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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 :-)
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
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.
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.
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