Raising money for equipment, tournaments, or other club projects is a major task. At the same time, it can be a very satisfying activity involving your entire membership. The first job in fund-raising is to sell your cause. A regular publicity program is an important part of your fund-raising activity. Secondly, the project must give something in return for a contribution.
Before you start an activity ask:
- How much money are you trying to raise?
- What is your available manpower?
Each project must have a dollar goal that is attainable. This gives the members something to strive for and, when achieved, a feeling of accomplishment. How many people that are willing to work may determine the kind of project you have. If an "idea clinic" is held in which the members participate in choosing the project, they will be more willing to work at it.
Consider carefully when you are going to hold your event. Be certain that it doesn't conflict with other community activity. Also consider when your workers are available. Perhaps you can coordinate your event with another community group.
During the course of a fund-raising project, be sure that the workers receive recognition for their efforts. Mailings, phone calls of encouragement, and progress reports will stimulate their interest. Remember too that workers enjoy seeing publicity for the cause they're working for.
- Whatever your money rasing project, run it like a business.
- Keep accurate records.
- Publicize the activity.
- Use regular business forms for billing.
- Be dependable - do what you say you will.
- If you take merchant donations, give a receipt.
- Keep a file of benefactors.
- Determine how many members will help with the project.
- Figure costs and profits closely.
- Hold an "idea clinic" and let members participate in planning the project.
If you follow these recommendations, you will minimize the possibility of any legal problems with your fund-raising project. Before beginning the project, check with the appropriate government officials to see if there are any restrictions to the activity.
- Board of health for food booths
- Police department for sidewalk obstructions
- City attorney for lotteries or raffles
- Secretary of state for sales tax questions
- State attorney for lotteries or raffles
- IRS regional director to obtain a tax-deductible ruling
Keep in mind that regulations governing club activities vary from one community to another. Generally, any game of chance (raffles, door prizes, etc.) falls into the category of a lottery. Before using the phrase "contributions may be deducted from income tax", obtain a ruling from your district director of revenue.
How Not to Ask for Money
- Not asking - It would be great that in working hard at making your club a good one, folks would take notice and make a contribution. They won't.
- Not asking family and friends - Didn't grandma buy the most Girl Scout cookies?
- Beating around the bush - Don't hem and haw and hint at what you want. Tell your story outright with your outstretched hand.
- Being dishonest - Tell the truth about what you are doing and why your club needs the money.
- Begging, apologizing, or demanding - People need to be convinced that you believe in your club and that their contribution is not a charity or obligation but rather a privilege.
- Not knowing the financial side of your club - When you ask for money, you should know how it is going to be used and how it has been used in the past.
- Punting on the third down - Don't give up. The fourth person or the fourth pitch to the same person just might do the trick. People admire persistence.
- Taking "yes" for an answer - Chances are that if they gave once, they'll give again.
Final Note on Fund-Raising
When the project is completed, each worker should receive a personally written "thank you" from the club president and project chairman.