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Demos other than at Schools: General Introduction

External Educational Fundraising Ideas

External Fund-Raising Ideas, non-Ed.


Types of demonstrations, other than for schools:

General things to consider:

Consider: We are not a Clown and Pony Show. We are not there to just distract the crowd, but interact with them. Education, fun, and sparking the creative inquisitiveness of our audience is what we should be doing. When a person calls wanting help with a Wedding or any other function, our concern is 1) How can we assist them while 2) educating them at least to some degree.

Some thoughts to keep in mind while in discussions:

Before Hand: Does the host need recipes, game ideas, calligraphers for invitations, music suggestions, decoration thoughts, clothing/costuming advice?

During: Items: Does the host need us to bring decorations, music, games?

During: People/Activities: Does the host need fighters, heralds, dancers, singers, musicians? In general, consider how can we help make the event a success, and how can we make it more hands-on and interactive?

{In each of the following, the price indicated is approximately what A Knight's Tour charges based on our expertise and what we can deliver. The price per person is what A Knight's Tour gets to pay for its expenses, including instructor fees. For your own reimbursement, I suggest you look at the break down of financial considerations. Remember, whether or not you are reimbursed, there are expenses that you are incurring just to be there. Always, at least, get a letter of recommendation.}

Types of Demonstrations done OUTSIDE the SCA:

I ) : Birthdays

a) Usual audience : 15.

b) Number of instructors : Three.

c) Goal : To provide a unique and engaging, educational experience. Share fun, but the focus should remain upon the honorees. We are there to enhance, not command, the attention paid to the honorees.

d) Usual duration : One and a half to two hours.

e) What to bring/offer : Games, dancing, the master for a calligraphed invitation, recipes, fighting, trying on armor, decoration suggestions, garb, songs and stories.

f) Planning time needed : One to six months.

g) Price: Birthdays - $125.00 - $150.00

II ) : Celebrations (Graduations, Bar Mitzvahs, Weddings).

a) Usual audience : 50-100.

b) Number of instructors : 4-10

c) Goal : To provide a unique and engaging, educational experience. Share fun, but the focus should remain upon the honorees. We are there to enhance, not command, the attention paid to the honorees.

d) Usual duration : Two to four hours.

e) What to bring/offer : Games, dancing, the master for a calligraphed invitation, recipes, fighting, trying on armor, decoration suggestions, garb, songs and stories.

f) Planning time needed : One to six months.

g) Price: $40.00-$100.00 per instructor, depending upon the complexity.

III ) : Cub Scout Dens, Packs and Blue and Gold Dinners.

a) Usual audience : 25 - 50 Cubs, 30-100 adults.

b) Number of instructors : 3-5.

c) Goal : Show the relationship of Scouting ideals to a Knight's ideals. They are very similar.

d) Usual duration : One hour.

e) What to bring/offer : Armor, games, dancing, music, arts and sciences displays and fighting.

f) Planning time needed : One month.

g) Price : Gas money ($20.00 - $60.00). Consider bartering for their services in cleaning up a site, or help with one of your other fund-raisers (like a garage sale). One of the Scout leaders may have a field for a tourney you could use. Be creative.

h) Notes : There is a section in the scout handbook that deals with the Scouting relationship to Knighthood, so they should have some awareness of what our presentation is about. Refer to that section.

IV ) : Faires (Street, State/County, Medieval)

a) Usual audience : 10,000 - 50,000

b) Number of instructors : 25 - 100

c) Goal : Education and entertainment

d) Usual duration : 2 full days plus set-up.

e) What to bring/offer : Fighting, weaving, lace, wood work, merchants, heraldry, dancing, blacksmiths, leather workers, music, theatre, garb try-on, games, chatelaine, chiurgeon, heralds and lists.

f) Planning time needed : One year.

g) Price : Never enough. It should be worth $100.00 per demonstrator per day. Your lucky if you can get $10.00 per person a day..

h) Notes : Keep your commitment limited (do not promise them a Crown-sized turnout). Interact with the crowds on an approachable level. "We are not doing a play, we practice medieval enthusiasm through hands-on interaction and participation. Would you like to join us for a dance?".

V ) : Libraries

a) Usual audience : 20 - 50 (half and half adults/children).

b) Number of instructors : 2 - 5.

c) Goal : Inspire use of library materials.

d) Usual duration : One hour.

e) What to bring/offer : Invitation ideas, armor, arts and sciences displays, drop spindles, dancing, music, fighting.

f) Planning time needed : One to 3 three months.

g) Price : Gas money ($20.00 to $100.00). Consider barter.

h) Notes: It is all right to make noise, but try to fight outside.

VI ) : Movie and Mall openings.

a) Usual audience : 200

b) Number of instructors : 5 - 10.

c) Goal : Provide enthusiasm for the movie and distraction for the crowds waiting in line.

d) Usual duration : 2 hours prior to opening.

e) What to bring/offer : Drop spindles, music, fighting, dance

f) Planning time needed : 2 months.

g) Price : At least three free passes per person.

h) Notes : When you hear of a period movie coming out, you can call the studio (not the theatre, the studio) and offer your services. Send them copies of your letters of recommendations.

VII ) : Science Fiction Conventions

a) Usual audience : 200 - 1,000 writers, sci-fi/fantasy/comic fans, gamers and SCA folk.

b) Number of instructors : 5 - 20

c) Goal : Help the fans appreciate the things they read about and see in the movies (chain mail, swords, garb, etc.).by letting them get their hands on similar artifacts. It also helps them understand how to duplicate the things they see and read about.

d) Usual duration : Two one (1) hour workshops, a one hour panel and a two hour tourney and demonstration.

e) What to bring/offer : Fighting, workshops in any art or science, displays, merchants, spinning, dancing, weaving, mail-making, music.

f) Planning time needed : 3 months.

g) Price : Full weekend passes for each participant, free space for our merchants on the day of the big demonstration. $50.00 per person. Insist on being treated as guests, not a side show. I believe that large cons have the money to pay for exciting presentations, such as ours. They can at least provide full weekend passes.

h) Notes : We can offer some very interesting panels and workshops on costuming, sewing detail work, chain mail, music, dance, heraldry, weaponry, leather work, historical movies and TV shows critiques, etc. Also, as an alternative participation group, the SCA is an oddity that many enjoy hearing about. I resent, however, the patronizing treatment the SCA has received at some conventions. We should not be treated as if the con is "doing us a favor by allowing us" to put on a tourney. We are benefiting them, and should be treated like guests and given times and forums to present our expertise that indicates that status.

A few words about Recruitment Demos:

If you are looking for, and can properly assimilate, new members, here are some options. Contact your local library system. Most have a directory of clubs and organizations. Make sure your current, local Chatelaine (the person who welcomes newcomers, if you have one) is listed for contact and information. Many SCA folk use these lists as a way to find groups when they move into an area. People just hearing of us use these lists, too.

Holding a small, non-prize tourney is a good way to get attention at a park (or such) where lots of people will pass. Keep the ratio of audience to SCA-folk to about 25:2. Have hands-on things: games; dancing; foods; armor try-on, etc. Have a good SCA handout ready (I recommend Madrone's "Welcome to the Current Middle Ages" handout by Tamsin of Seabeck) and the Knowne World Handbook, Creative Anachronists, T.I.'s, Kingdom Newsletters, the Pleasure Book, etc. People will not have time to read these in detail at the demo, so have a photo album of your events handy as well.

Outside Non-Educational Fund-Raisers

If your group wishes to raise some funds, but not through educational demonstrations, here are some additional suggestions for earning money from the OUTSIDE world. Remember, "Self Reliance Depends Upon Earning Money Externally, and Spending it Internally". This list is not exhaustive, but it should start the trebuchet rolling.

VIII ) : Christmas Tree Pick-up.

a) Usual customers: An entire neighborhood.

b) Number of SCA folk: 3-10

c) Goal : Provide a service recycling trees after Yule.

d) Usual duration : A weekend, or a series of evenings.

e) What to provide: A Truck, gloves, safety goggles, a contract with a landscape service to chip the trees, a place to pile the trees.

f) Planning time needed : 1 month before the December holidays

g) Price : $4.00 per tree (if clean). More if cluttered.

h) Notes : This service recycles the tree, reduces the fire hazard and saves the consumer much hassle. Advertise via leaflets to homes.

IX ) : One Percent Programs.

a) Usual provider: Grocery Stores.

b) Number of SCA folk: 1-100

c) Goal : Collect, add up and return grocery receipts.

d) Usual duration : On going

e) What to provide: An adding machine and somebody to add.

f) Planning time needed : One week.

g) Price : 1% of receipts back.

h) Notes : Some stores have receipt return programs that donate a percentage of gathered receipts back to the participating non-profit group. Usually this involves a non-profit group collecting receipts from their members (or friends and neighbors) who shop there. As this is not a public activity, I find no issue with the fact that we are not interacting with the store in a medieval way. The money goes to the Society's other medieval efforts, and that is enough.

X ) : Rest Stop Sitting. Depending on your local Highway Department, this program may be available for you.

You provide free coffee, tea, hot chocolate and other refreshments to travelers at Highway rest stops. You sit and provide the refreshments for free, and customers can donate money, if they wish.

a) Usual customers: 1,000 - 5,000 over a weekend

b) Number of SCA folk: 20-40

c) Goal : Serve refreshments to motorists.

d) Usual duration : One weekend

e) What to provide: Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Tea, Cookies

f) Planning time needed : Six months to a Year, depending on the Highway Department's bidding process.

g) Price : Donations

h) Notes : It is very cold, tiring work. It is potentially dangerous (especially if only one person is working the booth) but can make a lot of money.

i) Alternate: Offer coffee at commuter park and rides lots. Check with the Events Coordinator/Community Relations Director of your city bus/train service for information.

XI ) Holiday Gift Bazaar, Booth for SCA Crafts: Buy a booth at a holiday faire. (Keep careful records of what items are from who, and when they were dropped off..) Calligraphy, brass rubbings, stained glass, iron work, wooden/clay items (cups, bowls) Robin Hood hats, simple capes and pins. No garage sale stuff, please. This could expand to the opening of a storefront run by and for the crafts people and artisans of your group..

XII ) Concerts and Plays: Your recorder consort or drama guild can perform for the public. Do it in the park for donations, or in a rented hall or grange. Just imagine the fight scenes you could have doing Henry V.

XIII ) Brainstorming List: Spaghetti suppers, car washes, pancake breakfasts, modern raffles, garage sales, holiday package wrapping, cleaning parking lots, fireworks booths, food booth at dances and direct donations (not grants). Become a separate non-profit entity and get grants. Make costumes for Halloween parties, rent armor, garb and props to advertisers, movie companies and photographers.


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