By Jeannie Davis
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF EVERY GROUP? Every person working for a cause? Every com-mission that plans events? Fundraising!
It’s a universal problem – how to raise funds for your group or cause. I have helped raise funds for the Ferndale Foundation, the Ferndale Art Commission, the Ferndale Historical Society and more political campaigns than I can remember. I am not alone. Every other passionate, involved person in this city has had the same experiences. We have all worked hard for so many causes.
Some of the methods have been typical, like banquets, raffles, bar parties, and house parties. My particular favorite is the “moo-poo” event held to support sports at the high school. It involves a cow, a field with squares drawn and numbered, and I think you can imagine the rest.
This all leads to our Ferndale Senior Group. We are limited in raising funds, particularly within our peers, by the fact that the majority of seniors are on limited, fixed incomes. We can only raise so much money during our meetings with 50/50 raffles, pick-your-own prize raffles, and other efforts which raise limited amounts. We reach outside our group periodically. We are indeed all good bakers, and our bake sales are our biggest money-raisers. However, we can only have so many bake sales, and our ladies can only bake so many cookies.
In specific instances, we have applied, and received grant money from the Ferndale Foundation. What do we need money for? We pay for lunch at the Center once a month for members. We offer a special free trip for members every year. We partially subsidize holiday parties during the year. We provide small refreshments at meetings. We pay for speakers and entertainment at our meetings. This certainly is not covered by our $10 annual dues.
Please understand, we are not begging for money. Rather, we are begging for education on raising funds. We need ideas on what we can do to earn enough to be able to continue to offer these services to our people. The hard part is that the people doing the work are somewhat limited physically. Some of us can’t stand for long, lift heavy stuff, nor do we have the endurance for long shifts. Obviously, we need to reach outside our group. Pretty small parameters, but some of you must have ideas.
Maybe we could assist another group with a fund-raiser and have a small share in the profit. We have bounced so many ideas around during our meetings. My particular favorite is still the calendar-girl idea. Steve at Western Market even volunteered to allow us to use his fruit displays in his store for staging. However, only two of us were willing to do it. So another idea hit the dust.
So, please, if you have any know-how, or know of things which have worked out in other cities, please contact me, or stop one of us on the street, and talk to us about it. Even if you get an idea at 3:00 A.M., just call Virginia Saxton. She will be happy to answer the phone and talk!
Jeannie Davis, 248-541-5888