It doesn’t always take money to make a difference

Welcome to Social Dancing for Adults!

I received notification this week that the 3rd annual Dancing in the Clover from last weekend raised over $11,000 dollars for the Union County 4H Foundation.  What a great feeling knowing that I was a part of something that will benefit so many people.

Here is a picture from the event of Barbie Petrea and Jerry Simpson.  Jerry was last year’s winner.

It is interesting to think about fundraising and the perception of how much money it takes to make a difference.  So many people believe that you must raise money in the hundred thousand range to truly make a difference.  I am inclined to disagree, because from my experience, it usually is not the large non-profits that make the most difference, it’s the small non-profits.  Allow me to explain my thoughts…

I am a big supporter of the United Way of North Carolina.  I believe that the United Way has the infrastructure to put people on the ground and do a lot of good for individual communities.  I am aware that the United Way has also had their share of bad press.  We have all heard of how the organization mishandled salaries of some of the top brass.  I still believe that on a nationwide level, the United Way has proven that they have helped our communities in a very positive way.

Now I would also like to state another real issue.  Large non-profits have a tremendous overhead costs to deal with, just like any other large corporation or company.  They still have what is known as the “cost of during business”:  salaries, operating costs, and other normal expenses just like any other business would have.   My point – large non-profits have to raise a ton of money just to cover this overhead cost so in the long run, they have a large debit-to-income ratio with a smaller profit margin.  They may raise millions for the organization, but it takes a decent chunk of those millions to operate the organization, cutting into the money that will ultimately go into their various programs.

I believe that small non-profit organizations actually can be more effective from a monetary stand point.  Fundraising events do not require as much operational overhead.  Many event participants donate their time, thereby keeping salary costs very low, or having no salary costs altogether.  Many small non-profit organizations already have a building that they own and generally use for the fundraiser.  Yes, there are expenses for the use of the building, but many organizations use memberships fees to cover these costs upfront.  This would allow the immediate cost of using a facility to not have to come out of the profits of the fundraiser.  Lastly, items required for the fundraiser are also generally donated by members of the non-profit organization allowing more profit to go back to the charity.  This few reasons allow for a much lower debit-to-income ratio there by producing a higher profit margin for the fundraiser.

I plan on continuing to support the United Way of NC, but I will also continue to support small local fundraisers, like Dancing in the Clover, because I believe that both types of fundraisers have merit in our communities.  I hope that you will consider doing the same.

Remember to keep dancing!

Ryan

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