When it comes to fundraising, there are a lot of groups looking for ways to raise money.
Some are tried and true, such as bingos, 50/50 draws and walk-a-thons. They are ways groups can raise the funds they need to operate, or to help fund the work they do within the local community, or at the provincial or national level in terms of disease research.
But in some cases the need to raise funds is larger than a walk-a-thon, or current incarnation of a bingo is capable of raising.
In such cases the needs are often in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Two local examples of groups with big needs are the Yorkton Terriers Hockey Club and the local efforts of Habitat For Humanity.
It requires a lot of money to operate a junior hockey club in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League these days, and whether it’s the cost of sticks, transportation to games, team meals, or hotel rooms, those costs are only going to rise.
On the other side is revenue, which has limited potential for growth. The price of a game ticket must stay competitive with a growing range of entertainment options, which include staying in a warm house watching a big screen television with access to a hundred-plus channels.
Junior teams must raise money away from the rink.
Habitat too has a major need for financial resources. While many corporate sponsors help them build homes, the need outstrips the ability of donated material to meet that demand.
Having a bank account with money in it could help the local HFH group build more homes on a quicker pace.
In both the case of the Terriers and Habitat, they are trying something new as a major fundraiser, projects tied closely to the agricultural roots of the city.
Seed to Score is a new fundraising effort in support of the Terriers (see related story this issue).
The program has a number of local businesses supporting the Terriers in an effort to grow a canola crop which they will market in the fall.
“We acquired 200 acres of land, some from the City of Yorkton, and some renting from Vern Brown,” explained Terrier general manager Don Chesney, adding the initial idea was put forth by club president Lyle Walsh.
Local businesses jumped on board with seed, fuel, equipment time and other inputs, setting up a situation where, if Mother Nature is supportive, the Terriers could harvest and sell a crop valued at $30-$50,000. That will be a major boost to the team’s bottom line.
Similarly, Habitat for Habitat has become a successful fundraising effort for the local Habitat For Humanity organization, one they hope to see grow in the years ahead. Since its initiation the Habitat for Habitat program has seen 140 to 200 acres seeded annually.
“We’d like to actually triple that if possible,” said program committee member Andrew Rae in a March 14 YTW story.
Rae said as a major fundraiser, the most consistent HFH has, the expansion of the cropping program would help achieve a major goal for the organization.
“We’d like to get to where Habitat for Humanity is self-sustaining,” he said, adding the crop program “gives us a good sustainable revenue source. It’s the biggest continuing fundraiser we’ve had in terms of returns.”
Certainly tieing such fundraisers to agriculture makes sense in our community and one must credit both Habitat and the Terriers for looking to a new way to help ensure their financial futures, as well as crediting those who have supported both efforts through donations of product, time and money.