4-H fundraisers and the policies surrounding them

Join us March 27 for a free webinar explaining the purpose and policies behind 4-H fundraisers.

Fundraisers are common in 4-H clubs, councils and committees and provide 4-H members and leaders with the opportunity to learn a variety of skills and practice good money management. Fundraisers not only help groups raise funds for a variety of purposes, but they allow young people to participate in activities that may have otherwise been out of reach. Fundraisers should never be the focus of a 4-H program, but can be one component of a great program.

Fundraisers may provide youth with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurship skills, build a sense of community by organizing a fundraiser for a specific cause, try their hand at being a salesperson, learn what it is like to run a concession stand, organize a car wash, have fun with their friends and achieve their goals one sale at a time. The teambuilding and social aspects of fundraisers are incredible and should not be underestimated.

When planning a 4-H fundraiser, it is important to remember Michigan 4-H has guidelines that must be followed and permission must be granted by the local 4-H program coordinator in order to use the 4-H name and emblem. To gain this permission, the group treasurer or 4-H leader must complete a County 4-H Fundraiser Application and submit it to their local Michigan State University Extension county office at least 10 business days in advance.

Guidelines for fundraising do not allow 4-H entities to utilize crowdfunding sites, raffles, games of chance or serve alcohol. The County 4-H Fundraiser Application is simple to complete, but provides the 4-H program coordinator valuable information about your fundraiser so they can best support your efforts. This form can be found in the “Financial Manual for 4-H Volunteers: Leading the Way to Financial Accountability,” is available online at County 4-H Fundraiser Application or at your local MSU Extension office.

Monies raised through 4-H fundraisers must always be carefully accounted for and may be used to support general group activities or a specific group activity. These decisions should be made as part of the planning process so there are no hard feelings or confusion. A fundraiser may also raise funds for a specific purpose outside of the group if that was clearly communicated during the fundraiser’s promotion and execution. Always be honest how funds will be used as you are raising them so everyone understands and why they are raising or contributing funds.

To learn more about 4-H fundraisers and the Michigan 4-H policies surrounding them, join MSU Extension educator Christine Heverly and I for a 4-H and Fundraising 101 for Volunteers Webinar designed for adult and teen volunteers on March 27, 2017, at 7 p.m. The webinar will provide 4-H volunteers an overview of the Michigan 4-H and MSU Extension fundraising polices, help volunteers understand more about fundraising in a 4-H experience, explain the process volunteers need to complete and answer questions volunteers have on fundraising.

This is a free webinar open to all 4-H volunteers, parents and members. Please register online at 4-H and Fundraising 101 for Volunteers Webinar.

Contact me at weichel@anr.msu.edu or Christine Heverly at sisungch@anr.msu.edu with any questions.

MSU Extension has 4-H members across the state engaged in fundraising efforts to support a variety of events and programs. If you would like to find out more about being a part of those exciting programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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