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Internal Fund-Raising Ideas

Fund-Raising Ideas TO AVOID

Town Sponsorship of the SCA

Endowments

   
 

Internal Society Related Money Raisers:

Although fund-raising from outside the Society is preferable for the majority of funds we need, there is often a call to raise money for a special Society cause that we may want to support with our own monies.

I- Donated Item Raffle Held at a Society event: The attraction of a raffle is its ability to grant a $100.00 (or whatever) prize to somebody for a $1.00 investment. Purchase, or have donated, a nice prize (helm, sword, dagger, cape) then sell tickets for a drawing for it. Cautionary Note: Keep the stubs in a safe place. Please have the drawing (and the prize) when and where it is advertised to be awarded. Postponements detract from the excitement of the event and should be avoided if at all possible.

II- Auctions.: Auctions can fall into 3 basic types.

1) Silent, where the audience submits written bids for an object all at the same time, hands them in with no chance for a re-bid, and the highest written bid wins.

2) Listing, where you set the items to be auctioned on a table with a written description, craftsperson and approximate value and minimum bid (if any). Bidders write their names and bid under the description of the item offered. If anyone has a higher bid, they simply write their name down under the last bidder's name, put in a higher bid, and wander away. This type of auction works very well for a feast or tourney where people, nor the schedule of events, can allow the time for a large sit down auction. The end of bidding is announced so people may increase their final bid.

3) Vocal, where an auctioneer displays, conjoles, encourages, describes and generally excites the audience into bidding more than they should for less than they want. The end prices can be astounding, and the group entertainment often infectious. A well-spoken auctioneer is certainly a plus.

Items to auction may include: pottery; cutlery; feast gear, books, jewelry, clothing accessories, doing dishes, providing a meal or entertainment, foot rubs, sonnets, garb, calligraphy and acts of foolishness by otherwise respectable nobles.

III- Bake/Food Sale: You Bake it, We Buy It. Many groups even have food booths for events (like the Barony of Wastekeep's Spitting Duck Tavern and Madrone's Dancing Pig.) Consult your local department of public safety for food handling restrictions and regulations.

IV- Pie Auction, Creme a Peer: People bid for the right to throw a creme pie at their favorite (or not so favorite) person of notoriety (the more famous/infamous, the better.)

V- Box Lunch Auction: Winner gets the lunch and the company of the maker (usually a secret) while the meal is eaten. A good mixer to get people talking with folk they may never converse with otherwise.

VI- An Atlas of Popular Sites: Have the local newsletter publish and present for sale a book of maps and traveling information for the most used sights in a Kingdom and its local chapters. Include a table of distances, where to eat, what to see while in town (Book/Hardware/Fabric/Antique stores and hospitals) and road conditions in Winter. Also include a cross-reference of SCA to Modern/Modern to SCA place names. It could show Rest Stops, scenic overlooks and whatever else is needed or wanted.

VII- A Society Co-Op:

A local version of the Society Stock Clerk. A central person would buy in bulk: books; fabric; basic tourney supplies (duct tape, matches, candles); and offer them to others in the Society at regular cost. This takes bookkeeping and much careful accounting, but can provide a needed service and a return of profits to the group.

{I include the suggestion of one of the reviewers for this booklet. It sounds like a great idea, although I have not witnessed one of these myself.}

VIII- Fighter Auction: A fighter auction involves auctioning off the participants in a List, with the purchaser getting a pick of the loot equivalent to their fighter's status in the tournament. It can be fought either round-robin or as an elimination, depending on the number of fighters. The kicker is that you have as many prizes as entrants. The person who "sponsors" the winner gets first choice, and so on. Everybody wins something. $300.00 was raised on a spur of the moment tourney like this, with 18 fighters and donated prizes from peoples' extra unwanted items they happened to have brought along.

IX- Sell a Local Version of the Great Boke (the Doomsday Boke of your local chapter): Publish a booklet covering the local area's previous year. Articles, notices, pictures and accounts of events and important local SCA news would be included. It would list who Reigned, who received awards, events, fires, births, deaths, stories and tributes all done in prose, poetry and song, pictures of artistic achievements and notable happenings. It should be a chronicle of the group. A living history book of our unique culture.

XI- Pass the Helm: At most any reasonably attended event, this can bring in $100.00 or so. At a Crown, it can net an extra $1,000.00 or more. In the "olde" days, this was the major fund-raiser. Another version of this is simply to ask for an additional $1.00 of gate fee for all Kingdom events. If 2,000 people show up, then $2,000.00 should be expected in the Kingdom's coffers as soon as the money is accounted for.

Ideas which may be of questionable integrity and that do not have my support. Pray, avoid these.:

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

-1! Kissing Auctions: These "sell" the right of a kiss to a buyer. I have objections to this practice for many reasons, the least of which is health, and the greater for its harkening to slavery.

-2! Drinking contests, and other types of displays (such as Wet T-Tunic Contests) that lend credence to the idea that uncontrolled and rude behavior is acceptable, as long as they raise money.

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

And Lastly, an Idea for Discussion & Cautious Review:

??1) Gambling nights. Done in period, at events, there are none who can say it is not an authentic activity. But modern bingo games, whether run by the Society or by an agency in our stead, are officially frowned upon. It should be noted, however, that Canada specifically legislates Bingo games for the benefit of non-profits and it is quite acceptable to the Government and culture up there. I suggest, if you wish to pursue this avenue, that you work closely with your Seneschal and contact the Board of Directors for a case by case review.

Acquiring ongoing support for your group.

After any acute issues of your group's financial needs are addressed, it is important that you continue to be pro-active in your approach to husbanding the land and its people. There needs to develop a practice of approaching issues with the benefit of the Society at heart, polishing our reputation, not repairing it. We should not be running to play catch-up with the latest disaster but making the world (both Knowne and known) better places.

I here propose some ideas for a pro-active approach.

A) Town Sponsorship: The Society is becoming quite large. Sites are harder to find as we need larger and larger ones. When we do find a site, the expense is staggering. In addition, we have a big impact on a community when we arrive in such large numbers. This can be a liability if we are perceived as intruders. We should take steps to insure that a community realizes the benefits of our presence. I recommend a 3 step program:

1: A deputy of the Seneschal should keep a file of all letters of recommendation garnered by the Society. In addition, all Society Demo's should ask for a letter of recommendation from their hosts. All groups should begin collecting letters from hall and site rentals stating how we left the site, etc.

2: We should commission an economic-impact statement be made of the positive economic effect we have on a community. (Pennsic is reputed to favorably impact the Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania area by millions of dollars each year).

3: After the economic impact statement is made, and the recommendation file is published, we should "offer" our events to small towns in the areas of the host group (not as attraction or a "faire", just as an opportunity to host us.)

By showing a town the figures on how much gas we will buy, (and food, ice, beer, etc.,) and after showing the local Chamber of Commerce our collection of recommendations, some sort of subsidization program should be able to be worked out. Perhaps a field close to town could be lent to us free of charge, or porta-potties could be had for reduced fees. This approach is similar to the city of Seattle giving tax breaks to hotels and other businesses that open in the depressed sections of the city.

A community should know we are coming and look forward to it. We are too large to not consider our public image. If we do not create a positive image, we may be given a negative one by those who view us as intruders.

We should be perceived as the asset to these communities that we are. Some communities may even seek out a permanent arrangement to host us whenever the local SCA chapter wishes to sponsor an event.

B) Endowments:

This is a sum of invested money whose principle is never spent (except in an emergency). The interest from the account is given to a separate non-profit group (that you have set up) and they, in turn, can donate it to the local chapter of the SCA.

Where do you get money for an endowment? Mostly from people leaving money to it in their wills. This is a very proper and effective method for the establishment of a permanent supporting fund for your group, but it does take some commitment and professional management to promote and maintain it.

Talk to some Bankers and/or Lawyers in your community. Preferably ones that are sympathetic to your efforts.

   
 

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