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Thread: Fundraising Ideas for Very small town dept

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    Default Fundraising Ideas for Very small town dept

    Well we are a dept with 8 Members protecting 400 citizens, We currently are looking for Fundraising Ideas as we are very low on funds. We dont get alot of traffic through our small town as we are 5 Miles from the nearest highways and 18 Miles from the nearest larger towns. We usually do Reclaim (Haul off scrap) but that doesnt yield much. Any ideas would be welcome just remember we are a very small town and dont have a whole bunch of citizens lol!


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    are fireworks legal in your area??


    that is a hard one low population and no traffic


    look at bidding for good.com and see if you can get some items together

    you can look to firehouse subs for grants for equipment::

    http://www.firehousesubs.com/Foundation-Overview.aspx

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    One thing I've always found successful is to sell people things that they're already buying somewhere else.

    For example, if deer hunting is big in your area, have a deer hunters' breakfast at about 4am on the first day of season and maybe on each Saturday of the season. People are going to eat breakfast somewhere; might as well buy it from you!

    Food stuff is profitable if you can manage to drum up the cash for startup equipment like fryers, grills, smokers, and so forth. The key with a food event is not to get too much cash tied up in perishable inputs like meat. We do a concession booth at a local festival where we sell sausage sandwiches and waffle fries. Both inputs are kept frozen until we cook them, and the vendor we buy the fries from will accept unopened, unthawed cases on return if we can't sell them.

    The festival angle might be good for you. I realize your own town probably doesn't have a festival, given its size, but if there's a good sized festival nearby you could assign a few people to go work it for a day. Try to recruit fundraising "members"--people who want to help the department but aren't able to fight fire.

    Our festival has probably 60,000-plus each year, which I admit is probably bigger than you could go to. Regardless, we clear around $10,000 each year.

    There's a million options out there. Your big limits will be personnel and startup money. Maybe you could borrow equipment from something like a cattle producers group, a church, or a civic club. Pay them a few bucks, let them instruct you on its use, and focus on generating the money to buy your own equipment.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    are fireworks legal in your area??


    that is a hard one low population and no traffic


    look at bidding for good.com and see if you can get some items together

    you can look to firehouse subs for grants for equipment::

    http://www.firehousesubs.com/Foundation-Overview.aspx
    Will look into the bidding site, As far as Firehouse Subs, Unless you have a firehouse sub within 60 miles of you they wont give you any grants sadly, Tried their submission form and when you choose do you have a FHS within 60 miles and select NO it says you do not qualify..

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    One thing I've always found successful is to sell people things that they're already buying somewhere else.

    For example, if deer hunting is big in your area, have a deer hunters' breakfast at about 4am on the first day of season and maybe on each Saturday of the season. People are going to eat breakfast somewhere; might as well buy it from you!

    Food stuff is profitable if you can manage to drum up the cash for startup equipment like fryers, grills, smokers, and so forth. The key with a food event is not to get too much cash tied up in perishable inputs like meat. We do a concession booth at a local festival where we sell sausage sandwiches and waffle fries. Both inputs are kept frozen until we cook them, and the vendor we buy the fries from will accept unopened, unthawed cases on return if we can't sell them.

    The festival angle might be good for you. I realize your own town probably doesn't have a festival, given its size, but if there's a good sized festival nearby you could assign a few people to go work it for a day. Try to recruit fundraising "members"--people who want to help the department but aren't able to fight fire.

    Our festival has probably 60,000-plus each year, which I admit is probably bigger than you could go to. Regardless, we clear around $10,000 each year.

    There's a million options out there. Your big limits will be personnel and startup money. Maybe you could borrow equipment from something like a cattle producers group, a church, or a civic club. Pay them a few bucks, let them instruct you on its use, and focus on generating the money to buy your own equipment.

    Good luck!
    Good ideas, Will mention them at the next meeting!

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    you might call firehouse and see what they say

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    My department does two pancake breakfasts a year. One on the 4th of July and another in the fall. As noted above by EastKyFF, the start-up costs are what will hurt you. Fryers, griddles, tables, chairs - they aren't cheap. We had 3 custom griddles made at a cost of $1400 each. My department is 42 strong with a town population of 3000. We border a larger community of 27000. We average $6000 in July and half that in the fall. Average attendance is 1400 in July and half that again in the fall.

    I know of a smaller department than mine, 6 members and maybe 50 people for a population. They do a soup supper in the spring. They manage to get several large donations from area businesses - 20 min drive from their community - and as a result, clear on average, over $7500 a supper. They send invites out to the area departments, hang flyers at businesses - lots of advertising. I'm not sure how many people they serve but know it isn't over 2000.
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    Money is always a popular prize for raffles - ongoing 50-50 raffles are popular with some folks - do a drawing once a month. Single drawing events are popular, as well. Businesses eager to gain customers by exhibiting good will toward your organization will sometimes donate small prizes, in exchange for their name on the tickets. Of course, that assumes you're not running afoul of the law by holding a raffle.

    "Booster Clubs," where "members" buy a ticket for $15-20 can be productive, and will sometimes bring in folks from outside your service area. Usually these involve some sort of periodic drawing, with bigger prizes awarded at the end. Some departments that run them have some form of dinner/party as the finale. Even a nice social night, with simple finger foods, might be attractive to your supporters. Charge the guests a small fee (ticket holders get in free), and that might even cover your costs for the evening.

    For food events - oftimes you can get the food items at a discount from friendly merchants. A key with these events is to keep them "special" - the hunting season idea notwithstanding, nothing kills something like that faster than having them so often that the aura wears off and your supporters stop showing up.

    If you don't have the facilities to hold an event yourself, see if someone around you does, then split the proceeds with them.

    Look around for something that nobody else is doing, but that would otherwise be popular, say, a fish fry. Make that event your own.

    If you're saving for a special purchase, don't be afraid to say so. People sometimes get a little more generous when they know where their money is going.

    Check your area for "community foundations." These usually cover a fairly large geographic area (like a multi-county region) but are in the business of giving away money for good causes. Once you find out the range of their usual grants, you can tailor requests for specific purchases to that amount. You'll need a good description of your purchase/project. Simply telling them you want to purchase a "thingamabob" won't cut it. You have to tell them what it is, what it does, why you need it, and how the community will benefit by your having it. Use your best wordsmith.
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    Check insurance companies sometimes they have funds

    Do you have a Walmart?? They donate

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Check insurance companies sometimes they have funds

    Do you have a Walmart?? They donate
    We dont have a walmart in our town, The nearest is 20 Miles away.

    As for the other Ideas, Will add them to the list of things to bring up at the next meeting! Really appreciate the feedback fellas!

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    Does your state have refund on pop cans? A nieghboring dept has a bin set out where people can put their recycled pop/ beer cans and the dept gets the money from the can redemption.

    The other might be if there is a local sports complex near by where your dept could work the food booth and a portion of the money goes toward the dept.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astanford View Post
    Well we are a dept with 8 Members protecting 400 citizens, We currently are looking for Fundraising Ideas as we are very low on funds. We dont get alot of traffic through our small town as we are 5 Miles from the nearest highways and 18 Miles from the nearest larger towns. We usually do Reclaim (Haul off scrap) but that doesnt yield much. Any ideas would be welcome just remember we are a very small town and dont have a whole bunch of citizens lol!
    Just doing some quick figuring, you're going to need about $20 per citizen to just outfit ONE firefighter with turnouts and an SCBA and training. You need to start looking into GRANTS, because you're never going to run an effective dept. with only 400 citizens unless they are all millionaires. You may even have to look into consolidating with other depts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Just doing some quick figuring, you're going to need about $20 per citizen to just outfit ONE firefighter with turnouts and an SCBA and training. You need to start looking into GRANTS, because you're never going to run an effective dept. with only 400 citizens unless they are all millionaires. You may even have to look into consolidating with other depts.
    Well we are a dept of 8 members, The city rarely gives us any money to pay for anything except bills so most of the time we end up footing the bill. As for consolidating, We really only get about 15 calls per year with most of those being mutual aid, We only serve our city limits due to the way the county is structured, They have 4 County Fire Districts each covering 1/4 of the county, We are automatically paged for mutual aid if there is a structure fire within a certain radius of our town (5 miles diameter from city limits) due to the county district being 10 miles away from our area. but when it comes to brush fires unless they are busy and need us to respond they will take the call even though they are 8-10 minutes out + response time for their volunteers. I honestly feel we should be the primary response dept for anything within 5 miles of our town but that's just my opinion. Grants would be nice but where to start? I recently joined 5 months ago and from what I see they either don't want to deal with any kind of extra paperwork or just don't have the time. I have the time and would put forth the effort but I have no idea where to even look on that front. I know our dept could use some new Turnouts and SCBA units as well as a newer pumper then what we have (1967 Mack CF600) It seats 4 with 2 SCBA seats but sometimes doesn't like to pump and the transmission feels like shes going to go at any time as well as the basic tools of the trade, Axe's, Halligan, Pike Poles, etc... If I remember right we have 2 Axes, 1 Long and 1 Short pike pole and a single halligan and a chainsaw for roof ventilation. That pretty much covers our tools we have on the truck. The turnout gear the rest of the dept has is i believe 7 years old, the Radios we have are crap (They stay at the station unless we get a call) and there is not enough functioning pagers for each member (Minitor V's) due to them either having bad batterys or just not functioning. So by all means if someone can feed me some info on where/how to apply for grants please send me a message!

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    What state are you in??


    The other thing you may look at for equipment is write all the bigger paid departments and ask that anytime they have spare or replaced equipment, your department would like to have it.

    Not sure if the Feds still give out surplus equipment, like fire tricks or tankers or vehicles that can be converted for use??? Any military installation in your state??

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    What state are you in??


    The other thing you may look at for equipment is write all the bigger paid departments and ask that anytime they have spare or replaced equipment, your department would like to have it.

    Not sure if the Feds still give out surplus equipment, like fire tricks or tankers or vehicles that can be converted for use??? Any military installation in your state??
    Live in Kansas

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    More firefighter related, appears


    http://www.ksinsurance.org/consumers...dbook_2009.pdf

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    The problem I am seeing with most of these grants is you are required to match the funds 50/50, We have less than $500 in dept funds hence the reason I was looking for fundraising ideas, So unless we can basically match the funds we would apply for it sounds like we are sol am I correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by astanford View Post
    The problem I am seeing with most of these grants is you are required to match the funds 50/50, We have less than $500 in dept funds hence the reason I was looking for fundraising ideas, So unless we can basically match the funds we would apply for it sounds like we are sol am I correct?
    Not necessarily. Don't forget local service organizations, even if they aren't in your community. Lions, Kiwanis, Eagles, the like are all good sources of grants that don't require matching or partial matching.

    Check the Walmart in your area, even if it is in the next town over. Anyone on your department work for them? Look into that.

    Any local businesses offer grants? Insurance companies? Utility companies? TransCanada has a pipeline that runs through my community (several actually) and we get grants through them.

    Some grants may only require a 10% or 5% match, others nothing at all. Don't give up too soon until you check all you can.
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