Posted by Elaine Thompson on Mar 01, 2019
On February 4th, I sent an email asking each Rotary club in the District to share their favourite fund-raising event for our March newsletter. I’d like to thank the 24 clubs who took the time to respond and to share their experience. Much of the analysis, which follows was created by my editor, John Borst of the Dryden Club.
I did this because as I wrote in the email, “During my club visits this fall, a number of club board members expressed an interest in learning about fund-raising events of other Rotary clubs in our district so that they could get some more ideas of what might be done in their own community.”
The results have been very interesting. Collectively, on your favourite fundraising projects alone, for those nineteen clubs reporting an amount, you raised over $600,000 annually. Talk about “people of action”, you certainly are exemplary Rotarians of that motto.
When that sum is divided by 19, the average net proceeds per club is $31,578. Assuming the other twenty-three clubs are just as diligent as the reporting clubs, and that the number is inflated by Dryden's Bingo earnings, It is clear that clubs in District 5550 likely raise in excess of one million dollars on major fundraising efforts. Well done!
Further analysis reveals that you have sixteen different types of events. By far the most popular type of fundraiser involves “food”. When “foodfests” and dinners are combined, they make up 12 events. You can add another three food-based fundraisers if you count in the 3 “food tents”. There are also three auctions, two goods sales and two lottery draws. There were another nine unique events.
I also want to bring your attention to the report from The Rotary Club of Dryden, not because they have by a considerable margin the single largest fundraising event, but because as you will learn if you view their PowerPoint, they have tracked the return-on-investment (ROI) for each of the volunteer hours. It is something we do more by instinct than as an accounting practice, but it is likely the best way to determine the feasibility of adopting or stopping a fundraising activity. It is also the direction Rotary International is encouraging us to move. Rather than use attendance as a measure of engagement they would prefer we track our volunteer hours.
Finally, we divided the reports you sent by Provinces. Those who sent in the Club’s report may find that significant editing may have been done to your submission. John tells me this was necessary because for both the Manitoba and Saskatchewan pages we exceeded the limit of 30,000 characters.  In the Manitoba case, we had to edit out nearly 9000 characters. A character not only includes a letter or digit but each space.
In conclusion once again thanks for your contributions. There is great diversity among how we raise funds for our service initiatives. I am sure if you are looking for a way to change or build your fundraising activity you will find something of interest here. Next month the theme of our issue will be Club projects.