The only thing keeping your community groups from a significant source of funding is prejudice.
They may think they know everything about a fundraising technique about which they know very little. That keeps them from considering it.
Every month there are individuals and a few community organizations earning 50 or 100 thousand dollars with this simple fundraising method - all because they educated themselves and got over their fears about how it works.
In fact, a tight-knit community is the perfect entity to use this fundraising venture because neighbors know each other and trust one another. When they all decide to put this method to the test, it's not hard to pull in the money for whichever community project it is needed.
The economic slowdown we are entering is causing a major decrease in cities' tax revenues and permit fees, and this is going to cause a lot of cutbacks in services. More communities may even go bankrupt.
But you probably already knew that.
The State of California is handing out IOUs to its contractors and vendors!
Many people want to believe this crisis will blow over soon and things will return to normal, but then, these are many of the same people who want to see you resume buying stocks and real estate from them. And these are the same folks who never saw what was coming -- it was a total surprise to Jim Cramer of Mad Money, for instance, when Bear Stearns went bust.
In any case, it might be wise for your school district or Chamber of Commerce to start looking into this mysterious, misunderstood money-making technique, because they are probably going to need it over the coming years.
The perfect community fundraiser is network marketing, also known as direct sales or multilevel marketing.
Avon is one of these companies. So is Mary Kay. There is also Melaleuca, which offers a broad array of products your community is buying every month. There are many others, though most are not worth considering.
All that is required to make this fundraiser work is for your lead civic group to enroll and then have all your citizenry enroll and purchase products of their choice under that civic group's sponsorship.
The most community-spirited will be highly rewarded.
Usually there is a requirement for each enrolled family to buy about $50 worth of products each month from the chosen direct sales company. Simply redirect your community's purchases of cosmetics, laundry soap, vitamins, energy drinks, or whatever, and buy them from the chosen company. Then, your civic group receives the scheduled commissions from the company.
Your local Chamber of Commerce may be the best organization to spearhead this project, from a legal point of view. Then, participating families could earmark their contribution to supporting a designated community cause, such as schools, to which a pro-rated share of the proceeds should go each month.
This creative fundraising method can work especially well where the majority of a rural or suburban community's purchases are from a large, out of town, big box store. It brings some of those dollars back into your community, rather than diminishing spending with local merchants.
How hard is that? Why should anyone scream and run away in horror from the dreaded words "network marketing?" It is just a different way for a company to market their products -- and instead of paying millions for media advertising, they pay that money to the consumers who refer new customers to them.
If network marketing was such a bad thing, would Donald Trump and Warren Buffet have bought two separate companies recently? They are pretty smart businessmen -- What do they know about network marketing that sceptics don't?
"Due Diligence" Is Essential
A committee of your Chamber of Commerce -- perhaps working with an unbiased network marketing consultant -- should take a little time to review the many network marketing companies to find one which offers the products which your community wants, as well as to verify the company's capacity to maintain their part of the bargain.
Once the field of potential MLM companies has been narrowed down to a few finalists, a thorough check of their records with the Better Business Bureau and a talk with their state's Attorney General would be in order.
Network marketing is a worldwide industry, selling more than $100 billion in products every year. It is one of the few industries that actually grow during a recession, especially in the case of companies selling products that families are going to buy anyway at competitive prices.
Keep in mind, too, that many citizens in your community are out of work and are looking for a new source of income in a job market where nobody's hiring. This community project can help them to generate a steady, growing income, as well as funding important community projects -- all at no extra cost to the community members.
Using network marketing as a community fundraising project can be a win-win solution for those who take the time to learn the facts and discard their prejudice.