Fundraising

<p>Hi guys. I have decided that i will raise a golf tournament to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Obviously, I want this to be a mid-large sized event to raise some big $$$. (ideally, 1000 dollars) Clearly this is going to require a fair amount of investment in money to begin the tournament in the first place.
Do you guys know how to get in touch with a list of sponsors in one's region? I've tried searching without any success. Should my library have one? I haven't checked there.</p>

<p>You might start by investigating costs and contact your local golf course. This will vary wildly depending on where you live in this great land.</p>

<p>Are you doing this personally or as the lead person from a group/club at your school? Some businesses will be less willing to work with a young person on a venture the first year out, than they would be if you are part of a school backed organization. You may even want to join forces with your schools booster club, proposing an agreed upon percentage for the school & the ACS. There is a good possibility that your booster club will have many parents who are involved who may have their own businesses, or be able to help get donations from places they are employed. Also check with your school group that puts together your football programs (this may be your booster club). Generally local businesses pay for advertising space in the programs for name recognition, but also to support the school. They may be willing to help you out.</p>

<p>These are just a few ideas. Good luck! :)</p>

<p>Unfortunately, I am in the former category. How would you recommend i write a proposal that convinces at least one company to sponsor me if i am trying to do this on my own?</p>

<p>We don't have a booster club or anything from my school. Our school's too ****ty to be doing that kind of stuff.</p>

<p>And MD MOM, yea i will start investigating the costs this week. But would you know where i could get a list of sponsors?</p>

<p>Potential sponsors don't advertise themselves on a list. You will have to comb through these opportunities yourself.</p>

<p>I recommend going to your city's Chamber of Commerce and politely asking for help seeking potential sponsors/donors. Blueiguana's booster club idea is also another great way to go about this, if you have a booster club at your school. In my experiences, school parent organizations are more than willing to lend you a hand, especially if you provide an incentive for them. If you can contact your city newspaper group and explain your cause, they could potentially promote your event to an even larger audience.</p>

<p>A note of caution: if you are doing this solely to add something to your college application, keep in mind that organizing a large event like this (especially to convince people to cough up their money) will require a lot of effort. You will have to scout for sponsors that are willing to support you. You will have to convince these potential sponsors that this is a worthwhile investment of their time and money. Then you'll also have to convince your community to participate in this event. You'll need to reach out to all types of audiences and get the word on the street. (Bonus here if you can get your local newspaper to speak out for you.) Even after that, you must organize everything for the event and see that there are no details left out. </p>

<p>From personal experience with everything I just mentioned, let me say that it is no easy feat. Finding sponsors, advertising your event, organizing the details of the event, and coordinating everything into the big picture is not easy. It will take lots of time and energy. You will need to really sell yourself and pitch this idea since you're weathering this alone. At times it will feel like you're scaling a moutain only to reach the peak to find that there is a higher mountain ahead. Parts of it will feel like jumping through pointless hoops to test your endurance and patience. If you're unfortunate, you will be discouraged some days and want to give up after finding the holes in your plan. You will need much more than the motivation of college applications to pull through--you will really need to love and believe in the cause you are fighting for. During some parts of the process, that (and not college applications) will be the only inspiration for you to get through this on your own.</p>

<p>But if anything, by the time you are done, you will have endured one of the toughest aspects of rooting for a cause. Your contributions for the ASC will be a highly rewarding experience--if not because of how you've supported a cause you belive in, then because of the experiences you've been through. And whether you acheive your fundraising goal or not, the entire journey that cumulated to the event will make for one heII of an essay :)</p>

<p>If you have any questions or want some
advice for specific parts of the process, please let me help you! I've weathered the journey several times (for my school's service club, for sponsorship for international competitions, and donations for a personal development goal among others) and came out alive, while squeezing out almost $30,000 on the run from my community :P </p>

<p>I love that you have a relatively innovative idea, because creativity will take you far in this, and I'd love to help you if you need any pointers along the way.</p>

<p>fresh,
dod gives some good ideas, perspective on what you can expect. Even though you are not working with a school group, I would recommend trying to get a teacher you have a good relationship with to 'sponsor' you. Businesses, and adults in general are going to find you far more credible if you have the backing of an organization, be it school, youth sports league, etc. Otherwise they may be far more suspicious.</p>

<p>Having said this, I would caution you against a golf tournament. It is a huge undertaking, and not always financially successful. Try to do some internet research to see what you can find on charity golf events. What type of area do you live in?, Do you have a nice public club nearby, or a private club that will work with you? Golf is fairly seasonal. Are you planning on a Fall event? Lots of planning!! I honestly don't know if you have time. A spring event is more feasible, however if you are a Sr. keep in mind, the event will not go on your applications as it will not have taken place.</p>

<p>Another high profile event is a 5k fun run/walk. They can include far more people than a golf outing. Doesn't involve some of the logistics. It can be held at your school, a nice community that might have trails, or local park with trails. Sometimes you can get your hs cheerleaders to come to the kickoff, even a local band starting out. These are very popular in the fall near Halloween and pre Thanksgiving (Goblin Gallop & Turkey Trot...that's what they are called where we are, check names for affiliation if you want to use them).</p>

<p>Another idea is doing a few small fund raisers to get to your goal of $1000. Do you have a local Uno's restaurant? They offer a fundraiser to school groups where you designate a night, advertise it at your school, and a percentage of the proceeds are given to you. Get a group of friends together and hold a car wash...yes a good old fashioned car wash at a fairly busy intersection. Clearly advertise the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. You can make a good deal of money this way. People will pay above the advertised price to support the charity. Lastly, and this one is a real kicker...I've been without sleep for a while, but depending on how big your school is, set up a table before school and at lunch, asking for pledges. Each pledge is $3, or whatever you think you can get. The pledge is when you get to $xxx.xx... say $500 you will shave your head (really hoping you are a guy). Start a facebook page to get people talking, etc. Only you know how much you could raise at your school that way. We have a large school. My son could easily get over $500 to cut off those locks. That would be an act of support in itself to the ACS. Send out letters with pre-adressed, stampled envelopes, asking for $10 or $25 donations. Send them to relatives, friends, etc. You'd be surprised how generous people are. We support mission trips every year this way.</p>

<p>These are just brain-storming ideas. I'm not saying you can't do the golf tournament. I'm saying there are other ways also that you may be able to raise that money. No combination is any less worthy.</p>

<p>Good luck & keep posting so we are updated on your progress!</p>

<p>Second to blueiguanna's idea: 5K is much easier, but still a lot of work. Your cross country team coach could help. Then you go to equipment sellers. My son's school had one this year and raised more than $2K, plus they collected slightly used cleats to send to a school in Jamaica.</p>

<p>Good advice above. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.</p>

<p>"Unfortunately, I am in the former category. How would you recommend i write a proposal that convinces at least one company to sponsor me if i am trying to do this on my own?"</p>

<p>I think that the odds are nil that any business is going to invest in a golf tournament that is organized by an inexperienced high school student with no organizational backing.</p>

<p>In this horrible economy and in general, businesses make their charitable donations to established organizations where the businesses know their money will be well used and theyll get good visibility. In your situation, businesses also will be concerned about losing their investment because they know that organizing something like a golf tournament takes a lot of work and it's not something that one person -- even an experienced adult -- would do on their own.</p>

<p>My advice is to work with an established organization in your school and organize a project that is smaller and depends on resources that are more easily accessed.</p>

<p>This also is how people organize fundraisers in the real world. Most people organize fundraisers as part of a group. They don't try to do everything themselves.</p>

<p>My perspective is based on having helped to organize fundraisers and having chaired a committee that approved corporate contributions.</p>

<p>Just to give you the idea of the type of things that are involved in the kind of project you're describing, and why it's best that such a major project be done by an experienced committee. This is off the top of my head, and probably doesn't cover everything that's needed.</p>

<p>Organizing these kind of events is what some people do for their full time jobs.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>There needs to be insurance covering the participants and audience. </p></li>
<li><p>A security deposit to cover possible damages to the golf course</p></li>
<li><p>Pay for the golf course. Very hard to get this donated. To get it donated would mean having some kind of "in" at the course.</p></li>
<li><p>Find people who are willing to participate in the tournament</p></li>
<li><p>Publicizing the tournament. Sending press releases, flyers, making follow-up contacts with media</p></li>
<li><p>Having a secure way of collecting the fees and making sure that no one is pocketing them</p></li>
<li><p>Having prize money or prizes donated</p></li>
<li><p>Having a program or other information produced that accurately lists participants and sponsors</p></li>
<li><p>Having respected score keepers.</p></li>
<li><p>Having a legal waiver for participants to sign releasing the sponsors from liability fi there are injuries, etc.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Just to give you the idea of the type of things that are involved in the kind of project you're describing, and why it's best that such a major project be done by an experienced committee. This is off the top of my head, and probably doesn't cover everything that's needed.</p>

<p>Organizing these kind of events is what some people do for their full time jobs.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>There needs to be insurance covering the participants and audience. </p></li>
<li><p>A security deposit to cover possible damages to the golf course</p></li>
<li><p>Pay for the golf course. Very hard to get this donated. To get it donated would mean having some kind of "in" at the course.</p></li>
<li><p>Find people who are willing to participate in the tournament</p></li>
<li><p>Publicizing the tournament. Sending press releases, flyers, making follow-up contacts with media</p></li>
<li><p>Having a secure way of collecting the fees and making sure that no one is pocketing them</p></li>
<li><p>Having prize money or prizes donated</p></li>
<li><p>Having a program or other information produced that accurately lists participants and sponsors</p></li>
<li><p>Having respected score keepers.</p></li>
<li><p>Having a legal waiver for participants to sign releasing the sponsors from liability fi there are injuries, etc.</p></li>
<li><p>Providing receipts to everyone who donated</p></li>
<li><p>Having refreshments available.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Hmm, I don't know about doing a golf tournament, but hosting a 5k/10k race doesn't take that much. Well, that's coming from someone that has been trying to get a race to work since March, but the actual preparation doesn't take that much time. The only reason that my race didn't happen this summer is precisely what has already been lamented: I am a seventeen year old, so people doubt how much I will actually do. </p>

<p>Sponsor money wasn't that hard; I secured around $1000 fairly easily from an organization within a month of looking around. I have food donations on hold, advertisement, volunteers, a potential running base, etc. The only problem for me continues to be acquiring non-profit status in order to legally secure the location of my race. That requires my funds funneling through a non-profit organization, but those said organizations haven't been willing to let a seventeen year old tap into their funds, even if set aside for the race.</p>

<p>On a side note, if anyone experienced in this type of event has suggestions to circumvent this problem, I'm all ears.</p>

<p>^^Can't you get your school, or a local community college, to help you with the non-profit part, keelota?</p>

<p>Around here, it seems as though the same group is involved in most of the races. They help with getting the numbers with the tear off part and the timing devices. You might look into who has timing devices and see what they suggest. You might also talk to your town officials or if your town or county has any anti-drug campaigns, that office might be willing help you. The First Lady is working on getting America moving; perhaps there is a way to tie that in.</p>

<p>Oh, and the first 5K at my son's school had lots of same-day registrations.</p>

<p>Didn't mean to derail the golf tourney.</p>

<p>fresh101:
When I read your opening post about wanting to organize a golf fund raising tournament, it reminded me of a comment an admissions director at a top-10 school told a group of us. </p>

<p>He said when they ask a candidate what they like to do in their spare time, the sometimes hear replies like: "I like to volunteer at the local hospital cleaning bedpans for the elderly."</p>

<p>My first reaction to your post is your primary motivation to do this is to put it on your college application. Hopefully I'm wrong. But if there's a chance an adcom will view it the same way, it can hurt you more than it will help.</p>

<p>An activity like this should fit into your overall character that your application conveys. If it stands out and raises eyebrows, is that your intended effect?</p>

<p>Yikes...tell me you are simply trying to find an organization that is a 501(c)(3) to work with, and not trying to create one! The hoops to jump through have grown exponentially over the past several years. It's very involved. I'll assumed you are trying to partner with an existing tax-exempt organization. I'll offer to you as well, try your high school booster club if you have not. Some, not all, do have tax exempt status. Your local youth football, baseball, or LAX league will be tax exempt. Weather or not they are willing to let you funnel funds is a different story. They have their own records. I'm sure laws have changed, but there a levels of 'income' at which you have different reporting status. $1,000 won't make a large difference, but it is something they would need to consider.</p>

<p>Hi guys Wow! thanks for the help. And yes i definitely underestimated the feat of such a task. I need answers to some questions but let me just say that this is not entirely for college apps. I really do want to do this in my lackluster community. Im just inexperienced. In fact, I don't even care if this is done in time for college apps. Im still going to go through with it. And after i do start the event, Ill have all the experience to do it again.
1) Do you think i should tell my plans to my principal and if he agrees, then he can have the entire school represent me? I can also get my interact club to help me out. I can get them to represent me. Which is a better idea?
For that ill need to wait for school to start.
2) I didn't know i needed insurance. How would i get the participants insured?
3) I didn't even know we had a chamber of commerce. (if you want to know where i live, PM me)
4) Im going to a kick off breakfast for the American Cancer Society on the 12th of August. What should i do to maximize my chances of taking advantage of the breakfast in regards to my project?
Should i ask for an opportunity to announce my plans and see if adults are willing to help me out?
5) Marketing is not too terrible i think. I was thinking of going to stores and asking their permission to let me set up advertising posters on their window walls to let people know of the golf tourney. In addtion, if i get sponsors, and a reservation checked out, then i i will definitely inform my local newspaper about this.</p>

<p>Also, I've done some research and we've had golf outings back in 07 and one recentily in april 2010. Both the senator and the mayors of my township were sponsorers. This was obviously a big golf outing, sponsored by the Make a Wish Foundation. If you want the link and where i live, PM me. Do you think i should let the event organizers of these previous golf outings know about my plans and see if they can help me?
I realize i can't do this on my own.
And the reason I don't want to do the mini-events to help me raise 1k is that my school has a ton of immature kids, none of whom would even give 5 bucks to charities. I need older people (and more mature) people to help me with the raising of the money.</p>

<p>@keelota: What do you mean by looking around? What things did you do to get the sponsorship, especially since youre 17?</p>

<p>Many businesses have monthly allowances for charities. Get ahold of some local businesses soon, and they may be willing to help you out.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Many businesses have monthly allowances for charities.

[/quote]

True, but after having been involved for years in numerous fundraisers for various in-town sports groups, it's clear that many local businesses struggle to keep giving. I've approached many for funds - and they're definitely tightening their belts.</p>

<p>^this is why i said that if i get in touch with previous event organizers in my region that have experience with getting sponsors for golf outings, it would be easier no?</p>

<p>fresh,
I just wrote a reply, and frankly deleted it because it wasn't very flattering.<br>
In short, your attitude towards your peers, and your community (as lackluster and immuture) are not attractive. They overshadow your mission, which I thought was to help the Cancer Society raise funds, not create a way to showcase yourself, right? </p>

<p>Adults and educators do not want to work with students who discount and disregard their peers, moving onto adults for help. They want to work with students who can lead and inspire their peers, create momentum and become leaders. These are students that will become leaders, respected by their peers and advisors.</p>

<p>You might want to rethink your approach. I wish you success.</p>