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The Planet

Grassroots Fundraising Secrets Revealed

The Planet, December 1995, Volume 2, number 9

by Pat Veitch Leader/Activist Development Coordinator

Going, Going... Green

Victoria Thacker, fundraising chair for the Mother Lode Chapter, has turned its annual benefit auction into an innovative and educational event that has raised awareness as well as funds for conservation in Northern California. This year's event, titled "Going, Going...Green," showcased products made from recycled materials, including a CFC-free refrigerator and a sofa made in part from recycled plastics. Over 200 items were auctioned off, raising an estimated $12,000 for the chapter. "The array of products proves that principles and profit are not mutually exclusive," says Thacker. The event also drew local TV coverage. For information on developing a successful fundraising auction, contact Thacker at (916) 421-6609.

Texas Traveling

Outings events have proven one of the most successful aspects of the Houston Group's fundraising program. The annual "Sierra Club Spin" bike ride is one of its most popular. This year, participants cycled through the Katy Prairie, winter home to the largest concentration of migratory waterfowl in North America, and raised over $2,300 toward its protection. The group also raises about $5,000 each year holding outdoor-related training classes -- topics this year included backpacking, fly fishing, photography and native plants. Next year, the group is planning a backpackers' cooking class and an introduction to camping.

Drusha Mayhue, Houston Group fundraising chair, attributes the success of this program to "doing these things many times and getting better each time we do them." She also highly recommends the Grassroots Fundraising Road Show to any group or chapter that wants to host it. Call Larry Sherwood at (303) 440-8985 to find out how to bring the road show to your chapter.

Bayou Country Guide

"The Trail Guide to the Delta Country' has been one of our most successful fundraising programs because we've given our customers what they want," says Rene Maggio, New Orleans Group vice chair. The guide, which highlights backpacking, bicycling and canoeing in southern Louisiana and Mississippi, started as a collection of information and trail maps. As demand for it grew, volunteer John Sevenair edited and compiled the information into one comprehensive book, which is now available at many outdoor stores in the area. It has raised $12,000 for the group over the last two years.

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