By Kirk Murphy
The passion, drive and creativity of RMEF volunteers and staff never ceases to amaze me, especially in times of adversity. With all the shelter at home orders and travel restrictions that started in March, RMEF had to halt our in-person fundraising events and reschedule or cancel well over a hundred big game banquets. Amidst all this, RMEF staff and volunteers keep working to raise funds for the mission! We’ve taken to social media and other online platforms to keep the funds flowing. Here are a few options available.
Online Auctions— Starting in April, RMEF staff developed an online auction platform and debuted that in May with great success. So far, we ran a test run of five auctions, with one each in Texas, California, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. RMEF chapters and Regional Directors have used this new tool to sell a variety of merchandise at some very good price points, generating much needed cash flow for the organization. If you are part of a chapter that has had to cancel your banquet this year, work with your regional director on an online auction, it’s a great way to generate some income and move some inventory.
Sweeps— Another great tool RMEF regional directors deployed in April was state sweepstakes. By using sweeps, it keeps us legal in all 50 states regardless of gaming regulations. Since these sweeps prizes are firearms only, it helps us move firearm inventory. Some states have the luxury of no gaming regulations, so it is legal to hold state raffles online. Talk to your regional director about these tools.
Social Media Raffles— RMEF has created graphics showcasing the Reeds boards merchandise so chapters can easily run a raffle on Facebook. Some chapters are also running other raffles on Facebook or through email, text and phone calls. For example, Utah regional director Ron Camp has been raffling gift cards on the Utah RMEF Facebook Page with strong results, and Massachusetts volunteer Fred Simmons has raffled items via phone and email. If you’re interested in launching your own raffle, contact your regional director to get approval and ensure the proposed action is legal in your state. These are some good tools to generate some income if a banquet can’t be held.
Statewide Winner-take-all drawings and raffles—RMEF is holding drawings and raffles in the East. We’ve now created a function in Event Management System (EMS) that allows regional directors to upload a one-page graphic flyer to promote these raffles. Our creative department custom-makes the graphic based on the regional director’s request and needs. Once it’s finished, the flyer can be uploaded and emailed twice to the selected audience.
As states start to loosen restrictions over the next few weeks, we are hopeful that some rescheduled RMEF banquets can take place later this summer. But in the meantime, please consider using some of the tools mentioned above; all have proven successful! Your regional director can easily guide you through the process. If your event is canceled this year, these tools will be a huge help in generating some net income that RMEF can put on the ground for elk and elk country.
As always, thank you for being a volunteer for RMEF! Your passion and drive are what makes this organization great!