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Fundraising...for myself?

paperplatethesispaperplatethesis Posts: 33User Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
I come from a low-income family, and I've been thinking about trying to fundraise money to help put myself through college. Do you think I might come off as "arrogant" as I'm not giving the money I raised to an orginization/etc?

I promise I'm a good person (lol) and I've raised money for a variety of causes throughout my high school years, but I kinda need some for me now. Do you think simple things like bakesales would be out of the question?
Post edited by paperplatethesis on
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Replies to: Fundraising...for myself?

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,141Registered User Senior Member
    Well....first of all, in most states there are very stringent LAWS governing fund raising. I suppose a lemonade stand with brownies might not come under these guidelines but I'd check to make sure. There are probably dollar amounts under which this is not an issue.

    Also, you cannot likely declare yourself as a "non-profit" fundraising agency. Therefore, any money you raise would be considered taxable income. Again...the occasional lemonade stand or night babysitting probably is not in this category. BUT if you are looking to raise the money for college, you are looking at much bigger dollars.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    Instead of holding a bake sale to help yourself, just sell baked goods or other things you make. When I taught college, there were some students who'd bake cakes, and then sell slices of them to get spending money. Plenty of hungry profs and students were happy to buy those goodies.

    You probably also could get money by holding a car wash and saying it's to help with your college expenses.

    As thumper indicated, you can't create a nonprofit to help yourself.
  • NikkiiLNikkiiL Posts: 1,048Registered User Senior Member
    Just be sure to be COMPLETELY honest....make sure EVERYONE realizes the money is going to you, for college expenses.
  • Muffy333Muffy333 Posts: 2,066Registered User Senior Member
    As long as you're being totally honest that its for you, go fundraise!

    Actually, a girl my daughter really never was friends with sent out an email appeal to me for college funds with a "You're my BFF---hugs and kisses" kind of tone. I thought it was really obnoxious and hit delete. But that's just me.
  • owliceowlice Posts: 3,225Registered User Senior Member
    Is it safe to assume that you are already working and saving money, applying for scholarships, and have or will be applying to schools which are known for giving generous financial aid to low-income students?
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    "Actually, a girl my daughter really never was friends with sent out an email appeal to me for college funds with a "You're my BFF---hugs and kisses" kind of tone. I thought it was really obnoxious and hit delete. But that's just me."

    I would do the same even if sent from a friend. What that girl did was crass.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,141Registered User Senior Member
    We have a friend...and their daughter's arts organization sent solicitations for donations for the specific students. I'm sure that the girl gave them the names, and addresses, but to be honest, I thought it was not very polite (and these are VERY good friends). My son is in an arts field and I would certainly make donations to any organization for the ORGANIZATION, but not for him specifically.
  • paperplatethesispaperplatethesis Posts: 33User Awaiting Email Confirmation Junior Member
    working and saving money? check!
    applying for scholarships? check!
    applying to schools known for generous aid? ehhh.

    I wouldn't be emailing people asking for money or anything like that. And I wouldn't call myself a nonprofit. Prob. just bake my butt off lol Do you know if I were to set up outside a grocery store or something if I have to ask for permission/license or something? Just talk to management?
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    " Do you know if I were to set up outside a grocery store or something if I have to ask for permission/license or something?"

    Yes, you would need permission and I doubt you'd get it as you'd be competing with their products.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    OP-I've run many GS cookie and bake sales and it's not as easy or lucrative as it seems! Bake sales require alot of advance prep and investment in ingredients for an uncertain outcome. Works best with a "captive" audience - on campus, craft show, festival, etc. Don't go to Walmart - they only do non-profits and they make them stand outside. If you have any, Penn Traffic (P&C) is usually friendly. Many others don't allow them at all.

    For many years my women's club did an annual sale in February of homemade pies (baked or frozen, unbaked), breads, soups (in quart containers), and other food items. We took orders in advance and delivered them on Wednesdays in time for dinner. It was hugely successful and, although the group doesn't do it anymore, people still ask! We never really advertised, just made up a flyer for people with the selections and phone number and put a notice in a church bulletin or two. From there it was all word of mouth, and very popular with older people and working parents. The key was taking advance orders so we knew exactly what to make and didn't waste time and money. So, if you or your mom have some good recipes and skills...just make sure you're using good quality ingredients, shop at a wholesaler/restaurant supplier if you can, and don't forget to include your labor time in the price! A quick rule of thumb is 3-4 times cost of ingredients.

    A couple of other ideas that may be good for flexible scheduling and a $20-30hourly rate:

    mystery shopping - sign up with several services and they'll email you, it's fun (movies, shopping, eating, test driving if you're over 18), quick, and can be quite lucrative;

    room reorganization - if you're a neat, organized soul like my D, other people you or your parents know may secretly envy you and will pay for you to come organize their space too! Don't go into stranger's homes, look before you quote and, if you're unsure or they're packrats, charge on a per hour or per day basis;

    dog walking - do several at once if they get along;

    painting - if you have experience and the right tools, this can pay very well. I taught my son to prep well and paint neatly and he gets calls to do a room for a neighbor or to do awnings/windows for small businesses. Often business owners don't have time to do this themselves and these jobs are too small for the pros to worry about! (Once he got paid in gift certificates for pizza, but he was happy about it!)

    Anything like that gives you a way to make money fast and can even turn into an ongoing thing if/when your schedule allows. My friend's daughter loves mystery shopping and plans to keep doing it when she moves to college!
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,141Registered User Senior Member
    One thing I have to say is that if a significant amount of money is earned, it should be reported as "other income" on the OP's taxes.

    Just be careful that any of the above activities doesn't turn into a "self employed" job. Also, keep in mind that something like painting might require insurance, and a license depending on the state in which you reside.

    I have also done significant fundraising for a non-profit group...and I can tell you, it took many more than one person to raise the money we raised. It was not a one person operation by any means.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    Thumper - Good point and yes they should keep track of these cash business, but what's wrong with being self-employed? Babysitters are technically self employed aren't they? But not nearly so well paid! Filing schedule C is great for deducting actual expenses but I've never had anyone send my kids a 1099! Typically the odd jobs under six hundred dollars are not worth business sending them either (and not required by the IRS) and, as a long time business owner, I've hired alot of teenagers for casual, project type, work. Painting a whole building might take insurance, etc. but staining a deck, or doing a few windows is not out of the realm of possibility especially if you're a small town kid.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,141Registered User Senior Member
    >>Filing schedule C is great for deducting actual expenses but I've never had anyone send my kids a 1099! Typically the odd jobs under six hundred dollars >>

    DS is self employed and many of his jobs are under $600. It is HIS responsibility to keep track of them AND report them on the Schedule C that he files annually.

    I wasn't under the impression that the OP wanted to "earn" a few hundred dollars for college. It seemed more like he/she wanted to earn a more significant fund.

    If someone is a nanny (a "more consistent babysitter"), the should be reporting their income on a schedule C as self employed.

    You don't always get a 1099 for self employed work...it is only required over a certain income threshold. But that does not mean that the income shouldn't be reported on the schedule C.

    Now...I'm not talking about a once a week babysitting job or an occasional lemonade stand/bake sale. I'm talking about ongoing earnings.

    I'm just telling the OP to be careful.

    Oh...and when we raised money for the non-profit, it was tax exempt.
  • ChedvaChedva Posts: 19,526Super Moderator Senior Member
    One more point - if you are selling food to the public for a profit, you may be required to meet certain health codes for your kitchen & storage facilities. Again, not talking about the occasional bake sale, but I have seen that baking/cooking that would raise more money than that (particularly by taking advance orders) requires health inspections and various permits. Also, if you begin running a "business" from your home, and this could easily be such if the aim is to raise large sums, you may find yourself in violation of local zoning ordinances, and/or in violation of any lease you have.

    The occasional $100 raised? Probably no problem. More than that? Could be.
  • momofchrismomofchris Posts: 276Registered User Junior Member
    Thumper1 is correct! All income you receive is taxable, not just the stuff reported on a 1099.
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