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Fundraisers...


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#1 SLDurant

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 08:23 AM

After reading this forum for a couple of weeks, I decided to make my first post. Woo Hoo!!! :(

First, a little about me. I am 32 years old, currently live in Landenberg, PA, and have stared my own group. I have a little bit of equipment and am looking to purchase more.

Here's my problem, most of my paycheck goes to my mortgage, utilities, and my daughter's dance class. After the month is done, I don't have a whole lot of money to buy more equipment, and with the current economy I want to try to hold on to as much as I can :).

So I've been kicking the idea around of holding a fundraiser, but haven't a clue where to start. One member of my group suggested a bake sale. I thought it might be a good idea, but haven't a clue where to set it up. Most bake sales I've seen are to raise money for a school group or charity. I'm not so sure places would be open to letting us set up a bake sale in front of their business to raise money for our group.

So my question to all of you is have any of you held a fundraiser for your group?? What did you do?? Where did you set it up?? How did it go??

My other question is, is it frowned upon to hold fundraisers??? I personally believe it's unethical to charge for investigations, but would this fall in the same category???

I'm not hoping to hold a fundraiser so I can go out and purchase the latest and greatest Flir camera, just more recorders (yes CaveRat, I've been taking notes from your posts), video, thermometers, and perhaps one or two of Joven's Faraday Cages.

I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Steven

#2 AnnieV

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 08:54 AM

Hello Steven...welcome to the Village! :( I'm so glad you decided to sign up and post.

Okay, so fundraisers, eh? Well, the first thing I would look into is the laws about non-profit organizations (official, government recognized ones) and if it's legal for you to conduct a fundraiser like that in the first place (I have no idea yet about the laws on that, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to hold a bake sale).

My group (I'm the newest member, only having been accepted a little more than a month ago) has not done any fundraisers, however they are well known enough in their community and even the county, that they do get donations on ocassion. This is why my group advertise fairly extensively...awareness creates revenue sometimes. For the most part though, the group splits all costs evenly between members (which can get expensive once in a while, but is also the reason we don't have to pay dues).

I have been thinking about this for a while now...how to raise money legitimately, without having to tie ourselves up in the red tape of other non-profit orgs. Another group I know gives yearly ghost tours...there is a fairly concentrated area (all right downtown) of buildings in their city that are purportedly haunted, so they have a meeting area, charge $5 a head (children under 6 are free, or something like that), then take a walking, outdoor tour. The tour guides stop outside the locations that have been reported haunted and tell a bit about the buildings' histories and they types of paranormal activities that have been reported. It's a little bit of fact coupled with a little bit of mystery, and I know people LOVE the ghost tours...cha-ching!

Unfortunately, most cities and towns aren't fortunate to have a concentration of buildings that are supposed to be haunted to be able to do this. But there are other things you might be able to do...Halloween is coming up and people love to learn about this stuff. Maybe put together a small presentation about "ghost hunting", gather some of your best EVPs to share, photos, etc, and talk about it...you could see if your local library would be willing to host you. And you'd have to get creative for it to stay interesting, but it's worth thinking about! OR...of course you could go the bake sale route...ON Halloween, I think it would not only bring in a healthy amount of money, but businesses may be more willing to promote your group on that day.

And I've rambled on long enough about this stuff...I'm glad you brought it up though because I've been thinking about this myself (as you can tell, lol). And again, welcome to Ghostvillage, Steven! :)
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#3 Joven76

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 10:39 AM

This has acutally been something on my mind a lot more recently... I know to start you only need a voice recorder, camera, and perhaps an EMF meter and thermometer... But the more you get into the research, the more equipment you see a need for...

This was one of the reasons I decided to start selling the Faraday Boxes (thanks for the PM by the way about them Steven, you have a response)... One down side to it though is at the price I'm selling them, I don't make much money... Plus you have to add in the time spent building just 1... It's more of a love of providing a new tool to the paranormal research community...

Stephen, you and I are in the same boat (especially with the daughter in dance classes), so I also have been thinking about fundraisers too... Annie brought up a good point though, it may be best that you research the local laws first... Don't want to spend the time and money setting it up, only to get it halted by local law enforcement...

I look forward to anyone else who has conducted fundraisers to see what they suggest...

Christopher

PS: Welcome to the Village!!!
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#4 SLDurant

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 01:23 PM

Thanks for the welcome Annie and Christopher... I appreciate it...

I'm looking into the current laws in my city and county so I'm prepared... Thanks for the advice!!!

#5 CaveRat2

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 03:27 PM

First of all I am not sure regarding your local laws and fundraising. Often unless you are chartered as a non-profit, any proceeds would be treated the same as if you were doing it in your own name. thus it would simply be considered income and taxable.

That said, you may want to look at talents of your members and work out something that utilizes those abilities individually. Each person might then purchase equipment and supplies for themselves, and share it among group members. Some coordination between you all would prevent duplication. Doing so each member may only need to buy one item, sharing would give all members access to everything as needed. That is similar to the way IRA operates only on a smaller scale. In our case we each have the basics, but share the big ticket items as needed. (FLIR, etc.)

As far as getting started, if each member just arranged to do the odd job, or whatever comes to mind, to raise a couple hundred $$ or so, that amount should get you all well equipped as a starter. Later, you could expand on it as time and funds allow.

#6 paraviews

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:26 PM

our team conducted a fundraiser, we had to pay taxes, but after taxes and all, we still got $345 for our team. This was last summer. We bought our dvr system.
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#7 SLDurant

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:42 PM

What did you do as a fundraiser? The only thing we've been able to come up with is a bake sale, but I'm not so sure that would work. Can you give me some details?

Thanks.

Edited by SLDurant, 03 October 2008 - 04:43 PM.


#8 little turtle

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:57 PM

This isn't a fundraiser, but how about checking out your local yahoo freecycle group, you an ask for things people have no need for anymore like: recorders, cameras tapes etc.

How about publicity? Get your group together and clean up a park or some place similar. If you can get the local paper involved, maybe they would do a story on you.

Good luck!
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#9 AnnieV

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:41 PM

I use freecycle myself and it's a wonderful tool, not only for things like this either. And if you do decide to go that route, just remember that you get more if you give too. I give tons of stuff away, everytime I do a thorough housecleaning, anything I decide to get rid of gets posted on freecycle...then when I ask for something or email about something that someone else has posted to give away, people go out of their way to accomodate my needs because I'm an active participant. Just a tip :whoohoo:

Publicity is a great thing too. My group is very well-known in the area and just word-of-mouth gets around...we recently received an extremely generous donation--a camper to use as a mobile base station! The dealership that donated it was simply aware that we were looking for something similar, and so when he got the trade-in, he thought of our group and wanted to help.

Great suggestions, little turtle!
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#10 Joven76

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:33 PM

I just joined freecycle to see what will happen... But at the same time I had a thought for SLDurant... He mentioned a bake sale, but that he felt it may not pay off... How about a raffle??? I am arranging a "meet and greet" with one of our friends who owns a costume store... They are having a Halloween party and we may be setting up a table at this party to try and promote ourselves... Since food is already going to be provided, I thought of doing a raffle... Now I'm just trying to figure out what I can raffle off that may bring in some $$$...

Anyone got any ideas???
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#11 little turtle

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:07 AM

Great tip Annie, I totally agree with what you said about Freecycle. Being active, responsible and offering items goes a long way with a group like freecycle. Congrats on getting that camper!!

Joven, how about raffling some ghost books? And/Or a gift certificate from the costume shop? Make up a few business cards, have a few forms ready in case you find someone that says "I am so glad you're here, we have a ghost problem at our house ...etc"
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#12 AnnieV

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 03:47 PM

A raffle sounds like a great idea! :clap: And you could probably even get some things donated from various places for the raffle...some little things, but you'd be surprised what some places are willing to donate for a little advertising. When you ask, just make sure to let them know that you'll be throwing their name out there (like on the list or sign that says what the prizes are) and that you'll give a great big thanks to them. Publicity is great, and with the way ghost investigation has become so trendy, it's a great medium for businesses to advertise through.
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#13 SLDurant

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:50 PM

Thanks Joven!!! That's a great idea!!! As soon as I read your post I was like why didn't I think of that :Wall: ... LOL

I have started looking into different functions going on around my area to see if my group could join them. I live right outside of Wilimington, DE and Valley Forge... Lot of Revolutionary war battlefields near me. I think one or two of them are having Halloween events...

I think I'm going to go the book route for the raffle... Hmmm... Think Jeff would be willing to donate a few? :lol:

Thanks again for the great ideas... Keep them coming!!!!

#14 aloha_spirit

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:40 PM

How about a raffle???

Here's a page with lots of information about raffles. They bring up the excellent point of legality. Raffle laws vary from state to state and country to country, so do some research first.

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#15 Crone

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:55 PM

Aloha brought up a good point. Raffles are great if you can do them, but you have to be careful. Our office does fundraisers almost every month (for the American Cancer Society), and we found the legal paperwork for raffles was more work than it was worth. We do a lot of bake sales, and although we are able to have them in the lobby of our building, we have also hosted them outside of area grocery stores. Check with the store's manager to see if this is possible. We also found that craft sales do well, especially around the holiday season. (Last year we made over $1,000 by selling table-top Christmas trees made from hangers!) Another idea that we do every year is to have a used book sale. This takes a bit more planning, but is well worth it.
Still crazy after all these years. ....Paul Simon.... “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ....Pericles......




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