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  • Creative Fund Raising Activities?

    Does anyone have creative fund raising activities that they would like to share? We have done the following: Community dance, pancake breakfast, gun raffle, pizza sale.

  • #2
    Not big money but we made a couple hundred bucks off a two hour car wash. We started doing them once a month for a while and averaged about the same.
    Les Hartford
    Assistant Chief
    LMR Fire Dept.

    The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

    IACOJ Member

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    • #3
      I'm trying to talk my guys into a chili cookoff. It turns out the "International Chili Society" helps sanction these events and has already worked out many of the details.

      I also learned of another interesting idea. A community in Norhtern Illinois holds an event called "100 Men that Cook". It takes place the weekend before Mother's Day and turns into a taste of ....event. Area business owners (100 men) prepare their "specialty", which, of course, is donated. Admission tickets for the general public are kind of steep at around $50 though. I like this idea because other people do most of the work, we would just have to organize it. I'm trying to find a variation of this theme to see if it will work for me.

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      • #4
        The best bang for the buck has been a car wash. Low overhead to run(soap,water,sponges)We also do a Christmas tree sale that does very well,but does take a good of man hours to run.
        Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.

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        • #5
          For about that last 13 years, we have been running 2 train shows a year. We charge dealers for tables and also charge admission (plus sell food). We run this more or less like a flea market. We average about $1100 in profit each show, and have brought in as much as $1500 in a single show.

          They are not alot of work once you get them going, mostly getting flyers out, setting up tables, cleaning up the hall, etc. Our hall is fairly large so we set up about 60 tables, plus have a local group bring in a modular layout.

          We are in the Pittsburgh area which has a large number of train buffs and stores. Not sure how this would work in other parts of the country, you might want to see if there is anyone doing these types of shows in your area. There are 2 big national shows, Greenburg Train Shows and Great American Train Shows. You might want to do a search to see if either or both are in your area, it would be a good place to start.

          Also, make sure your run the shows in house, don't let some ******* dealer come into your fire station to run a show and cut into your profits. Several fire departments in our area have tried to duplicate our shows but end up doing this and get ripped off.
          Thomas Anthony, PE
          Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
          Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
          The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2

          No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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          • #6
            How about just a door-to-door fund raising drive. In my former dept we had done away with our "Fd-Field days" and that left a gap of about $5000 to be made up. We instituted a door-to-door to run with Fire Prevention Week and took in over $6500 both of the past two years. It took 15-18 people about 5hrs on a Saturday as compared to the field days which took weeks to plan, a weekend to run and a week to clean up afterward.

            It also gets you out in the public eye with your equipment, you meet the people you serve and visa-versa. This was done in a small village with a large rural area around it. We found,looking at maps,that there were one or two FF who lived on each road or sreet in the fire protection area. If every one did just their street/road it was not a great inconvenience. if no one is home, leave a flyer or envelope requesting a donation. We had money coming in for 2-3 weeks after.

            If you do it the same time every year, folks will come to expect you. Sure, you get a very few who slam the door in your face, but most are very nice and happy to help out. You might even get a recruit or two.

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            • #7
              I have been toying with the idea of an extrication compitition between local fd's in the area. Get a few cars donated by a salvage yard or something and set up the event in a large public area ie shopping mall or grocery store parking lot. Have a few sledge hammers avaliable and charge like 1 dollar a whack or 6 for 5 dollars or whatever you want to do. That gets a bit of public involvement, so they are usually more open to parting with their money. After a few hours of abuse on the cars pull out the tools and have at it, if you want to place a firefighter in the vehicles to act as a patient and make it more realistic. Its fairly cheap, and easy and also gives an opprotunity to get some extra hans on training.
              After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

              Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

              IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

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              • #8
                Here is an interesting idea that a volunteer fire department did in our area. They purchased a harley for just under $20,000 and then sold 2,000 raffle tickets for $20.00 each. I thought it was risky investment but if they sold all 2000 raffle tickets, $20,000 paid for the harley and the department made $20,000 for themselfs. I have no idea if they sold the 2000 tickets I can only tell you I did not win the harley.

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                • #9
                  My company does a calender drive every year we spend about $2900.00 on calenders and profit about $2000.00 or more. we give companies big calenders and have smaller calenders for home owners. Every one gets a calender but not all donate. Calenders are free and ask if they would like to make a donation. feel free to e-mail me with questions.
                  posts are solely my opinion.

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                  • #10
                    What are you raising funds for? It is my personal feeling that if funds are needed to purchase firefighting equipment then the taxpayers need to fund it! I'm all for obtaining grants ect..to take the burden off the taxpayer but when it comes to people who volunteer way too much time already being the ones to work to raise money just to do the job they do for free then I feel it is wrong! Have you ever seen a town highway worker going door to door to raise money to purchase shovels and rakes for the crew??? You don't see many police officers raising money to buy bullets do you?? (come to think of it you don't see any "volunteer" cops in my area either) But id you feel you must raise funds for this or for member bennefit then try a bean supper or a 50/50 raffle As mentioned earlier a raffle for a harley was held in our area too but the tickets were $100.00 and limited to 200 tickets which went quickly and I'm sure you could work out a deal with your local cycle shop to lend you the bike until you are sure if you have enough entries. Stay Safe "My statements are my personal views and do not nesesarily reflect those of my department".

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                    • #11
                      Our NEW fundraising idea(which was brought up to me by someone in a prior post in another forum) is hauling POTABLE water in our tanker and making deliveries.Being this area is quite large and MOST of it has little or no utilities(water,electricity),MOST people here are either forced to haul thier own water or have it hauled for them.When we got our tender,it originally had a water meter on it for making such deliveries and the subdevelopment owners(the area we are in) used the truck just for that so I will be bringing this idea up before my board this next meeting and see if I can get an agreement on it.The reason we must fundraise is becuase we are unfortunately in a welfare type area..."never no money to keep us funded"...so what a better way to "force" our funding than to deliver an oddity that is much needed. LOL
                      I havent worked out all of the details on this as of yet but what Ive come up with so far is using a portion of what we may charge for the small expenses that we may encounter(extra fuel,etc) and the other portion goes directly to help build our budget.More info on the budget problem is on our website.It is basically self-explanatory.
                      I will be updating on this plan a bit later after my board has approved it and we have all the details worked out.

                      Donna C
                      Fire Chief
                      Bridge Canyon VFD
                      http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

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                      • #12
                        We been having alot of fundraising on our Department to buy a Thermal Imaging Camera, We have had car washes alot and next month were having a Fire/EMS Department VS Police basketball game, Were not making it just a basketball game were adding some humor and such like having donuts out tinalizing them with donuts and stuff, Have Oxygen for sale and there are 3 people on the Department that are going to be cheerleaders and guess what I was forced into being one of the three.

                        I think the Basketball game will be a big money maker
                        Ryan

                        I.A.C.O.J. Probie

                        You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

                        Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01

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                        • #13
                          We were going to hold a gun raffle and we just found out that if our association holds it we will need to turn the money over to the township unless we purchase things that will help the community. Basically our fundraisers are for things such as pop and food for some meals that we hold and our christmas party. The state of Michigan says if you need any type of license from the state ie:liquer or lottery which includes the Vegas night we used to have the money must be used to purchase equipment. They even told us we could not use it to by dress uniforms for the guys-they even want financial statements when we are completed to show where we spent the money.

                          Talk about limitations-just make sure what you do is legal. We asked now we feel like we are on a hit list for past practices.

                          Sounds like we are back to carwashes
                          Les Hartford
                          Assistant Chief
                          LMR Fire Dept.

                          The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

                          IACOJ Member

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With only a little cynicism...

                            Here's an idea for a great fundraiser...

                            Go to the governing body and tell them to let the citizens know there is going to be a big meeting where they will get to decide how much money they are willing to spend on fire protection. Tell them that since the cops and public works people get full funding without having to run freakin' bake sales and car washes like the Cub Scouts or a church youth group, you are no longer doing it either. Let them make the decision. However much money they vote to give you, that is the level of fire protection you will provide. Full fire protection will cost a lot. Token fire protection will cost a pittance and no fire protection is free.

                            When the fire service, paid, volunteer or combo, adopts this attitude, then they will stop being treated like door mats.
                            PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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                            • #15
                              We haven't run any "serious" fund raisers in quite a while. We went on a mill levy in the late 80's.

                              One raffle that always went over well was when a local store donated a 1/4 of beef or 1/2 of a hog. We are just urban enough that a gun raffle has a limited response but most people will spend a dollar or more on meat. We would only print 1000 tickets, sell them at a dollar each and clear eight to nine hundred dollars. The main cost was for printing of the tickets with serial numbers and tear off stubs. We had the name of the store printed on the stub so they got some good publicty from the raffle also.

                              Stay Safe
                              IACOJ

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