Quick fundraising
February 13, 2006 8:34 AM   Subscribe

How can I raise a quick $1,000 for a good cause?

My sister, due to an oversight, lost a $1,000 that she'd helped raise for her son's pre-school. Naturally she feels terrible and wants make it up. How can she quickly raise money to make up what she's lost?
posted by Sara Anne to Human Relations (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If the bulk of the donations were made as checks, can she ask for replacement checks? Then, she could make up the difference herself since it was her fault.
posted by letterneversent at 8:38 AM on February 13, 2006

If there were other donations besides hers, she she make a giant thermometer that measures total amount given, have the goal be what would have been raised if she hadn't lost the money, and the current "temperature" at goal-1000. I've found that when people see the overall effort is so close, they are more likely to donate to get you over the top. This can't replace traditional fundraising methods, but it can enhance them, especially if placed in a prominent place.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:44 AM on February 13, 2006

If the bulk of the donations were made as checks, can she ask for replacement checks? Then, she could should/must make up the difference herself since it was her fault.

IANAL, but there might also be some funkiness if the school is claiming tax exampt status for donations and passing out receipts for donors. Re-raising the cash might not obviate the problem. At the very least, it might nice (and a good lesson about responsibility to any children involved) to contact those who donated in the first place and let them know their money didn't end up where it was intended.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Depending on how quick is quick, though, a couple weeks working at a pizza joint driving pizzas could net the cash. That's worked in the past for me. Avoid college campuses and try to be near upper-middle class apartment dwellers.
posted by clearlynuts at 9:39 AM on February 13, 2006

posted by thebigpoop at 9:51 AM on February 13, 2006

My sister, due to an oversight, lost a $1,000 that she'd helped raise...

Wait, does this mean that she lost a check for $1,000, or she lost $1,000 cash? I'm confused here.
posted by MrZero at 1:21 PM on February 13, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, here are the details: she organized a fundraiser last year for the pre-school and arranged for a credit card machine for sales, but then forgot to return it to the bank, and racked up charges of $1,000. So no, she can't get checks, nor is it cash, but either she or the pre-school has to pay for the machine.
posted by Sara Anne at 1:26 PM on February 13, 2006

It's very unlikely that the original donors would consider such an oversight a good cause. It's not so much a fundraiser as it is a private debt that you want to help with, unfortunately.

Options include:

set up payment plan with bank

ask school to pay for it, have sister set up payment plan with school (good idea)

have relatives pitch in to assist

ask a few of the donors who are close friends with sister to assist
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:05 PM on February 13, 2006

Has she approached the bank about the fact that they're asking a non-profit to cough up the $1000? Perhaps they'd consider making it, or part of it, a donation.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:39 PM on February 13, 2006

Pre-school - not necessarily a non-profit (all but one in our city are for profit.) The donations were to the pre-school, the pre-school gets the donations, your sister was responsible for the credit card machine...

I think your sister owes the money.
posted by leafwoman at 2:51 PM on February 13, 2006

I favor going to the bank and asking them if the pre-school can set up a payment plan. Start off asking if each child can pay them .25 a week out of their milk money. Point out how bad it would be if somebody were to go to the local paper with a story about how the bank failed to contact anybody until it had racked up 1000 in late fees.
posted by Megafly at 3:18 PM on February 13, 2006

Your best bet is to ask the bank to forgive the charges for the card reader. Somebody in customer service might be willing to help you.

Whether your sister owes the money to the bank or whether it can come out of the fundraising proceeds (and her only debt to the pre-school is a moral one) depends on what the arrangements were for the fund-raiser and what promises were made. If she raised $18,000 with the fund-raiser and the school was going to reimburse her for her out-of-pocket expenses and it turns out that there were $1000 in expenses more than anticipated, that's a different story than if she raised $400 and was promised to lay out expenses for the fundraiser herself.

Separately, how does someone rack up charges of $1000? Under some circumstances, one can try raising a small-claims court fuss with the bank that the penalty is unconscionable given the lack of notice if they're not willing to be cooperative with you, but your posts don't really indicate whether the facts support that.
posted by commander_cool at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2006

Wow, seems kind of deceptive the way it was originally described. I wish people would just be honest. A more skeptical person would think you're trying to put one over on people. I'm surprised they'd let you keep the machine that long without sending a bill. What's with that? Was someone getting the bill and ignoring it? I'd try to negotiate with the credit card machine people. In any event, though your sister made the mistake, since she was doing it on behalf of the school an argument could be made that they are responsable for the bill.
posted by JamesMessick at 4:51 PM on February 13, 2006

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