Woodworking that aids non-profit charities

When not in my garage workshop I devote some time to several non- profit charities. Most non-profits support their charitable work by begging businesses for part of their profits, which in many cases are few and far between. Various other schemes ranging from A Walk for _______ (insert the charity name) to A Taste of ______ (insert the name of a local city or group of restaurants) are thought up and held each year in hopes of raising funds to keep the non-profit charity operating for another year. Here is how woodworking might come into the picture.
I was thinking that woodworkers (commercial and hobbyist) might be interested in contributing some of their time in making projects that would highlight their individual talents and skills, to be raffled off with the profits going to the non-profit charity. I know that Wood Magazine has a national contest for woodworkers who make and contribute toys for needy children near the Christmas holidays. Has anyone heard of or participated in a local area woodworking project that aided a non-profit charity?
I was thinking that a project for each years challenge would be set, such as a plant stand, and the materials for the project could be pre- packaged and sold to each participant. The cost of the materials package would be refunded to the woodworker after completion of the project. Packages would include a set amount of wood. Different packages might include woods such as oak, cherry, or walnut. Participants would be encouraged to design the project however they wished (within certain specified standards, i.e. max/min height). A basic plan might be included with the materials for those not wanting to design their own. At the end of the competition juried awards could be given.
I understand that there would be lots of unforeseen problems with this fund raiser, but non-profit charities are always balanced on the edge of the abyss. If anyone has any experience with an activity such as this or has suggestions as to its practicality please let me know. Would a project such as this interest you if held in your area?
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I'd probably be interested, as long as there was a lot of advance notice - i.e. I'm working on a gift now that I really need to finish in less than a month, so I wouldn't interrupt that. But if I knew 6 mo ahead of time, and it were a charity I wanted to support, I'd definitely be interested in contributing. I'm not sure how I feel about pre-packaged materials, though. Why limit it like that? If you want to require, say, exclusive use of cherry, OK, but I don't think I'd want to use stock picked and cut by someone else. Interesting idea, Andy
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It is way too structured to be interesting to me. I have donated several projects to charity auctions. It is nice to see people bidding for your project.
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Trouble with this is if you donate to one then a bunch of others want stuff too. I donated an item to a local charity a couple of weeks ago and had another, I hadn't donated to. call up and say they were on thier way over to pick up thier donation. I don't mind donating to a few select groups but if you give to one you get 50 more asking for donations. I think I would rather pick and chose and not get on anymore mailing lists of phone lists.

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sweet sawdust wrote:

Did you tell them to stop by the bank on the way over?
Bill <--- has given a TON of hours to 'non-profits' ... enough to be more than a little cynical.
--
http://nmwoodworks.com/cube


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Hey Bill,
The President of this charity lives in your town... http://hs-usa.org
The annual Boad meeting and Educational Conference is in Philly, PA this year, June 14 - 17. Your stuff on your Web page looks great, but perhaps a bit "high-end" for most HS folks, but simple little pill boxes, bookmarks, and other small wooden items for the fund raising auctions would be gratefully received.
No need to be cynical about that one. It is all volunteers, NO paid employees, and no theives. 100% of the members are patients with that disease and/or family/care-givers of patients. It's a very good cause... just people in pain with an incurable skin disorder. I know. I have HS.
Axel
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My reaction to this event/call if that was in fact the words and approach they used would have to very quietly, but very firmly point out that it is MY decsiion to whom I may donate time and services, and how much, and their phone call has assured that I will not choose their charity next time either.
For them to feel they can impose upon you merely becuase you have made a donation is simply wrong. A better approach would be to ask if there was any possibility you would consider them next time you are donating - may be a different story, but to be so presumptuous is rude.
I have private contributions to charity I make for very specific historical reasons, that make me feel right, and I have a different policy at work, where I write a specific cheque for a set group of local organisations, for more commercial reasons. I don't have any more to give, whether that be because of time/affordability or just mean nature, is my business....
Wish I had more time :-)
Mike Brisbane Qld
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My reaction to a charity that called and said they were coming to picjk something up would be to encourage them to come on over, then when they arrive, ask what charity they represnet (including a check of ID), a loooong lok through my file cabinets, then an "I'm sprry, but I can't find a record of you in my files? When did we discuss my donation"....
Of course, I would never consider contributing to a charity that uses this method to get donations, and I would make it clear to the individual that any further contact from that charity would be a waste of both of our time.....
--JD

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Mike writes;

I think we are wandering off topic. I certainly would never contact or solicit anyone for donations. As I stated, I thought a local challenge could be given and that anyone who wished to could participate. I was basically interested in whether anyone had organized or participated in such a charitable project in the past and might offer constructive advice. I can see this idea would probably have little chance for success. Thanks for your input.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Around here MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) has a quilt auction every year, and they also auction off wood items. The items are donated (in return for a tax receipt at appraised value) and are auctioned off to the highest bidder.
One local woodworker in particular has made over a dozen grandfather clocks, some of which have gone for more than $10000.
Chris
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