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Author Topic: Charity/Fundraising  (Read 161 times)

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Offline MobiusTopic starter

Charity/Fundraising
« on: February 02, 2015, 02:38:37 PM »

I know that this is probably not the first place to ask such a question, but I figured I would throw it out here nevertheless.
 
One of the things I have always wanted to do was put on different fundraising events on my own for many different charities in the area. I feel strongly about giving back, and I have a lot of creative ideas on how to generate money for these charities.
 
The thing isÖ and I feel a little guilty, but I was hoping I could draw a small salary from each event after operating costs and the like were taken out. So letís say I put on an event and after costs associated with running the event are deducted, there is $10,000 left. Could I allow myself to take 5% out, or does this go against everything that has to do with a charitable fundraising event? I do not want to be associated with any one particular charity, but rather rotate which ones the event supports depending on the event.

If anyone has personal experience with fundraising/charity events/etc., please feel free to chime in! I try Google searching, but all I seem to do is go around in circles.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Charity/Fundraising
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 02:50:41 PM »
There are organizations that can be hired to run fund raising events for charities that need to bring in revenue this way.  I've worked with several that were involved with some of the volunteer groups I spent time helping.  This is set up on a business contract basis and the fees are usually a set amount until a certain target is met and then a percentage of anything over that.

I'm not sure of the ethics of taking it upon yourself to run a fundraiser to profit yourself or how you would go about organizing it.  I do know you have to have the agreement and cooperation of the group you are raising money for since the way you go about it has a direct impact on the way that organization is viewed.

It might be a good idea to check out some of the people who do run fundraisers and some of the charities they benefit with your questions.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Charity/Fundraising
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 03:05:09 PM »
I'm not sure of the situation in the US, but I do know the UK one.  Bear in mind I'm talking about the UK so some specifics may vary.

First, be aware that sites like "Just Giving" charge a 5% fee (plus a few fixed costs) and have a much much wider reach than you could.  So you might find that places are unwilling to work with a (no offence) untried and untested organisation such as yourself when they'd be "paying" exactly the same cut to a multinational brand with massive name recognition. 

$10,000 profit is also a colossal amount of profit to make, I think you might be setting your sights very high there.  I'm not sure if that was a number plucked from the air or an actual figure you a thinking of but, if the latter, I'd suggest its too high.  If making $10,000 profit were easy, everyone would do it.

There is, over here, a type of legal entity called a "Social Enterprise" - it basically sits between a charity and a business.  I'm sure there'll be a US equivalent but I don't know what it is.  That's what you're talking about setting up.  Your fee - which I see nothing ethically against - is earned income and would need to be taxed as such, meaning you need a legal structure to do that. 

You don't need the charity's permission to donate to them, but you do need their permission to use their name.  You can throw a fundraising event for "Charity" and then give out the profits as you see fit, but if you want to throw one for "Specific Charity" then, as BeMi says, you need their permission. 

I suspect most will be unwilling to work with someone who rotates - I know we won't.  The issue is that your events get name recognition which cuts in to us:  Lets say I want to donate to Charity X.  I attend your fundraiser and make my donation.  Next paycheck I want to donate again and so I attend another of your fundraisers - but now my money goes to Charity Y.  Sure, you can say "We'll make it clear who the money goes to" and all of that but people don't read things properly and so we, and as I say I suspect most places, don't work with organisations like that.

Errrrr....what else?  Be aware that people will complain about your cut.  Taking one is standard, your proposed one isn't outrageously high but people will complain.  I promise.

I don't mean to pooh-pooh the idea, but as it stands I'm not sure how feasible it is.  What might be easier is starting your own charity which distributes funds; that would avoid some of your problems and even more if you kept that distribution standard - 25% goes to Charity X, 25% to Charity Y, etc.