1. #1
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    Default fast easy fundraisers

    Hi All...I'm not sure if I'm in the right spot or not but maybe someone can help me out. I'm a member of a very small volunteer dept. We are trying to "rebuild" and "restructure" our dept. We were fortunate to have received a grant and have our "matching funds" but we are in need of some quick fundraisers to pay our loan off and to to do much needed building improvements. We are struggling with community support, due to the past Leaders of our Dept. (These members are no longer here) We are a mixture of older and younger members and a few middle aged like me. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. We have done a 50/50 drawing, spaghetti dinner,catfish tournament and pancake breakfast(We only cleared about 150.00 on each event) We cannot start bingo until Jan. Ideas to regain the support of the community would also be very helpfull. Thank you for your time!

  2. #2
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    Smile Well,.....................

    You've come to the right place, if those who post here can't help, then no one can. If I might ask, what part of the country are you in? One of the things that I'm aware of that will get everyone's attention is Knock on their door. Take the apparatus and crews and start down the road, from house to house, knocking on doors and talking to people. Maybe work up a one page letter explaining that the VFD is "Under New Management" and explain the goals for the future, tying in why everyones support is needed. Got a Local newspaper in the area? go to them. Without getting into personalities, explain that changes are needed to make the community a safer place to live, but everyone needs to pitch in. AND, don't miss any chance to recruit more Volunteers. Keep us posted on your progress. Best of Luck.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

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    We cannot start bingo until Jan.
    Why,Bingo go on vacation?

    Ideas to regain the support of the community would also be very helpfull. Thank you for your time!
    Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself,Market yourself---------getting the idea that you should Market yourself?

    A fire chief in Arizona( NO,not her! ) sold his community on the idea of qaulity fire protection. He was able to MARKET his department to the people they serve.

    I do not remember off hand the department name or chief . But I know he and the department were in a IFSTA video I saw in January. It was from the 70/80's and it involved inncident command and showed how a effective size up, rescue,attack and overhaul were to be done----it took place in a apartment,the fire was on the second floor,a mother and son were at the ambluance as victims,a child was in the building still on the first floor,the IC was in a suburban,it showed appartus in a stageing area in parking lot and on the street, the department had plastic helmets and old yellow tanked MSA airpacks and also talked about calling in extra companys for salvage and overhaul------all that and cant remember the name!!! .
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Thank you so much for your reply. I certainly appreciate it and will watch for future replies. We live in a small village in Ohio that has a No Solicitation law..)they wouldn't even let the Girl Scouts sell cookies!) But, you did give me an idea. Our Dept. is located on a main drag and I notice that whenever the guys are outside washing the trucks or whatever, people always stop to see what is going on. Maybe we could have an Open House type of thing where our neighbors could come to us and they could look at the trucks, building, etc. and we could talk to them about our goals. People in our town have probably not been in our dept. for a couple of years now and unfortunately the members that were removed from the dept. are also involved in our village council. It really makes it difficult to get cooperation from the council, but we have had a few demo trucks and different companies visit our dept. so people are buzzing about just what is going on. it's just a matter of making contact with them. Thanks a bunch, I'll keep youall posted.

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    People in our town have probably not been in our dept. for a couple of years now and unfortunately the members that were removed from the dept. are also involved in our village council. It really makes it difficult to get cooperation from the council,
    Now that just burns me!!!!!!!!!! The PUBLICS SAFETY should not be a partisan issue or bagining chip.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    pending Fire Grant is an ideal opportunity/excuse to raise $. Make a direct mailing to EVERY address in your district detailing the URGENT need to update your equipment in order to protect their lives/property. "We have worked hard and have a 90% grant coming from the Feds but the "challenge" is to raise the other 10%." "If we don't raise $10000 we can't get the $90000 from the Feds." Everyone can like them odds and unless you have ZERO support from you community you will get considerable donations (and point out donations are tax deductible). Leave your current cash on hand out of it, you want new $ for this one time project.

    Include a self addressed return envelope for those who can/should make a generous donation. Even better, to get quick and reliable response, put return postage on the resonse envelope. Follow up with these high dollar donors.

    If you do not already have a mailing list (with names) on your PC you need one. Go see your local elected officials (like your US House rep or Statehouse rep). You US House rep will know about your Fire Grant, give them the "opportunity" to help you personally with this "challenge" by providing you with mailing list or printed labels for your use with this mailing. They WILL have a database of registered voters (at a minimum). Talk to the local fundraiser for these guys for other local ideas. Elected official have a fund raising machine in place and know how to do it or they will not get reelected.

    See your local service clubs with the same pitch. Rotary, American Legion, etc etc etc. In theory this is a one time project with great significance and a 10:1 payback.

  7. #7
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    Talking No Solicitation Law??.......................

    We don't have any such law here in Maryland, but I'd be the first to ignore it anyway. According to my Dictionary, Solicitation involves asking for funds by donation, pledging, or selling something. If you go door to door passing out a letter explaining changes in the VFD, that does not constitute soliciting, unless you ask for donations, or sell something (Girl Scout Cookies? ) You can ask the ministers of the local churches if they'd put some info about the VFD in their church bulletins. the possibilities are limited only by your imagination
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    Default What about a Golf Outting?

    We are preparing for our 3rd annual golf outting at a semi-local golf course. Now I'm not saying that it'll work for everyone but I'm really suprised how good it works for us.

    Last year we were able to get 20-4man teams at $50/person. After paying the course it came to around $20/person. Add in the 50 hole signs that were sold for $50 apiece, and the 50/50 drawing and we MADE just over $5000 in one day. It's abit of work but the money is there if you can get the word out.

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
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    50/50

    Sell 500 tickets at $100 each. Let everyone know only 500 tickets will be sold. Have a drawing date set and stipulate 50% of all ticket sales will be the grand prize...just in case you don't sell them all.

    Draw the winning ticket in some public venue and give the winner $25,000.00. You net proceeds = $25,00.00.

    That simple.

    Total overhead cost, 500 tickets being printed, about $100.00.

    Be sure each ticket is individually numbered and of course check on your local tax laws

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    One of our area departments has a chilli cook off every year with a huge turnout. A couple (including mine) have golf tournaments.

    A couple of the guys in my local were talking about having a BB-Q contest but nothing for sure yet.

    Dave

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    Our department uses fish dinners and chicken BBqs as fundraisers. This fall, however, we are going to be attempting a gun raffle for the first time.

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    I have heard of Fire departments raffling off motorcycles, other organizations having a drawing for a car. I am not aware if you have a lotto system in your state, but several departments have money calendars (not sure if that is the right term.)

    I think it works by having each calendar numbered. IF the lotto number matches the calendar number, the person having that calendar number wins XX amount of dollars.

    Another thing you could try is to hold a comedy night. My department has done three of them and each one has been better than the first. It is a little time consuming, but if you get the right people on the committee than it goes really smooth.

    Another thing you could try to reduce overhead costs for any events is to ask for donations from local grocery stores, businesses, etc. In most cases, they have a certain budget for donation. Just leave plenty of time for corporate responses.

    Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

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    I second checking with the businesses. We have gone to our businesses a few times for donations, one of which is going on now to try to get donations to help fund our Fire Station.

    Another idea is a Vacation Raffle. Go talk to a local travel agent. See what kind of deal they can get you on a 4-5 day vacaction, including air-fare and hotel fees. Las Vegas? Orlando? New York? Los Angelas? Make that your grand prize, then maybe get another one for something less extravagent(sp??) and closer where you could get a room donated for the weekend or something. Sell the tickets for whatever you want, depending on how many you think your people will sell. Sell 500 tickets at $10 each and it's $5000 minus whatever you may have to pay out for prizes.

    We did one once and I think the main prize was like 4 days in Vegas, another prize was a rocker/recliner donated by La-Z-Boy, and I can't remember what the other prize was. You just have to make sure everyone gets out and sells their tickets. That was the problem we had.......

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    We have used Coin Cards in the past. They are very easy to do. Mail them out with a letter and a SASE to send them back or tell the people they can drop them off at the station on your drill night. We raised enough a few years ago to get integrated PASS devices for all our SCBA.

    A neighboring department used to sell reflective address signs. They have 2 benefits: They raise money and make it easier to find the address on calls.

    Another idea is to get a few of your members to stand outside local stores and have a fill-the-boot drive. This keeps them out of traffic.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    And here's another suggestion: After you guys get back on your feet, campaign for a tax increase so your members don't have to do fundraisers anymore. IMHO, they are the scourge of the volunteer fire service. You'll never see garbagemen out begging for money so they can get a new garbage truck so why do we have to do it?
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  16. #16
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    Talking Priorities......

    Originally posted by WTFD10
    You'll never see garbagemen out begging for money so they can get a new garbage truck so why do we have to do it?
    People can go for years without seeing a Fire Engine stop in front of their home, but let that garbage truck fail to be there just once......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    As has already been mentioned, your biggest priority right now should be to market yourself to the public. Have an open house & invite them in. Have literature out for them to see. Develop a pet project and make a table top display showing what the project is, how it will benefit the community, how much it cost & how much more you need to raise - then put a fish bowl in front of it.

    Things we have done:
    Spaghetti Dinners.
    Breakfast's also go over good here
    Raffle off anything we can get donated from a 4-wheeler to hand made craft items.
    Bake Sale
    Boot Drive
    Direct Mailer
    Sell the Reflective 911 Signs
    We have even used a "professional" solicitor to do Pictures (works pretty good all we have to do is provide a place for the photographer to show up and then a month or so later a place for the sales rep to hand out pictures) PM for more details & I'll look up the company that we worked with.

    Things we haven't tried (yet):
    Car Show
    "Classic Car" or Motorcycle Poker Run

    There are a few other things we have done w/ some success but they require a pretty good deal of effort & overhead ($$) to get started.

    Wish you the best of luck whatever you do.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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