the theme choice: Clean-up teams for lawn work and houses!

Step 2: Form a committee to coordinate the wheelchair van fundraising effort.

Fundraising committee

People must be contacted, materials gathered, progress tracked, money accounted, sponsors courted, venues scouted and plans executed. Go over the following with your team:

    • Decide who'll coordinate each aspect of the fundraiser. Delegate multiple tasks to each person if you have only a few volunteers.

    • Make a list of everyone involved, their role(s) and their contact info, and distribute the list to the entire team.

    • Discuss the theme for the fundraiser with your team. Express your thoughts and ask for their suggestions. If you have a hard time deciding what's best, consider combining ideas or let everyone vote on the ideas. To narrow your choices, take into account the amount of money that might be raised. Needless to say, you should zero in on the most profitable event. Ask your team to think about resources they might provide.

    • Evaluate potential venues. Tour the places to be sure there's ample room and parking.

    • Obtain any official paperwork that might be required, such as permits or licenses (for health authority, food service, etc.). Apply for documents as far in advance as possible.

    • Tell everyone to get the word out!

    • Depending on the scope of the event, make sure you'll have enough volunteers to handle set-up, crowd control, food prep and distribution, entertainment, music or booths (if any), clean-up and whatever else is necessary. If you come up short, ask your sponsor businesses if they have any staff interested in helping out, for compensation if necessary.

  • Take your fundraiser online! Ask family and friends to donate and collect items from others that can be sold on eBay or another sales site.

Step 3: Open a bank account.

Bank sign

Give the account a clear, descriptive name. For example, "Joe Smith's Wheelchair Van Fund." Some banks have special perks for fundraisers—just ask!

Step 4: Launch a wheelchair accessible van fundraiser website.

Building a website

Though not essential, this step can be very helpful, providing an online presence that gives you credibility and a place to send people for more information. Include some photos and a few paragraphs about why you're raising funds. Ask a family member or friend with web skills to build the site, or ask them if they know of anyone who'd be willing to build the site for you. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Sources like PayPal and GoFundMe.com offer online fundraising tools, including website-creation tools and online donation boxes.

Step 5: Inform the community and local businesses—Advertise! Advertise! Advertise!

Advertise your fundraiser

Volunteer word-of-mouth isn't the only way to inform an audience about an upcoming fundraiser. There are other free and almost-free methods of advertising. Your local media outlets—television and radio—often air public service announcements (PSAs), and they may be willing to promote your event. Similarly, some local businesses have changeable signage to display your message for a day. Your team can hang flyers around town in storefronts, churches, community centers and on designated bulletin boards. Spread the word on social networking sites and create a central hub of accessible information and opportunities to discuss the wheelchair accessible van the funds will purchase and other related topics. Have family, friends, and volunteers send out a boilerplate email blast to all their contacts, announcing the event and asking for donations.

Sponsors of your event might be willing to underwrite the cost in exchange for free advertising or other perks. If they can cover the expenses, your ticket sales are profit. Correspondingly, if your ticket sales cover the cost of putting together the wheelchair accessible van fundraiser, then anything donated by sponsors is a bonus! And remember—sponsor help doesn't have to be monetary. The donation of a venue or materials was already mentioned. Sponsors can donate party favors, raffle prizes, food and beverage or even hotel or airfare if your honoree needs to travel. Don't hesitate to ask! You'll be amazed at what you can get simply by asking!

Step 6: Thank everyone for their involvement.

Thank you from a little girl

Soon after the wheelchair accessible van fundraiser, send Thank You notes, preferably handwritten, to the all the volunteers, sponsors and donors. This is an essential step! Goodwill goes a long way, especially if you plan to do it again!

Upload photos from the event to your official website and, when the time comes, share images of the recipient with that new wheelchair van! Good luck!

New Conversions and Used Wheelchair Vans for Sale

AMS Vans offers affordable accessible mobility vans, minivans, trucks, and SUV’s available in all of the major brands. Browse our inventory and find the perfect van that suits your needs. Don't buy just any used accessible van, ours are fully reconditioned.

Wheelchair Van Specials

2012 Handicap Van for Sale - 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Wheelchair Accessible Van VIN: 5FNRL5H9XCB040381

Honda Odyssey Touring Elite
Braun Entervan Folding Ramp Conversion

$32,999 $33,899

  • Stock #: 20090181
  • Mileage: 59,765 Miles
  • Color: Red
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Location: Call for Details
  • Features: Backup Camera, Bluetooth, Leather, Transfer Seat, Navigation System, Sunroof, Heated Seats, Driver Pwr. Seat Base, Pass. Pwr. Seat Base, Kneeling, Lowered Floor
2017 Handicap Van for Sale - 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Wheelchair Accessible Van VIN: 2C4RDGCG7HR581088

Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
AMS Legend II Conversion

$32,499 $32,999

  • Stock #: 20100118
  • Mileage: 47,270 Miles
  • Color: Black
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry Bi-Fold Pwr
  • Location: Call For Details
  • Features: Leather, Remote Start, Driver Pwr. Seat Base, Kneeling, Lowered Floor
2018 Handicap Van for Sale - 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L Wheelchair Accessible Van VIN: 2C4RC1BG0JR192879

Chrysler Pacifica Touring L
VMI Northstar Conversion

$47,999 $49,194

  • Stock #: Z1908150
  • Mileage: 33,677 Miles
  • Color: Silver
  • Ramp/Lift: Side Entry In-Floor Pwr
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Features: 3YR/36K Conv Wrty
Wheelchair van exterior and interior quality inspection

Vehicle Exterior

Exterior Appearance Inspection

  • Panel alignment/fit
  • Headlamp, taillamp/lens condition
  • Windshield/glass condition
  • Paint chips and scratches
  • Body damage/dents/dings
  • Trim and moldings

Vehicle Identification

  • In place and matching
  • Inspect certification label (federal requirement)
  • Check VIN label to paperwork
  • Check for non-completed recalls

Exterior Lights Function Properly and Illuminate as Designed

  • Headlights hi/low (including aim)
  • Parking lights/fog lights
  • License plate lights
  • Side marker lights
  • Tail lights / backup lights
  • Turn signal and cornering lights
  • Brake and high-mount stoplights
  • Emergency Flashers


  • Vehicle has 2 master key with remote entry (if applicable) and 2 valet key, flat key
  • Programmed to immobilizer

Door Lock System

  • Door opens/closes smoothly using interior and exterior door handles
  • Doors cannot be opened when lock button is in lock position
  • 2-turn unlock feature functions properly
  • Remote entry system operates properly
  • Theft-deterrent system functions properly
  • Child safety locks
  • Wireless door lock operation

Vehicle Interior

Interior Appearance Inspection

  • Seats: front/rear
  • Steering wheel/airbags
  • Armrests/door handles
  • Lower door and sill plates
  • Gearshift selection handle
  • Radio/AC control markings
  • Headliners/sun visors

Seat Belts

  • Extend/retract smoothly
  • Free of twists, cuts or signs of wear
  • Buckles lock securely

Seat Operation

  • Lumbar support operation
  • Memory control operates properly*
  • Headrest functions properly
  • Heaters function properly*
  • Seat cushion angle and height adjustment
  • Seatback angle adjustment

Power Windows / Locks

  • Function Properly

Trunk/Fuel Lid Release

  • Functions Properly (interior)

Glove Compartment

  • Contains portfolio, owner's manual, supplement

Steering Wheel

  • Tilt/telescopic functionability
  • Horn functions properly
  • Steering wheel controls
  • Steering wheel locks
  • Warning chime (key in -- door open)

Windshield Wiper

  • Functions in hi/low/intermittent
  • Wiper blades clean properly
  • Rain sensing wipers*

Dashboard Lights Illuminate as Designed

  • Turn signal: left/right
  • High beam indicator
  • Emergency flashers
  • Instrument panel control knob
  • Waring lights: oil pressure, brake, fuel, charge, seatbelt, open door, engine check, rear light failure, ABS, SRS
  • Check operation of guages

Rear Defogger

  • Functions properly

Air Conditioner / Heater

  • Climate control system functions properly for both heating and cooling

Interior Lights

  • Dome/map/vanity mirror/courtesy lamps/foot function properly

Audio/Navigation System

  • Power/volume switch functions properly
  • Preset station indicator
  • Cassette/CD function (scan, seek, rewind, fast forward) operates properly
  • Navigation system operates properly*
  • Speakers sound clear
  • CD cartridge (if applicable)


  • Tilt/slide operates properly

Clock/Cigarette Lighters/Ashtray/Cupholders

  • Function properly

Outside/Inside Rearview Mirrors

  • Power controls function properly

Luggage Compartment

Luggage Compartment

  • Spare tire size, sidewall condition, tread depth and air pressure
  • Spare tire and attaching hardware, cover, jack, jack tools and wheel lock (if applicable) are present, properly installed and secure
  • Manual fuel lid release operates

Under The Hood

Engine Hood Release

  • Interior release operates properly

The Following Fluid Levels Meet Industry Standard

  • Engine oil replaced and proper level
  • Automatic transmission fluid level
  • Brake fluid level
  • Power steering fluid level
  • Engine coolant fluid level
  • Washer fluid level

Engine Mechanical

  • Excessive fuel pump noise
  • Cooling system (radiator, overflow tank, hoses, coolant level)
  • Water pump (noise/leaks)
  • Air filter (replace as necessary)
  • Inspect oil for contaminants
  • Engine noise (knocks, rattles)
  • Transmission noise (whines, clunks)
  • Belts (wear or damage)
  • Check engine diagnostics


  • No damage or leakage and proper group size/amp rating
  • Tests to standards

Engine Fans

  • Function properly

Under the Vehicle

Tires (Minimum tread depth 5/32")

  • FL: _______/32"
  • RL: _______/32"
  • FR: _______/32"
  • RR: _______/32"
  • Sidewall condition
  • Proper size, type and match
  • Tire pressure


  • Condition/size/fit
  • Check wheel lug-nut torque

Brake Inspection (Minimum 6mm of pad material required)

  • FL: _______mm
  • RL: _______mm
  • FR: _______mm
  • RR: _______mm
  • Rotors show no signs of excessive wear, warpage or heat damage
  • Calipers, lines, and hoses show no sign of excessive wear or leakage
  • Parking brake assemblies, cables, and attaching hardware show no sign of excessive wear or damage

Chassis Inspection (No sign of damage or excessive wear)

  • Frame rails and floor pan
  • Subframe
  • Engine mounts and oil pan for leaks
  • Brake lines and couplings
  • Transmission case/pan for leaks
  • Drive shaft boots and CV joints
  • Fuel lines, fuel tank, hoses and protectors
  • Steering rack, linkage, bushings, control arms and dust boots
  • Differential assembly, drive shaft and related components
  • Exhaust system (including leakage)
  • Transmission mounts
  • Tie rods, ball joints, idler arm
  • Catalytic converter
  • Struts/shocks for operation/leaks

Under Vehicle Fluid Levels

  • Differential lubricant level -- check for contaminants

Road Test (Vehicle Operation)


  • Start-up
  • Idles normally
  • While driving, engine performs normally
  • Starter system operates normally
  • Shift Lock


  • Brake and parking brake function normally
  • Brake and clutch pedal height, free play and travel meet specs.

Indicator Lights

  • No warning lights illuminate during road test


  • T/M shifts properly (both power/normal mode)
  • TRAC/VSC and ECT control functions and indicator lights function properly


  • Steering operation is normal
  • Off-center psecifications meet standards
  • Handling, straight-line operations

Cruise Control

  • Functions properly

Noise or Vibration

  • None present

Squeaks or Rattles

  • None present

* -- If Applicable

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Submit your contact info and an email will be sent with next steps. We look forward to working with you on this vehicle.

Service Guarantee

AMS Vans promises to deliver the best wheelchair accessible van available on the market today..... simply put if you are not fully satisfied with your wheelchair accessible van upon delivery---you can refuse it at no cost to you.

With nearly two decades of experience; manufacturing, selling, and delivering over 12,000 vans nationwide, our dedicated team of certified technicians will not allow your van to leave our Atlanta facility until its right!

Please contact one of our experienced Mobility Specialists today and ask about our three step quality control process.

AMS Vans looks forward to serving your family by providing you with a van that is worthy of our own.

Contact AMS Vans

Get Financing for Purchase or Leasing

AMS Vans is an automotive dealership for people who need an affordable accessible vehicle and financing options. If you have bad credit, low credit, no credit or have been turned down in the past due to bankruptcy, we can help you get a car loan through a special finance lender.

We advise calling first for details at 1-800-775-8267. Otherwise, click the link below to start the credit application.

Click Here to Get Started

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