Michigan 4-H fundraising guidelines

Understand the guidelines Michigan 4-H has established before conducting a fundraiser.

Michigan 4-H allows 4-H clubs to raise funds for their educational and recreational goals. While some 4-H clubs charge their members dues, other clubs choose to conduct fundraising activities. Club leaders and members need to understand key details regarding fundraising activities and the funds that are subsequently raised.

  • Fundraising should not be the main focus of the 4-H club’s activities.
  • All fundraising activities should contain an educational component. For example, members need to receive appropriate training so that they are able to be actively involved in planning, advertising or working at the event.
  • Before conducting a fundraising activity, the 4-H club must get approval from the county 4-H staff person by submitting a Fundraising Application Form at least 10 days before the event. Fundraising activities can begin once approval is received. The Michigan 4-H Fundraising Flyer Checklist helps provide a structure for important considerations.
  • All funds raised in the name of 4-H should be used solely for 4-H activities.
  • Fundraising must be for the good of the total group and funds may not be provided to individual members.
  • Funds raised may be used to pay for educational programs, activities, workshops or 4-H club supplies. Monies raised may also be transferred to fund members’ participation in county, state, national or international 4-H programs.
  • Michigan law requires 4-H clubs collect sales tax on the tangible personal property they sell at a fundraiser. Any required sales tax must be remitted through the Michigan State University Extension county office through the Annual Financial Summary Report.
  • Remember that 4-H clubs are prohibited from conducting raffles, drawings or various kinds of games of chance.
  • Due to financial security and liability concerns, 4-H groups are restricted from raising funds using online crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe for raising money, and online payment sites like Paypal for fund collection or payment.
  • Any fundraising activity conducted for and by 4-H cannot include consumption or distribution of alcohol. Moreover, if a non-4-H entity holds a fundraiser during which alcohol is consumed or distributed, it must not use the 4-H name and emblem in its marketing.
  • Following any fundraiser, the leader and members need to complete and submit a 4-H Fundraising Report to the MSU Extension office within 10 days of the event.
  • If a 4-H club disbands, any funds remaining in the treasury or property belonging to the club will be used in the county 4-H program. Group members may request the resources be used for a specific 4-H program within another group, the county or the state. The 4-H program coordinator will make the final decision and ensure the equitable division of funds as well as appropriate dispersal of property.

For more information, check out the "Financial Manual for 4-H Volunteers: Leading the Way to Financial Accountability" and the "Financial Manual for 4-H Treasurer: A Guide to Managing Money Wisely."

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

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