Midwest MLA Fundraiser Initiative

Submitted by Edith Starbuck, Chair, Awards and Scholarships Committee

The financial situation of the Midwest Chapter / MLA and reduction in scholarships/grants awarded prompted Clare Leibfarth to suggest trying a fundraiser during the 2016 conference.  As Chair of the Awards Committee, I was asked to spearhead this fundraising initiative.  With the blessing of the Chapter Executive Board, planning got underway.  My colleague Sharon Purtee and Clare Leibfarth served as co-chairs.

Clare suggested a 50/50 raffle which she had done numerous times in other venues.  We also considered a silent auction but chose to try the raffle first.  The Midwest and Midcontinental conference planners supported our doing the raffle during the entire Des Moines Merge and Converge conference which enabled us to sell raffle tickets at every opportunity.  After receiving guidance on how to manage the ticket selling from Midwest Chapter Treasurer, Liz Kiscaden, we began to promote the 50/50 raffle.  We purchased a cash box, cash aprons, and raffle tickets to use during the conference and created name tags, signs, and promotional blurbs to put on seats and tables.

For those who may not have seen the 50/50 raffle promotions, here’s how the raffle worked.  Tickets were sold ($1/each; $5/for 6; $10 for 15) and the winner of the raffle drawing received 50% of the total sales and 50% went to the Midwest Chapter / MLA Awards and Scholarships fund. Participation in the raffle was completely voluntary.

How well did the raffle work?  Preparations were not arduous except when the treasurer had to do provide last minute and unexpected paperwork to receive the Iowa gaming license for which had the chapter had paid months in advance. Conference attendees graciously purchased tickets throughout the conference and when we held the raffle drawing, the total amount had reached $488.00.  Gabe Rios, Library Director of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library won $244 and the Midwest MLA Awards and Scholarship fund received the other half plus an additional $30 that came in after the drawing had closed for a total of $259.00.

What comes next?  The Midwest Chapter finances are such that fundraising for scholarships and awards will need to continue.  Each conference scholarship award includes conference registration and $500.  The 50/50 raffle fundraiser gave us an idea of how much we might expect to raise during an annual conference.  The chapter is already looking into ways to enable donations to a scholarship and awards fund throughout the year but especially during membership renewal.

Although the 50/50 raffle was fairly easy to carry out, dealing with gaming licenses in each state makes it more challenging to arrange.  So a silent auction will likely be the type of fundraiser done during the 2017 Midwest Chapter MLA conference in Ann Arbor.  Keep your eyes open for fundraising developments!

There were many who helped bring the 50/50 raffle fundraiser to fruition.  Special thanks go to the Midcontinental Chapter for their willingness to participate in a fundraiser for the Midwest Chapter and to the Midwest Chapter / MLA Executive Board for their support and advice.  In particular, I want to thank Treasurer Liz Kiscaden for doing an outstanding job of managing the gaming license paperwork at the last minute, Janna Lawrence for her support, council, and willingness to print fundraiser flyers, Amy Blevins for helping to promote the fundraiser, scholarship recipients Stephanie Hendren and Karlene Campbell for selling raffle tickets, Bette Sydelko for carrying fundraising materials to Iowa in her car, and my fellow co-chairs, Clare Leibfarth and Sharon Purtee for all their work and support.

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