Friday, March 13, 2009

My Future Resort (p7) - Community Involvement

Fundraising is driven by desire – fire departments, girl scouts, victims, etc. all want to do something specific and need money in order to do it. Fire departments have fundraiser breakfast and supper events to get better equipment and to maintain what they have. Girl scouts sell cookies to go on trips and do things. Victims are often the subject of a fundraiser to help cover large medical bills. Each group wants something, puts forth a little bit of investment and time, and earns a lot of money in return.

Attendees are often happy with the good food and are happy to know that their money is going to a worthy cause. For all of the community fundraisers I've been the money-taker for, I've noticed that people are quite generous. It's common that people will round-up to the nearest $20 or $50 increment, and spend a lot on raffle tickets, simply because they know it's going to a good cause. An observation I've made is that people are often willing to use a coupon to save a dollar on groceries, and are often willing to give a dollar to charity. Both of these actions make them happy, even though they break even. The same people that are willing to work for a cheaper stay at your venue may also be willing to attend and spend money at the fundraisers, so don't count them out.

Most nudist venues already have one of the best resources available for fundraising -- people with time. Full-time residents are often lounging around and enjoying the sunshine while doing a whole lot of nothing. Currently, they have little desire to raise funds for anything, since all they need is enough money to pay for the cost of living. In part 5 (Economics of Crowdsourcing), I suggested a way to encourage people to raise funds for future improvements. They have the time, and now they have the desire, so fundraising will take off.

After a while, fundraising becomes an easy task and people get used to the idea. The venue has bake sales, craft sales, raffles, auctions, and a whole bunch of creative fundraisers with all proceeds going toward venue improvements. It's time to change the rules, because trouble can arise if we keep on this path. We need to invest in preventing future trouble.

What future trouble am I talking about? Being closed down. There are a several reasons why nudist venues can be forced to close, but most of them involve the community. Nudist venues can't be introverts. They need to integrate and be a positive member of the community, in such a way that the community knows about it.

It's a good move to start taxing your internal fundraisers. For example, 10% of any fundraiser profits should go into a community charity account. For people-power, consider a rent discount for those who put on clothes and do community service. This is fair, since they are giving up a day of nudity and aren't using the venue's facilities.

Once you have these resources, find an optimal way to contribute to the community. Buy steps or bricks with your name on them for community gardens or projects. Donate money or food to the local food pantry. (If this is at a church, they shouldn't condemn your venue if you're donating to the same cause as them.) Volunteer for adopt-a-trail or adopt-a-highway programs, especially if there is a sign indicating who is maintaining them. Sponsor community events, since they usually offer space for an advertisement. The community will view you as an active supporter, and the community will appreciate that. In return, there is less chance that the community will go against your venue in the future. The more you can do, the better off everyone will be.

Another recommendation, since your venue now houses full-time fundraising professionals, is to help out or provide community fundraisers. Here's an example: Everyone in town knows Alice, and Alice has fallen ill recently and can't afford the medical bills. Some people at your venue also know Alice and want to help out. Instead of having a nudist fundraiser at the venue, rent the community center and host a clothed fundraising event there. People will attend to support Alice, and the side-benefit will be meeting a bunch of the local nudists (clothed). They will reach the conclusion that we nudists are normal, fun, social people who are just as caring as the rest of the community. It'll give them the informal opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the nudist lifestyle. Once people understand they may eventually consider participating, or at least be OK with the choice of others to do so.

Simple ideas like this can go a long way in promoting naturism.



Anonymous said...

How about starting a "Green" Country Club Instead? Madison is perfect for that kind of place.

Think about it people would pay dues to Grow their own Food and sell the excess to the club.

They would be free to wear no clothing at all times.

Use the Pool, play tennis, or play golf.

Make money by having "Green" weddings. People pay more for that. Willy St Coop could cater.

Anonymous said...

You guys have some good ideas.

I like the idea of nude gardening, but Madison's closet venue is 30 miles away at Valley View. They DO have a huge empty field adjacent to the camp that's only used for overflow parking, it could support a lot of small gardens. Plus, it's separate from the camp so textile gardeners souldn't be a problem. They'll only have to deal with nude gardeners.

They could sell excess produce to the club or, via the club, donate to a food pantry, etc. Tax credits! Publicity!

Income for the club, introduce new folks to the lifestyle, use empty land, get good food for club events, and maybe do some good for the community.

Plus, bring some younger people into the picture.

A.C., maybe you should talk to them. You might get an accociate membership out of it for setting it up!

On the completely other hand, some clubs shun publicity to the point that the townies next door don't even know that nudies are running around virtually on their doorstep.