Fundraising fundamentals

Major Blunder makes a plea for fundraisers to observe the finer points of running raffles, for the future of all.

One writes this admittedly feeling a trifle irritated – one considered the merits of full-bodied fruit cake, but trifle is called for here.

As an Incorporated Society (yes, it is indeed true), the Regiment often fundraises for various activities, including provision of costumes, travelling away and our long-term future plans. Just a part of the fabric of most Incorporated societies and rather a New Zealand tradition, along with sausage sizzles, cake stalls and fetés if the petty bureaucrats can be appeased.

One’s offspring goes to school, and schools run raffles – ad nauseum, as any modern parent will be well aware, but that is another issue entirely. Strangely they often seem to be illegal raffles due to the collection of small points that everybody else has to be concerned with.

• What is the prize? Usually fairly well-described.

• What is the value (the actual value of the item(s), not an artificially inflated one or conversely, the special peppercorn price or free)? Rarely mentioned.

• How many tickets are involved – the maximum number and value thereof being dictated by the prize value for those unaware. Often missed out or entirely unknown – in fact one has been told on one occasion “however many we can sell”.

• When is the prize drawn and how will the winner be apprised of their windfall? Fifty/fifty as to whether that little nugget of vital information is included.

• Who exactly is organising it – an actual living, breathing person, not an institution. Often missed out, or replaced by the blank face of ‘The School’. One is fairly certain the principal of said has no desire to take on this role, but would seem to be placed there by default.

• Who is the kind and generous sponsor who put up the rather nifty prize – they like recognition (still more fail). Purpose for the fundraising – umm, often a bit obscure, imprecise or not actually mentioned at all.

This is all basic information, often abused to hell and gone by the well-meaning, but readily found on the Internal Affairs website, along with all the requirements for larger raffles or those to contain restricted items. These are not optional concepts, but requirements that every fundraiser needs to comply with: bureaucrats can get a little ‘funny” if you ignore them too often.

GET IT RIGHT, PEOPLE, before the pin-head legislators and clip-board Nazis of our nation get involved again to make raffles a thing of the past for all but huge charities that don’t need the money!  Unlike the rest of us who belong to much smaller groups that have learnt to run their organisations on frayed shoestring – that we are borrowing from someone else in the same boat.

Here endeth the rant, the fuming can die off quietly as it should.

One remains, as ever, your most obedient servant –

Major Blunder, Officer Commanding, Fifth Waikato Dragoons Regiment, Northern Command, Alf’s Imperial Army.  Humour in Uniform.  Visit the website here.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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