Focus on Fundraising
Pres. Lee gave a brief synopsis of the recent Joint Board of Directors meeting. Topics included review of the July 4 celebration as well as an overview of the coordination of fundraising efforts throughout the year. Budgets were approved for Wonder League, Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, scholarships, and there was the brief discussion about lending support for adoption of a Syrian family into our geographic area as part of a Club or District-wide project.
The remainder of the program was spent discussing fundraising approaches for the coming year.
Incoming president Brad Benson reminded members of the importance of fundraising. We are a community service organization and the projects that we do to provide community service require money. If our Club wants to do more in our community, we need to raise more money. At the present time it appears there are two sources of money: from our member's pockets or from the community. We do not at this time have an endowment fund that can be tapped for financial resources. Our fundraising committee has been charged with the task of bringing all fundraising for the Club under one umbrella to avoid those cases in which Wonder League may approach a merchant one week, the Duck Dash another, the Dine Around another, Etc., etc.
Diane and Bonnie have been working on putting together a program, similar to those utilized by other non-profit charitable services. They propose having a program in which donors are solicited for a one time pledge or donation based on all the services that they would wish to support in Rotary. This involves educating the prospective donor about the range of our services and the financial needs of each program and how those financial needs fit into the financial resources of our Club. They propose a program with perks of advertising based on level of financial participation, fun events such as special meals, gatherings, and merchandise (Duck Dash hats with Rotary logo, etc.
Philippe Hobson will be working closely with them to help develop a pool of prospective donors, submitted by Club members, each of whom will be visited by our team that will promote the projects of Rotary in our community. They will hopefully be able to convince the prospective donors of their importance in allowing Rotary to provide the services, in return for name recognition, other advertising, and personal perks. A pledge program in which not all of the amount of money pledged need be paid at one time will be instituted as well.
Despite developing this fundraising team to solicit sponsorships and donations, all members will have two assume responsibility for promoting our events, selling tickets, and payment of fines and other ways of supporting our programs.
Some member comments regarding our fundraising included whether or not to affiliate with the noon Club in this effort to avoid having Rotary approach each merchant with two different programs. There was also concern about those donors who want to support a specific activity of the Club rather than just contributing to a general pool of funds. Part of the committee's response was that regardless of your donation, you would receive some form of recognition on all material for all programs.
There is also concerned that we might develop a donate button on our website   make it easy for people visiting to contribute money. Also some concern was raised that we might promote this on all social media that is utilized by our Club as well as by Club members.
There needs to be some clarity as to what organization is receiving the money, whether it is Rotary Healdsburg Rise or Sunrise Foundation of Healdsburg Rotary. Larger donors would certainly be more likely to contribute to a 501(c)(3) organization than a 501(c)(4) .
A final fund-raising proposal will be presented at the next Board of Directors meeting for approval. Members are encouraged to offer comments to Diane, Bonnie, Philippe, and Brad about concerns or ways to make this more effective.
Details of Duck Dash committees, assignments and activities will be reviewed at our next meeting.