By Katie Cordy
It is incredibly important that any fundraising that you do is legal according to local laws, or you could risk fines, lawsuits, or worse. What is legal varies highly depending on your country, state, county, and even city. Do you know what is allowed for fundraising for your troop or club?
Frontier Girls and Quest Club Rules for Fundraising
If you are a member of either Frontier Girls or Quest Clubs, neither force troops to fundraise in specific and limited ways, unlike other scout-like organizations. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Does your fundraising represent Frontier Girls LLC, your club or troop, yourself, and your members well? Your fundraising should be respectful, legal, ethical, and safe, promoting positive ideals and professionalism. Envision the kindest, cookie-baking, rosy-cheeked grandma. If your fundraising idea causes this grandma to disapprove, it might be time to brainstorm another idea.
You can use the Frontier Girls and Quest Club logos on signage to encourage people to come as long as you use your Troop # or Club Name in addition to the logo, but you cannot use either logo for packaging purposes. For instance, you can use the logos on a sign guiding the public to a Community Yard Sale, but cannot use it on packaging for cookies at a bake sale.
It is important that whatever form of fundraising your partake in – bake sale, yard sale, fun run, etc. – that you follow the local laws. This requires a bit of research, as every country, state, county, even city can differ on their requirements. You may be required to register your troop or purchase a permit depending on what you would like to do. Some activities that are legal in one state may be illegal in another.
Keep in mind: laws change. Check before every fundraiser that your local laws haven’t changed, and that you are still running a legal fundraiser.
Certain states require that your fundraiser is registered, has a permit, and/or has certain signage or labeling. California, for instance, has their “Cottage Food Approved Food List” which updates every few months to show what food can be sold for bake sales. California’s Cottage Food law also requires that food be packed with a label that meets specific requirements, as well as the seller be registered and have a permit.
Depending on local laws, certain fundraising activities may have an age restriction on them. For instance in many states, bingo is illegal as a fundraiser for those who are under 18 years of age. In other states, bingo is an illegal fundraiser for all ages as it is seen as a form of gambling. Raffles of all varieties, bingo, bunko, poker, and similar activities should always be checked with local laws on not only permits and registrations, but also on these age restrictions and legality.
Fundraising with Others
Many groups, especially schools, fundraise through companies and businesses to raise money. This includes a percentage of a purchase given by a local restaurant, or selling a product through a company like Jamba Juice, See’s Candy, or World’s Finest Chocolate. This may be an option for your troop or club. However, if your troop or club is not running through a non-profit, you may not be able to do these types of fundraising. Certain companies and businesses will only take part in fundraising for those with a non-profit status. Check with businesses and companies to make sure that your club or troop is eligible.
Depending on how you are running your troop or club, taxes will look different for you. Your donors may get tax write-offs, they may not. You may have exceptions or other paperwork that you need to file with the IRS or your country’s revenue service so that you are able to keep a higher amount of your earnings.
If your troop or club is run through a non-profit, then you have non-profit status. If you have non-profit status, then your donors can get tax write-offs for direct donations. You are also more likely to be able to fundraise through a company or business. However, you also may have more limitations placed on you regarding the types of fundraising you can partake in. There also may be extra paperwork for you to file with the IRS or your country’s revenue service. With everything, check your local laws.
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