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spending money to make money for charity... - At Home With Children [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Verminius Rex

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spending money to make money for charity... [Sep. 13th, 2012|07:51 pm]
Verminius Rex
A recent conversation about how much money is spent for fundraising vs what they bring in for the charity made me realize that most people have probably never had to actually do the math. We've all heard about fundraisers where only 10% of the money actually benefitted the charity, the rest was spend on the fancy event and "administrative costs". 

According to Charity Watch, any charity should be able to send 60% of the money they bring in on the actual charity. Really good charities do 70% or better. Last year we probably did about 55-60%, not bad considering I took over about 4 months before the event.  
Unlike many of the other zombie walks, instead of doing a food drive I raise money through event shirt sales, in addition to collecting items from the humane society's wish list. This means I have hard figures to work with rather than estimated values of dry and canned foods.

For every event shirt that sells, a third of it goes to cover our cost for the shirt, and the rest goes for the charity. This means 66% for the charity from merchandising. The other expenses for the walk are event insurance and the sponsor banner. Sponsors bring in enough to cover both, plus some of the shirt cost. I consider this separate from the actual fundraising since it is money given to the organization to raise money rather than given to the organization to give to the charities. Without the sponsors, event insurance would cost another 15% of the money brought in from this year's shirt sales. So it could all be funded through shirt sales (I'm assuming we sell most of the shirts for this estimate, of course) but our donation would drop to around 53%, still not bad for a fun gathering that benefits local charities. 

And all of this is without financial compensation for any of us, and some of us spend our own money on incidentals. So if you hear about an event that brought in $1k for a charity, it's not unreasonable for them to have spent several hundred to raise it. Shirts cost money, often venues cost money, and sometimes organizers cost money because really big events would be a full time job. 
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