E13 – A charity for the kids with Sherry Scott
In this episode, I speak with Sherry Scott, who has started her own charity, Angels and Dragonflies Childrens Charity Inc., based on her own experience.
Sherry and her husband are working to help people with children who need help with furniture, clothe as well as other things.
You can find a transcript of the interview down below.
Diana: Welcome to Fun with Fundraising. I’m Diana Lund, your host. I am a small business owner, author, and speaker and in this podcast, I will be sharing interviews with interesting people. You will also hear my fundraising journey so you guys can follow along while I hit my 2021 goal. I’ll get back to you after today’s episode. Let’s jump right in.
Hi guys, actually, today we are not going to jump right in. As you might’ve noticed last week, and this week you didn’t get a Tuesday episode, and last week it was because I didn’t feel well. So, that kind of sucked, but I’m all better now and this week it’s because I’ve decided to make it a bit of a change toward the podcast. So, instead of coming out twice a week, where one is my goal episode, and the other is this interview episode that you’re going to get in just a bit. I’m going to give you everything in one. So, from now on every Thursday, you will get an episode where you get my weekly update and then you also get an interview. So, I’m going to start there.
So, one of the things that have been really big for me over the past 14 days has been that I decided to cancel the kickoff event. This I did because Denmark is kind of in our second phase of the Coronavirus thing and things are shutting down and people are getting more anxious about everything. So, I have decided to postpone it and I don’t know when yet. I’m going to see whatever happens because. By doing it now, I feel like I would jeopardize some of the participants’ reputations and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s reputation. I don’t want people to feel like I’m doing something that’s irresponsible, especially considering that the money is going to people who are ill.
So, I have decided after thinking about it quite a bit, that I have canceled for now, but we’re going to do stuff anyway. So, what I’m still doing right now is that I am still making bracelets and jewelry that I am selling. I am still slowly getting started on that and then I am having some ideas. You’re going to hear one of the ideas that I’m trying within this episode actually where Sherry talks about doing a Tupperware thing. So, you can listen and hear what she’s saying. So, that I am looking into a little bit, if we could do that in a group I have a that’s in Danish. But that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m trying to figure out how can I make some initiatives that can help me raise money now for the rest of the year.
I’ve been having a lot of focus on the whole event part. So, I haven’t been focusing a whole lot on what I started with, with having companies and people donate based on the number of steps I did. So, I’m not sure if it’s out totally but I’m rethinking that because to be honest, the whole thing about keeping track of that, seems like something that is a lot of work compared to what it’s going to give me. So, I’m trying to think about how I can do things better and maybe do some smaller events so that I am not having to be on every day for a year.
But something like doing the Tupperware thing and doing the event thing and doing small things along the way, small fundraisers along the way that can help me raise some money. I’m still going for 100,000, but let’s see how we get there. If you have any ideas please feel free to write to me. It would be amazing to get your ideas and especially for things that can be across borders. So, fundraising ideas that can be done wherever people are in the world. So, that’s it for now. Now we’re going to jump right into today’s episode. I hope you enjoy it. It was a pleasure talking to Sherry. So please enjoy the interview.
Diana: In this episode, I am doing with Sherry Scott and she has started her own charity and I’m looking forward to hearing her story and why she did this because it’s really exciting. So, Sherry, thank you for wanting to be on the podcast.
Sherry: Oh, thank you for having me. I’m excited to share my story and what our mission is and things like that for everybody.
Diana: Let’s jump right in. Give me your story. Tell me why you decided to. Well, first off, maybe tell us what your charity is and then why you decided to start it.
Sherry: All right. So here it goes. I have Angels and Dragonflies Children’s Charity and what we do is we provide necessities to families, raising children. It started out as an addiction, but it could be any circumstance and from there we continued to supply goods for all children. So, our biggest mission is to provide furniture because a lot of older people like grandparents and families are on a fixed or limited income and they can’t afford to survive let alone, buy a crib or a high chair or car seat, diapers, and wipes as minimal as that is, or we supply backpacks and toiletries to teens that are in foster care.
So, basic necessities sometimes we take for granted, but some people just don’t have the funds to purchase them as simple as a bottle of shampoo or a baby bottle. So, that’s kind of where we started and where we are now. We have some goals for the future, but right now we’re just going with that, in that direction. We’re doing some minor fundraising right now. We’re going into some bigger things, but that’s kind of the beginning of what we are and where we’re going.
Diana: Okay. That sounds really interesting. So, you said grandparents. So, is it only grandparents or is it just in general? You mentioned it earlier as well when you wrote to me that it was about grandparents and trying to figure out is it then, for example, grandparents who are adopting or having their kids, kids there. What’s it called?
Diana: Thank you. having their grandchildren in foster care. Is it that specific or is it more broad?
Sherry: It started out that way because we got blessed with having to take care of our grandson when my stepdaughter was in rehab for drug addiction. So, working a full-time job and taking over as a parent for 30 days while she was in treatment we realized we didn’t have a crib. We didn’t have a car seat. We didn’t have those things. So, for us, it started out with, I reached out to the community and everybody reached out and helped us. and we network together, and they said, well, it really shouldn’t be this hard. So, me being in my 50s, it has to be a whole lot harder for grandparents in their 60s, 70s, and 80s taking care of children.
But with that being said, we reached out and we decided to reach out further and supply anything for any child that needs. So, I said, I wasn’t going to just specify that it was going to be grandparents raising grandchildren, because it’s a huge problem, but I’ve helped other people than I have grandparents raising grandchildren at this point, just parents that got a surprise, baby. Someone that didn’t expect to have a child or just became financially in a hard time and they were expecting a baby and whatever the circumstances are. So, we help all children, all families, no specifics, no judgment. So, if you need help we’re here to help you.
Also, a lot of our families now, once they outgrow things, hand them back to us. So, we’re taking gently used items right now. So, whatever we hand out to say, the child is six months old and they don’t need a swing anymore. We get that swing back and then we can give it to another family that needs it. So, that’s where we are now. We’re about a year old, so I’ve been incorporated last August and we’re a year in and now we’re starting to fundraise and do some different things. Yeah.
Diana: Well, okay. So, where do you get things from? Well, people start giving back and that’s really nice, but where would you get things from originally?
Sherry: Families that outgrow things. I work with few organizations locally that if somebody is willing to donate and they have children’s things and that organization does not take furniture, does not take children’s items they’ll call me or they’ll refer over to me. So, right now it’s a referral system. It’s people in the community. Everything’s gently used from cribs to car seats, to strollers, to toys. We take some clothing.
If I know of people that are in need and they need some clothing, I will take that and hand it on, but I traditionally don’t do clothing. But once we get a little bigger and we have more space possibly, but right now I’m just limited on space. Community, I reach out to a couple of groups on Facebook like mothers groups and things like that and they say, you know what, we have all these things, but we also need more things and people are more than willing to give me their use stuff. So, it helps.
Diana: That’s really nice that people are willing to give. That’s amazing. You said before that you don’t really look at the background of people anymore. If there’s someone in need, you help them, but did you put up some kind of screening process to figure out if people are really in need, or is it an honor system or how does it work?
Sherry: It’s more like an honor system right now, just because we’re so new and still trying to figure all these technicalities out. I do not require any documentation or anything like that. I just ask the people to sign that they took items. So, I have tax records to show that things are coming in and things are going out. But other than that, I don’t share any information unless they allow me to, or they do feedback for me or something like that. But right now, I have no screening process whatsoever. It’s an honor society and if you really need a crib that badly, I’m not going to judge, it is what it is.
Diana: That makes sense. Is it only local or is it nationwide or how do you work?
Sherry: Right now, it’s locally only because it’s my husband and myself and a couple of close friends. We do pick up and drop offs ourselves. I’m doing it when I’m not working. I work a full-time job as well. So, I do it before work, after work, I’m dropping off to the storage unit. My husband’s picking up and dropping off. He drove over an hour, the other day to deliver furniture to a woman that needed furniture. So, as far as we can go, we’re going, but it’s tough when you’re doing it yourself.
Diana: Yeah. Is that part of the long-term plan now? I don’t know what long-term plan you’re having, but is it part of the long-term plan to expand to other places, or what is the thought on that?
Sherry: Well, we hope to go nationwide. I would love to be worldwide. Statewide I’m going now. We’re in Monterey County, Pennsylvania. So, countywide right now I do go into Lehigh Valley. We do go into North Hampton and the immediately surrounding areas we go outside and into that other County if someone needs it because we do work with their county’s programs and some state representatives and things that we’ve worked with. Physically, it’s just really hard to go further than that right now. So, once we get this branch solidified and generating its own funds and supporting itself, then hopefully we can go statewide. Then once we go statewide, we’ll have a good structure planned and we can go outside of that and go nationwide and it’ll be a little easier for us, but right now it’s trial and error.
Diana: But I love that because that’s the best way to evolve and I like that you have a vision for what you want to do? I actually want to go a bit back to the beginning again, because, you said, that it started out with you guys taking your grandson in. How did it get from, maybe not how did it get from, but how long did it take for you to go from doing that too saying, okay we really need to help other people in this situation as well, and then start the charity?
Sherry: I’m trying to think. She went to rehab a few years ago actually. We’ve been working on this for probably four years. He’s six now, he now lives with his other grandmother in Texas which is a few States over from us. But how it started, she went to rehab. That was in March one year and we realized we shouldn’t make it this hard, but then we had to take care of him. So, we really didn’t do anything until they left, and they’ve been gone, I think they’re on their third year. So, shortly after they moved out we started this. We started talking about it. We started talking to state representatives to see if there was a need for it, to see if anybody else provided the service that we provide, and also to see if this was something that was going to be a viable business.
I mean, this is a nonprofit, we don’t make any money, but it is a business, so you want it to be able to support itself. So, I’ve owned multiple businesses, profitable businesses. So, I had the structure and the understanding of how to run a business, but the problem is it’s a nonprofit so, at the end of the year, I don’t take any profit from, it goes back into the business and a lot of people, and I didn’t even know that until I started doing the research and the work and the homework and the progress of it all.
It’s costly because you have to incorporate, and then you have taxes, and you have to file with the state, and you have to file with the tax bureau and nonprofits and there are just so many things that you have to find out before you can even collect funds from people or ask people for money. You have to be legally allowed to do that. You just can’t say, hey, can you donate money? I didn’t know that either. You can get into big trouble for that. So, just finding things out as we go. Hopefully, I don’t get arrested.
Diana: I hope not. That would be a shame,
Sherry: Well, yeah. Well, I’m trying to do everything by the book. It’s really hard to do it all yourself again but…
Diana: When you say that running this as a viable business, is that including salary for you and your husband, or is that just like you said that you’re not taking anything out to yourself. But I’m thinking that most people who started a charity would like that to be their full-time job, but then there needs to be some kind of income for you as well. So, is that some kind of thought that you have in the plan.
Sherry: Eventually, possibly, if we make enough money. This is my baby. I started it. I’m growing it. I’m getting it to the point where I can hand it off to my husband and he’s going to run it and that is going to be his full-time job, but he can’t quit his regular job. He does construction. So, he can’t stop doing that until we can afford to pay a salary and then, of course, we’re going to need an executive director and all those things. So, eventually, yes, hopefully, it’s a viable business and he at least can get a salary, and then eventually, I don’t know if I’ll ever take one, but at that point, I guess we’ll decide it. I think the money needs to go back into the community and the purpose is more important than going in my pocket for a salary.
Diana: I think it’s one of the things that are really hard about doing charity work and doing fundraising. Because for me, I love doing fundraising and I do it for the MS foundation, but I do it as a private person and I do put a lot of time and effort into it. So, I either need to also have a full-time job or I need to figure out a way to earn some money in the process as well. I think it’s really a really, really hard balance to find so kudos to you guys for having figured out some way of doing it.
Sherry: Yeah, thank you. Well, we’re empty-nesters. So, thank God for that. Our kids are grown and out. My son has moved back with their babies to try to save to buy a house. So, they’re back with us, but you know, they can take care of their own. So, I have all this time outside of my job. So, that’s where I dedicate all my extra time, to charity.
Diana: That’s really cool. It’s funny, I don’t have kids, or we don’t have kids and I don’t know where you’re getting all of that extra time from, but I’m guessing it’s something about you’ve had kids or you have kids, but they’re grown. So, it’s kind of the feeling of not having kids home anymore.
Sherry: Yeah and it’s funny because I always feel like I’m supposed to be home to do something for somebody. It’s starting to hit. Reality is starting to hit where I don’t have to do that anymore. I have my own life. I have my own time.
Diana: I think it’s amazing that you’re then doing something that’s helping others in this way. I think everyone who does something like this starting their own charity or working a lot of hours for fundraising or for charity. I think it’s amazing. I really love people who do something selfless.
Sherry: Thank you.
Diana: That’s amazing. Okay, so you brushed on it a little bit, the process of starting this nonprofit and I’m not in the States and I’m not starting a nonprofit. At one point I may.
Sherry: Not yet.
Diana: Not yet. No, but like you said, you looked into and again, really great that you’re doing the research on it because I’m thinking if I should start some kind of charity, it would be around MS, but we have such an amazing, society for MS in Denmark already. So, why should I compete with that? So, it wouldn’t make sense. But I would love to hear about the process because of what I read from the forums that I’m in on Facebook and stuff. It is that it’s really, really hard and in the States and that’s because most people I see writing are from the States. But it’s a lengthy process and there needs to be a lot of things that you need to have, that need to be ready, and everything to start a nonprofit. So, could you walk me a little bit through the process? Maybe not into the teeny, tiniest details, but how is the process for starting, how was it for you for starting the charity?
Sherry: Well, I chose to not go with a lawyer because it’s expensive and I used to do paralegal. I have a little bit of input in that. So, it helps a lot. So, what I did is I started by incorporating. the nonprofit so you pay the fee, you file your incorporation paperwork, and then you get that back in. You have to file your 501(c)(3), which is your tax-deductible status.
Then I found out after the fact that you have to file with the federal government, which is 501(c)(3) then you have to go state government and file tax deduction status from the state that you live in. So, I’m at that period now, which is like 14 pages of documents that you have to fill out. Then after that, I think there are a couple of other smaller documents that you have to file as well, like solicitation forms and things, because you legally have to be able to solicit in the state that you live in.
So, to get funds and get people to donate and then you have to file tax documentation and things like that. It would probably have been easier and maybe cheaper to do it with a lawyer. He wanted, I think, $500 upfront, which I didn’t have at the time. So, I chose to do it in little stages which is why it pushed our fundraising out about a year before I started in fundraising. That’s basic. Where I’m at now we’re still in the process of assembling our board of directors and our committees and things like that.
I have people waiting for me too, to get set up and you have to create bylaws and you have to create articles of incorporation and you have to file those. So, there are all these different little things that intermingle with each other. So, you have to do them at the proper point, I guess, of filing so you don’t get in trouble. There is a book, and I don’t know if I should plug it or not, but “Nonprofit for Dummies” has helped me. It’s very, very simple. It’s very, very detailed on what you need to do and how you need to do it and if it wasn’t for the book, I would never have done what I’ve done so far. It’s been a huge, huge help.
I mean, there are others out there and the Facebook groups have been a great helped me. Nonprofits you just type in nonprofit and you can get all sorts of groups and there’s a couple that I joined and they’re very informative and people are willing to help you and willing to get you to where you need to go, which is really, really great that you have the support network on Facebook and it’s easy enough to use. So, that’s how I did it. I don’t know if it’s right. It worked for me.
Diana: That’s the most important part.
Sherry: It works for me for right now. Eventually yeah we’ll have enough money to pay a lawyer and eventually we’ll have enough money to pay people to do what we’re doing and to double-check it and make sure that I’ve done everything properly. But the most important thing to me right now was to get started and get out there and start helping people because people need stuff. If I could do it in any way, that’s why I did it. We tried to find a fiscal sponsor and what that is an existing corporation nonprofit that is already in business.
What they do is they just handle your money for you, and they take a cut of that money. So, they make a little money on your money basically. So, you can collect funds and fundraise and do all that. We chose to not do that. We chose to do it on our own, If I would have really hunted for a fiscal sponsor that would have been another avenue which would have been a little bit easier on us, but there’s nobody else like us so it’s kind of hard to network with somebody that doesn’t do what you do. That’s about the gist of my process anyway. Hopefully, it helps somebody.
Diana: I’m sure it will. I think it’s important to know that it’s not just easy-peasy to do this and like I said, in previous episodes as well, it’s should be fun as well hence the title of the podcast, but it’s also a lot of hard work. That’s just how it is. I want to get into the fundraising part of it, but I do have a small question before I do that. You were saying all this about there are so many legal things that need to be in place before you’re allowed to raise money, and then I’m thinking of all of these small sites like GoFundMe and I don’t know what they’re called other than that actually where people set up these small events kind of things where they raise money for individual people. Is that actually allowed then?
Sherry: In order for me to put up a GoFundMe page for our charity, do Facebook fundraising or, Amazon Smile. Before I could do anything of the sort I had to file for the 501(c)(3). Thank God it only took two weeks for me to get. Some people say it takes months to get the 501(c)(3). I could not do anything without that. So, I mean, personally, if I wanted to raise funds, I could not do it for a charity unless the charity was registered 501(c)(3). So, personally, I tried to fundraise to put money into the charity money, but that didn’t work. They shut me down because it wasn’t a legally formed charity yet. So, that’s where I hit a brick wall.
Diana: Okay, but you can do it as a private person saying that okay. I want to have a humongous birthday party this year. So, I’m going to fundraise for that. You’re allowed to do that on GoFundMe for example.
Diana: Okay. That’s strange.
Sherry: Well, yeah.
Diana: Yeah. okay. So, you’re not allowed to do anything as a charity without this one document. How many different documents do you need to file?
Sherry: I think I’m up to six right now.
Diana: Okay. But then if there are 14 pages each, that also becomes quite a lot of work.
Sherry: Yeah, it took me a while. The 14-page document for the 501(c)(3) was probably 23 pages, I think by itself. A lot of it didn’t pertain to me, so you can put N/A in there, but then there was another one for Pennsylvania that I just got done. That one’s 14 pages and that one, it bounced back four times. I didn’t do things properly. You have to have every single spot filled in whether it pertains to you or not. It has to be a zero or a N/A and then I had to have another document to back one of the answers up and it just it’s non-stop. So, finally, we got our last piece of information into them and I’m waiting for a response. So, fingers crossed.
Diana: Fingers crossed. Yeah. Okay. So, your advice to others would be, be very particular when you fill out these forms because you can…
Diana: It’s time-consuming if you get it redacted over and over again.
Sherry: Yes. Very time-consuming. Be very meticulous, be very precise on your answers. Make sure your answers are consistent because they check for that. You want to have the same, same answer for the same question, no matter what form you fill out. So, take lots of notes for yourself and just repetition over and over and over again.
Diana: Okay, so fundraising. Yea! How much did you guys fundraise until now? If you don’t want to tell us that that’s also fine, but what have you been doing to fundraise from when you started till now?
Sherry: I think I’m up to about $650 right now and we’re grateful for every penny we get, and we try and use it to the best of its ability. So, what I have done, I started by just telling all my friends and family. So, we’ve gotten checks from people that I’ve grown up with or, that know me or family that supports me and things like that. My parents and everybody that I know. So, I reached out to everybody I know. Some people gave us checks. Some people gave us stuff. Some people just spread the word which helps so much more than money sometimes.
So, that started the process. Just trying to get a little bit in dribs and drabs of money here and there to put in the bank and help us with, business cards or marketing materials and we have our first shirts with our logo on it for golf outings. When my husband does golf outings, or I go to meet a client or something. So, a t-shirt, that’s huge. It’s $30, but you know, it takes a lot of money to do that stuff. The other things that we have done right now, we had a Tupperware fundraiser.
Diana: You need to explain that.
Diana: How does that work?
Sherry: I love Tupperware. So, what I was thinking is, okay, so strategically planning in my brain. I wanted to layout our fundraisers, according to what time of the year it is, because school’s starting, holidays are coming. So, I’m planning those things out. Tupperware fundraiser, what our Tupperware rep has done did for us and she was amazing. She did a fundraiser for us and 15% of the proceeds went into our bank account. So, for somebody that did a Tupperware order, we get 15% of that. Plus, at the end, we get half-price items.
We got free items. So, the free items are going to go into a tricky tray, which we are planning. For the half-price items, I personally paid the difference and bought things for the charity so we can put it as a fundraising gift or a silent auction prize or things like that. So, the Tupperware fundraiser was great for us. We earned $111 and 11 cents. I think by the time we were done for a week and a half worth of work for us,
Diana: That’s a really nice number.
Sherry: Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t bad considering it’s on Facebook and that’s about it. Then we did a Pampered Chef. I mean, we didn’t make as much with the Pampered Chef. It was like $40 waiting on the check, but it was fun. It gets people out there involved. You buy something, you like, you buy something you believe in, and we get 10%. If we would’ve made more sales, the percentage goes up with Pampered Chef. So, we earned $400 in sales. So, we get 10%. If we would’ve got $600 or more in sales, we would’ve gotten 15%. So, because we’re new the traffic’s not there yet. Next, we’re doing a Thirty-One Bag. I don’t know if you guys know what that is.
Diana: No idea.
Sherry: They’re like good quality. They have tote bags and lunchboxes and backpacks and things along those lines here in the States. We get 15% of profit or no, 20% of the profits goes to us from them, no matter what we earn. So, you buy a tote bag, we get 20% of that. Also, our rep is wonderful. She is putting a sponsorship program together. You can purchase a backpack, filled with goodies for a child in need and pay her directly. It’s $23.33. I think something along those lines. You buy that and then it gets shipped directly to us and then we hand it out to a child in need.
Diana: That’s amazing.
Sherry: So, she’s been networking for us. She’s been adding people to our, event and all that. So, Thirty-One Bags Tiffany has been amazing to work with. Our next big event we’re planning is in December. It’s not quite there yet, but in the planning, but I think that’s about it. Oh, we’re doing Norwex also. Organic cleaning products that are coming up. So, we have one a month. I’m doing one a month online and then eventually once we’re in COVID lockdown, So, a lot of people don’t want to get together and trying to do all the online stuff we can do now. Then once we can go out and be social again, we’ll start doing some community events. But for right now, it’s about all we can do.
Diana: I think that sounds like a lot, and it’s amazing that you’re doing so much when everyone is in lockdown as well. I think it’s really great. I’m curious about how do you get these collaborations? Because it seems like you’re very good at finding these collaborations where you get X percent of the profit from it.
Sherry: Most of the companies that do consulting. So, Avon and Sensi and, not in support of all these things, but all these different companies, they offer a fundraising program. So, with the fundraising program that you offer you some perks. So, you earn some money, and you get, you know, a percentage, whether it be five, 10, 20% and from there, some of them give you free product, or they give you half off as being the host and we use that towards other fundraising events and try to sell it and make some money.
Diana: So, that’s something you would just go into their websites and figure out.
Sherry: That or I just reach out to some reps. I’ll find a product that I really, really like. Like I found out about Norwex, which is all organic cleaning products. So, it’s reusable shammies and reusable floor claws and all-natural, organic cleaning sprays and things like that. I thought that was really, a great product. So, I reached out to the rep and I said, do you guys do fundraisers? And she goes, oh, absolutely. So, just ask, that’s what it comes down to.
Diana: Nope. That’s very good advice.
Sherry: It doesn’t hurt to ask right.
Diana: Exactly. Okay. So, I also want to hear a bit more about what you’re doing from now and ongoing, but I’m also curious before we talk about that. Since you guys are new, what have you done other than you said you reached out to your own network, of course? What have you done to spread the word around about you to get sponsors and to get people to donate money and stuff, but also to people who need your help?
Sherry: Well, we started with state representatives, and they guided us a little bit along the way of, who to go to, who to talk to, what events to become. I do business card exchanges locally, chamber of commerce. I’m not a member of the chamber, but they throw two or three years, I think, free, events or they’re 10 or $15. You pay a fee, where you do a business card swap. So, you go there, you mix, you mingle. and you talk to people, tell them what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and, you know, find out what they’re doing. So, you network with each other. Anything that’s free is for me. So, I’m very, very thrifty when it comes to trying to market myself because I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to.
So, it’s just a word of mouth community. Get to get out there and tell anybody you can and when somebody believes in you, they tell everybody. So, I think what is it? They say one good word gets you one good result but then one bad one gives you three bad results. So, you want to get as much positive reinforcement as you can without getting any negatives. So, you would just want to make sure you do everything the way it should be done and portray yourself as positive and know what you’re talking about before you do it. I think that has a lot to do with it.
Diana: That makes sense. You know what, I found that it can actually be really hard because when you have to market yourself. For me, I know it’s not quite the same because this is the podcast and this is my goal for fundraising, but then I have the Instagram page and then the podcast. then it’s like, okay so, I don’t want to be stepping on anyone’s toes, but am I doing that by doing this and can I get bad reviews, and can I get?
All of these things about, okay so it needs to be positive. It needs to be happy. It needs to be, I really don’t want to get in the way of anyone. I’m thinking that that might be even more so when you have your own charity because you don’t want anyone bad mouthing you or talking about, oh, and then they just used all the money for something totally different or… It doesn’t even need to be true but if you step on someone’s toes, right, you get a rumor or you get something so I’m thinking it can be quite hard.
Sherry: I have an example. I’m not going to use names or charities or anything along that note. I was on Facebook the other day and I’m looking at the pages, reading, news feeds, and things like that because I like to put input where I can, where it can help people and they started bashing this one charity. I was like, I went on the charity site, I pulled up the site, I copied the link. I put the link there. I said, before you guys start running your mouth about nothing you know about, please do some homework. They were trying to say that the money doesn’t go anywhere, or the CEO makes a million and a half dollars a year.
Well, first of all, the CEO is responsible for not only, and I found this out, not only are you responsible for what you do, you’re responsible for every single person that works or volunteers in your charity. That’s a lot of responsibility. You should get a million dollars a year if your charity is that big and this one was. But I’m like they don’t realize that you’re ultimately responsible for every board member, every volunteer, every employee, every person that you donate to. You’re responsible for all of that. Insurance doesn’t cover a lot of it. That’s a big responsibility to get paid $50,000 a year, in a realistic view. So, that million dollars that person absolutely is worth that million dollars. It’s a lot of money to take from the charity, but…
Diana: I actually think that’s an important discussion as well because the thing is that’s a discussion that’s up a lot in Denmark as well with some of the charities. The CEO’s get a huge salary. And the thing is that, like you say, they have really, a lot of responsibility, but also it’s kind of like, okay, so this CEO is a former minister of something or this CEO is a former something and they’re known. So, the value they bring to the charity is often that much higher than the salary they are getting.
So, one thing is the risk that they’re having but the other thing is, it’s the same one you’re saying like, oh, this TV station. We have something in Denmark that like cancer shows that are on TV every year. They collect an insane amount of money. Every year it’s like, okay, they use this much money to produce this thing. It’s like, yes, but it’s like 14% of what came out of it. The last. 86% is still going and that wouldn’t have been there if they didn’t use that 14% to put this out there. So, some money has to go to the administration. That’s just how it is.
Sherry: Yeah. It’s I mean, it’s realistic. I mean, come on, look how much a hockey player gets or a baseball player gets, and they don’t do much for anybody, but themselves. Come on.
Diana: That became a whole rant. Yeah. Sorry. Okay. So, let’s just talk a bit about what are your plans. So, do you have any amazing plans for fundraising going forward?
Sherry: We do. Today I just got off the phone just before I started speaking to you with a girl that’s going to handle our fundraising events. She is somebody that I had worked with in another professional aspect of things. So, I know of her. Great girl. So, needless to say, we are working on our first Tricky Tray event. I’m not sure if you know what that is.
Diana: No idea.
Sherry: You buy raffle tickets and it’s kind of like a silent auction. So, you have items lined up and you have little buckets in front of the items, and you buy raffle tickets and you put your raffle ticket in the jar. So, you’re selling the raffle tickets and ultimately, put it in for like a lottery. Then when the sale, the tricky tray is over somebody pulls a raffle ticket out of the jar and it says who’s the winner of that product. So, we’re planning that, but I think we’re going to try and plan it at a local winery with some drinks and hors d’oeuvres and things like that. So, more of a social event as well.
With the lockdown of COVID here in the States, it’s really, really hard to get that community sense and networking. So, I’m hoping, we’re going to do that in the middle of December. So, for the holiday may be a coupon off your ticket if you bring a toy for a needy child or something along those lines, but we’re going to do the Tricky Tray event. So, all the local businesses and everything that has been donated to us we’re going to put those up and raffle them off.
Diana: Okay. How much would a raffle ticket cost?
Sherry: I guess that depends. You have a ticket to the event, so that would cover your food drinks, and then maybe a little portion comes back to us and that would cover the marketing and all the expenses that come before that. Then after that, you would buy the raffle tickets. So, maybe a dollar a ticket or five for $3 kind of thing. So, you get like a bonus if you buy bulk or $10, something like that. But usually, a dollar or two a ticket, and the more tickets you buy, it all depends on what kind of scheme of things she’s going to be doing. Then from there, the ticket to entry tickets where you really make the money. But the donations kind of go hand in hand or if we do a silent auction, what you do is you write your name down and how much you’re willing to bid, and then somebody can outbid you. So, then that person will put their name down and outbid you, and hopefully, that would raise more money than the private product is worth, but the money goes to charity. So, it’s a write-off.
Diana: All of the products would be something you get sponsored.
Sherry: Yep. Everybody would donate everything. I’m already compiling things from local businesses, for charity plus like the Tupperware extras that I got. I ordered a bunch of things that go together so I can make a collection, picnic basket, or something like that. So, that’s one of our fundraising events. The other one, what we hope to do in the very, very near future is to have a restore
Diana: Sorry, a what?
Sherry: What we would do, is take the used products that people donate to us and put them in a thrift store environment, sell them off, take the money and put it in our account, but then buy new for people that need it. So, I can provide a new crib and a new crib sheet and things like that. So, that’s kind of the direction we’re going. So then when we would get more donations and, sell them off.
Diana: For example, you told me in the beginning of the conversation that people would come back with what you donated to them. They would come back with that then you would sell that and then the next person would get something new as well.
Sherry: Yeah. That’s what the goal would be to hopefully earn enough money to fund that.
Diana: That sounds like a cool idea as well actually. This is so interesting, and I see that we’re running out of time.
Sherry: Oh no!
Diana: Yeah, there are so many interesting, ideas here and my mind is just flowing with ideas. How can I incorporate some of this in my own thing and how can I do this in a good way? I have way too much stuff already that I’m doing.
Sherry: I know. Doesn’t that always happen?
Diana: Yeah, I should stop getting inspired. But Sherry, thank you so much. Is there anything you would like to plug? Let me know where we can get a hold of you if would like to donate to you, or if we would like to get your input on something.
Sherry: Well, our website is beautiful. an amazing website just got built by a friend of ours. It’s angelanddragonfliescc.org. We also are on Facebook. We are Instagram. We are on LinkedIn, Amazon Smile. So, if you shop on Amazon, you can do Amazon Smile for us. Everywhere in the world. Google us. We’ll pop up everywhere.
Diana: I will definitely link to all of these things in the show notes and on my website,
Sherry: Good. I will share and you know, hopefully, if you keep going, maybe you’ll become a nonprofit.
Diana: Maybe at some point, not the plan right now. I have lots of plans for everything else, but not the plan right now. Sherry, thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Not just me, hopefully, but a lot of people listening. So, I’m so happy that I could get you on the podcast.
Sherry: Oh, I’m so glad to be here. I hope if anybody had thought of becoming a nonprofit, just do it. Follow your heart and go for it. That’s all I can say.
Diana: Great. Thank you.
That was a great interview with Sherry, and she had a lot of great ideas and points. I just want to say that I’m going to link for the book that she spoke about in the show notes. There are also these Facebook groups that she spoke about, and I said, just go to Facebook and search for “Nonprofit for Dummies” like she said, because there’s a lot of different groups. I’m also in a couple of them and there’s a lot of inspiration to gather from those groups.
I want to talk about two things that she brought up in the interview. One is to remember to fill out the forms correctly. If you are doing anything where you’re having to fill out forms. It seems that you really have to be very, very specific with how you fill out these forms remembering to ride either 0 or N/A whenever it’s not applicable to you if you’re in the States at least. I’ve spoken to others about this as well, that when you hand in documents and they’re not filled out correctly, then you just get them back and you need to hand them in again, filled correctly.
Someone told me that they handed it in and then they just got the paper bag with everything they needed to fill in. It’s almost like the government wrote it for them. So, that’s amazing. But otherwise, it could also be that it’s just a lot of extra work for you. So, if you have the opportunity to check this out before you send in the papers and figure out if you’ve done it correctly, I would definitely do that to save yourself some time because as Sherry also said that it’s. There is a lot of work on this. Oh, wow. Okay. My Siri just went off. Sorry about that.
That’s what happens, but yeah. So, remember to fill out these forms correctly, for sure. The other thing that I think is a really interesting discussion is, and one, like I said, in the interview that I’m also trying to figure out a little bit is how large, a part of the donation is it okay that goes towards administration? I’ve spoken about this before in relation to my own fundraising. The whole thing about doing, having a job, or having this being my job and. I think it’s really interesting looking at the CEOs and the people in high positions. They get large salaries and people are really offended by that. But again, also with some of the fundraisers I’ve been interviewing, I have no idea what their salaries are, but I really hope it’s high salaries saying that if they can bring in multiple millions a year for a charity, then they deserve to have quite a bit of a salary because if they weren’t there the charity probably wouldn’t get that because it’s about networking and networking and networking.
So, they are the ones who are actually getting those large donations. I remember both Sam in the last episode and several more speaking about this, that they were starting off having people donating maybe $50 or $500, and then it’s their work that’s going to help the organization getting this to being a $5,000 donation or $1 million donations for that matter. They do deserve to get credit for that also monetary. So, I am actually all for that. People get paid a good amount of money and a lot of the fundraisers in my opinion, not my opinion, but what I experience is that they are amazing people.
So, the salaries they get, I’m almost certain that most people then donate part of that as well, because they’re great people. So, they donate either to the charity they’re working for or other charities that they have close to them or both maybe. So, I think it’s, it’s a discussion that should be taken more and well not a discussion but it’s something that should be looked at more and it should be told that there’s a reason why people get these huge salaries.
So, okay. That was just me up on my high horse here. That’s it for today’s episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. Now I’m hoping that you will go and really enjoy your week. In next week’s episode, I will be talking to Alicia and I am looking forward to sharing that interview with you. Have a great week. Bye.
Thank you for listening to the fund with fundraising podcast. I’m your host, Diana Lund and if you want to get a hold of me, you can find me on Instagram @funwithfundraisng or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your week.