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ORGANIZING TO SUPPORT SHELTERS

September 6, 2012

As shelters face less support from the federal and state governments, they are becoming aggressive in obtaining funds. Women still need to break free and shelters need to be available to receive them. 

Two venues for making money are particularly attractive to women and their families: A community walk or a house raffle.

The easiest to organize is the walk. It’s usually short, three to five miles, so that whole families can participate. Each participant is encouraged to donate a certain amount. Team participation is encouraged. More will participate if they know friends are walking with them. 

The arrangements take time. So they should be started as soon as possible. The walk route must be decided upon and cleared with the local police or sheriff so that streets may be closed and residents notified. Weather forecasts must be consulted. Then the date is set and the entrance fee calculated. A valid estimate of the proceeds must be considered and then prizes for participants decided upon. Will participants receive souvenirs? T-shirts, or water bottles are popular ones. They must be ordered well in advance of the run date.

Some groups encourage the walkers to form competitive teams and engage in their own fund raisers. The teams which raise the most money for the shelters receive substantial prizes such as a dinner cruise or pizza party. I’m sure you can think of many more.

 The organization considering raffling off a house, must have more funds to start the process since the organization must put money down on a home that would be attractive to the winners. It’s generally located in an exclusive neighborhood with great views. Success is well worth the effort and initial funding. 

The home is chosen, the local authorities’ approval for the raffle is obtained in writing, and the home is purchased. Then you are free to print your brochures and start receiving donations. The tickets are usually priced in the hundreds of dollars. Even in today’s economy the returns are gratifying. A shelter can expect millions. The sponsoring organization usually gives large cash prizes to attract supporters and sell more tickets. 

The downsides to the house raffle are the sales tax and income tax that the winner must pay immediately. Often they preclude the winner’s taking possession of the house. The raffle committee must anticipate this and offer a monetary alternate prize to the winner. Then the organization must sell the home on the open market with all the risks that that entails. 

I’ve given you two options for raising money to support your local shelter for abused women. What does your community do to raise funds to help women breaking free? I’m sure there are many more than the two I’ve mentioned here. Please share them with us. You may do so by replying to or commenting on this post or by e mailing me at clw@clwoodhams.com. Women everywhere want to hear from you. 

Peace, CLW

 

Peace, CLW

 

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