FRG Fundraising

PrincessSuzanne

<font color=red>Guess I will be eating crow tonigh
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Ok, so I am our Reserve Unit FRG Treasurer, my BFF is the FRG Leader and we are trying to come up with thngs to do to raise funds for our Unit, because we have no budget to do anything. So far we have been selling snacks and coffee/drinks during the 2-3 day each month our husbands have drill, but we need to amp it up and raise more. Anybody with any ideas/suggestions?
 

lovemygoofy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
So I hate all things to do with FRG fundraising but understand it is a necessary evil.

What is the goal of your fundraising? Do you have more than one or two people doing the work? Who is the fundraising going to benefit? There are so many variables to FRG fundraising but make sure you are following the rules especially if you are doing anything on post at Benning(I think you are close to Benning) because of MWR rules.

FRG fundraisers:

Anything with unit crap on it: christmas ornaments, baby onesies, tshirts, sweats, hell even bras and panties if you want that. Find someone local that can make your logo(whatever you use) and see what the baseline price will be. Depending on item is being made add somewhere between $5-8. Get all orders AND money upfront.

Do you have people that work at your husband's unit other than the weekend a month? You can set up a "snack bar" with a mini fridge and some snacks with a list of prices.

Sell tickets for a unit dinner/picnic. You can only suggest a minimum donation not force a ticket price on anyone. Have a cheap dinner like spaghetti, turkey and sides, grilled burgers and sides..you get the idea

Have a dessert party. This will take some coordination. Have other families donate pies, cookies, and cakes. Charge everyone again a minimum donation(think around $5 pp) and at the door give everyone a pie plate or a good size paper plate. Let the people paid go around and take whatever they want that fills up the plate. Have a dessert party there and have coffee and water on hand.

Do you have enough room at the unit to set up some tv's and video games sets? Throw a huge game party with a buy in. You can do a marathon day or weekend. You can do where everyone plays the same games to see who scores the highes and have playoffs or just have a general free for all. Buy in about 10 bucks or so and serve cheap lunch/dinner.

Do you know any other units like company wise? You can do a date night out and have some childcare at the unit. Essentially you would be babysitting for Company Bravo on a Saturday night from approximately 6pm-12pm. Have the parents bring blankets/pillows/sleeping bags. You serve a light dinner and have some games/movies/entertainment. Charge around $20/kid.

As you can tell I can go on and on for fundraising ideas. Again think about what your goal is and if it's really worth the effort if only a couple are participating. Make sure you are following the army fundraising rules.
 

My sister's princess

<font color=green>These boards have grimmer police
Joined
May 29, 2008
I'm the FRG fundraising chair for my husband's unit. The biggest thing that has been helpful is that they are currently deployed. During the deployment cycle we have been able to sell a TON of stuff, because people are in the moment. Our biggest seller was yellow ribbon magnets we did with the unit's name on it and then I <3 my solider, proud parent, and I support
 
  • PrincessSuzanne

    <font color=red>Guess I will be eating crow tonigh
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2007
    Thanks ladies, and yes Tina, we are at Benning. I am new to all this and there are only 2 of us trying to do this. We are trying to raise money so that we can have family events during the year, as well as some type of family and/or spouse event for Christmas. It's also to be able t have some funds in case a soldier and his/her family has an emergency and we need to help them.

    We haven't had anyone doing this, until my friend was asked to start doing this in November. So far, all we have done was set up a table with snacks we sell during the 2 to 3 days the guys have drill.

    We can't trust anyone to have a "snack bar", our company UA emptied out our funds between our January drill and our February drill, supposedly to cover some expenses related to the change of command ceremony, in which all unit members weren't even invited to and that is not what the money is for. She didn't proved a receipt, so we had to go open a checking account so she didn't have access to the money.

    The FRG leader and I have been trying to supply our snack sales out of our own pocket with couponing and we buy some items out of the little bit of funds we have left after the UA wiped us out.

    I think it might be hard to do a lot, because the families aren't around, this is a Reserve Unit and they are only together one weekend a month, and the family members don't usually come with them, I'm not sure very many of them are local.

    There is another unit that drills the same weekend we do and they come purchase stuff from us, but so far we are really only averaging $150 one weekend a month, needless to say that doesn't go very far.

    In February, the guys were supposed to go to the field, so we bought donuts and had coffee and oj and took donations, that didn't work out too well.

    Tina, where do we find out more info about MWR issue? Our new Commander seems on board with what we are doing and I guess I never knew MWR would have any say, but I am new to this, even though my husband has been with this unit on and off for about 7 years.
     

    kc10family

    <marquee><font color=cc00cc>Fly Chick</marquee><br
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2005
    Thanks ladies, and yes Tina, we are at Benning. I am new to all this and there are only 2 of us trying to do this. We are trying to raise money so that we can have family events during the year, as well as some type of family and/or spouse event for Christmas. It's also to be able t have some funds in case a soldier and his/her family has an emergency and we need to help them.

    We haven't had anyone doing this, until my friend was asked to start doing this in November. So far, all we have done was set up a table with snacks we sell during the 2 to 3 days the guys have drill.

    We can't trust anyone to have a "snack bar", our company UA emptied out our funds between our January drill and our February drill, supposedly to cover some expenses related to the change of command ceremony, in which all unit members weren't even invited to and that is not what the money is for. She didn't proved a receipt, so we had to go open a checking account so she didn't have access to the money.

    The FRG leader and I have been trying to supply our snack sales out of our own pocket with couponing and we buy some items out of the little bit of funds we have left after the UA wiped us out.

    I think it might be hard to do a lot, because the families aren't around, this is a Reserve Unit and they are only together one weekend a month, and the family members don't usually come with them, I'm not sure very many of them are local.

    There is another unit that drills the same weekend we do and they come purchase stuff from us, but so far we are really only averaging $150 one weekend a month, needless to say that doesn't go very far.

    In February, the guys were supposed to go to the field, so we bought donuts and had coffee and oj and took donations, that didn't work out too well.

    Tina, where do we find out more info about MWR issue? Our new Commander seems on board with what we are doing and I guess I never knew MWR would have any say, but I am new to this, even though my husband has been with this unit on and off for about 7 years.
    It is very interesting that I came across your post this evening. I am the treasurer for our spouse group and was researching regs/ instructions/ guidelines today on this type of thing. My DH is active AF but I can give you some FYI on this because I was a Reservist also.

    Things that sold well on weekend duty-
    -Breakfast burritos, donuts, pancakes, coffee, juice. (not all the same day)
    -after lunch snacks (they go to the chow hall for lunch mostly)
    -unit lithograph (find a great artist who is willing to draw one as a donation or very little cost then have them reproduced with the artists’ permission at a print shop) ideas- http://www.berryhillartstudio.com/aviation.html
    -anything with the unit logo on it

    MWR funds are not normally used for fundraising but the unit booster club can submit for reimbursement of funds for special events sometimes.

    You may need to look into becoming an “official” unofficial private organization. See if this is applicable to you http://www.fortbraggmwr.com/privateorg/poguide.pdf if not, check with the spouse clubs on post and see what guidelines they follow.

    About the UA using your funds……. I about flew out of my seat! That is a big NO NO. It’s not my business but I sure hope you said something about that. Units don’t normally give funds up for a COC that is not the units COC. AND at least in the AF the incoming commander pays for all refreshments etc , while outbound commanders pay for the gift of his/her spouse.

    Best of luck to you!
     

    PrincessSuzanne

    <font color=red>Guess I will be eating crow tonigh
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2007
    It is very interesting that I came across your post this evening. I am the treasurer for our spouse group and was researching regs/ instructions/ guidelines today on this type of thing. My DH is active AF but I can give you some FYI on this because I was a Reservist also.

    Things that sold well on weekend duty-
    -Breakfast burritos, donuts, pancakes, coffee, juice. (not all the same day)
    -after lunch snacks (they go to the chow hall for lunch mostly)
    -unit lithograph (find a great artist who is willing to draw one as a donation or very little cost then have them reproduced with the artists permission at a print shop) ideas- http://www.berryhillartstudio.com/aviation.html
    -anything with the unit logo on it

    MWR funds are not normally used for fundraising but the unit booster club can submit for reimbursement of funds for special events sometimes.

    You may need to look into becoming an official unofficial private organization. See if this is applicable to you http://www.fortbraggmwr.com/privateorg/poguide.pdf if not, check with the spouse clubs on post and see what guidelines they follow.

    About the UA using your funds&&. I about flew out of my seat! That is a big NO NO. Its not my business but I sure hope you said something about that. Units dont normally give funds up for a COC that is not the units COC. AND at least in the AF the incoming commander pays for all refreshments etc , while outbound commanders pay for the gift of his/her spouse.

    Best of luck to you!

    We were quite pissed at what she did. She had approached the FRG leader after the ceremony in January and asked to be paid back for a cake (not sure what else) she purchased and the FRG leader told her no, that there were funds allocated in the budget for that. Sometime after drill she went in our cash box and took all of the cash money we had made from our January drill and didn't place any receipts in there or any notes about why she took it. The FRG leader spoke to several higher ups and was getting mixed answers, but no replacement of the money. She has e-mailed the new Commander about it, but we haven't heard back yet. We weren't even included in the event, only the NCO's and the outgoing Commanders family.

    We apparently don't have much of any kind of budget, except for training. Last year, they didn't even have enough budget for the entire unti to go for their 2 week Annual Training and then the Company UA messed up everybodys pay and they only got about half of what they were supposed to. I hope with this new Commander things will change.

    The FRG leader is supposed to be going to some kind of training, but she was just kind of thrown into the job in November and I mainly started jsut going to sit with her in January to help with her baby, and somehow got chosen to act as Treasurer.

    We are thinking about doing a pancake breakfast sometime, and possibly sandwiches/boxed lunch one weekend. We normally go to the Exchange mall or to CRC (the chow hall) with our husbands, unless we don't stay the whole day, which we do most of the time.
     

    lovemygoofy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2004
    You really need to talk to the Mobilization and Deployment person at the ACS on Benning. That person will be able to steer you much better than I can. Per army rules you should take the treasurer class if you are going to be the treasurer. Your friend REALLY REALLY needs to take the leaders course as well. It is a wealth of knowledge and has step by step of what you should be doing.

    As for the MWR stuff, the reason I brought it up was about fundraising. If your husband's unit is drilling on post at Benning, Benning's MWR has to approve or disapprove fundraisers if they are outside the unit (think cookie sales or commissary bagging). Each post has strict rules about fundraising period and because your unit is reserve I don't know all the rules between reserves and their post.

    Another great resource for your unit is Army Reserve Family Program website. wwww.arfp.org This is the general site and you can chat or email for coordinators in your state for more help.

    A couple things about money and FRG is that you need to make sure your FRG has a bank account and you need an EIN number from the IRS because FRG is nonprofit organization. Your bank account should be non interesting bearing.

    The deal with the commander taking the money is very sketchy. If it was in a money box and not in an account, she could easily say it was a unit money fund which can be used to pay for cake without FRG's approval. I get that it was FRG money but I'm saying what she could say instead.

    As for what you want to spend the money on, that's great but you cannot spend FRG money on a family in need. You could spend money to make them a casserole but to give them money in a time of need can't happen. FRG money has to be spent to benefit the FRG as a whole such as parties, outings, and morale boosters. There are tons of rules about FRG and money and fundraising. I cannot stress enough talking to the people at ACS regarding the FRG stuff. He or she can help or guide you to your local reserve program manager.

    Easy fundraisers in the unit is selling unit crap anything and everything. Make up breakfast burritos and some pots of coffee and sell together for $2-3. Have a crockpot lunch with chili/soup and make up some sandwhiches and sell with a soda/water and cookie for $5. Because you can't get to most of the families on drill weekend, you are going to have to do easy and cheap things that will sell easily to the other soldiers in the unit. It is an absoulte pain in the *** and I know it. Good luck and if I can help let me know.
     
  • Shanna-like-Banana

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 21, 2009
    Several times we had success with baked good/prize auctions. We've made anywhere from $400-700 each time.

    We always did it a few days after pay-day. Most of the guys had cash on hand, but the few that didn't were given 5 days to pay.

    Here's how it works.

    You'll create 2 groups of prizes, minor and major.
    First thing you have to do is try to get each of the officers to donate the major prizes. Think things like, Commanders parking spot for 1 week, be taken out to lunch at a resturant off post, hand wash car/truck, a home cooked meal donated by the officers wife, pay for Class A's to be pressed/dry cleaned, take out trash from barracks for x days. The point is to come up with prizes of thing your wouldn't typically see officers doing. They really have to commit to giving the prize and actually doing it themselves and not delegating somebody to do it for them when it's time to pay up. You can have multiple of the same prize, as long as you have enough ppl to donate them.

    Then get all the senior enlisted guys to donate"minor" pizes, like wash 3 sets of BDU's, shine class A shoes, make bed in barracks, clean bathrooms, etc.

    Ask volunteers to donate plates of baked goods, in disposable ware. Cookies, cakes, plates of brownies, pies, etc.

    Attached to the bottom of each dessert will be an envelope with the prize it in. They should be placed random and concealed.


    Create a flyer saying its an auction for baked goods with the guarantee to win one of X prizes, and make a list of the prizes to get the guys pumped up about getting to win one of them.

    When the auction starts, we usually started with the minor prizes first, all prizes started at $5. And the major prizes started at $10. As the auction goes on, the prizes stay concealed in the envelopes until the bidder pays. You can either have a side table set up for the guys to go to pay at as the auction goes on, or have everbody pay at one time at the end.

    It's amazing to see the look on some of their faces when they ripe open the envelope and see what they've won.

    One time, we got the commaders from the other battery's to give major prizes and even the Unit Commander Colonel went in. They gave some pretty awesome prizes.

    It's been successful in the past because you very small out of pocket expenses to produce the fundraiser and it really boosts morales to see the officers and senior enlisted give these prizes away.

    Now on a side note, the bidding should be open to everyone. Don't exclude officers and senior enlisted from the bidding. They can bring in big bux when bidding on the major prizes. Believe me if they know who is giving what prize, they wanna see one over on them just as much as the next guy.
     

    PrincessSuzanne

    <font color=red>Guess I will be eating crow tonigh
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2007
    You really need to talk to the Mobilization and Deployment person at the ACS on Benning. That person will be able to steer you much better than I can. Per army rules you should take the treasurer class if you are going to be the treasurer. Your friend REALLY REALLY needs to take the leaders course as well. It is a wealth of knowledge and has step by step of what you should be doing.

    As for the MWR stuff, the reason I brought it up was about fundraising. If your husband's unit is drilling on post at Benning, Benning's MWR has to approve or disapprove fundraisers if they are outside the unit (think cookie sales or commissary bagging). Each post has strict rules about fundraising period and because your unit is reserve I don't know all the rules between reserves and their post.

    Another great resource for your unit is Army Reserve Family Program website. wwww.arfp.org This is the general site and you can chat or email for coordinators in your state for more help.

    A couple things about money and FRG is that you need to make sure your FRG has a bank account and you need an EIN number from the IRS because FRG is nonprofit organization. Your bank account should be non interesting bearing.

    The deal with the commander taking the money is very sketchy. If it was in a money box and not in an account, she could easily say it was a unit money fund which can be used to pay for cake without FRG's approval. I get that it was FRG money but I'm saying what she could say instead.

    As for what you want to spend the money on, that's great but you cannot spend FRG money on a family in need. You could spend money to make them a casserole but to give them money in a time of need can't happen. FRG money has to be spent to benefit the FRG as a whole such as parties, outings, and morale boosters. There are tons of rules about FRG and money and fundraising. I cannot stress enough talking to the people at ACS regarding the FRG stuff. He or she can help or guide you to your local reserve program manager.

    Easy fundraisers in the unit is selling unit crap anything and everything. Make up breakfast burritos and some pots of coffee and sell together for $2-3. Have a crockpot lunch with chili/soup and make up some sandwhiches and sell with a soda/water and cookie for $5. Because you can't get to most of the families on drill weekend, you are going to have to do easy and cheap things that will sell easily to the other soldiers in the unit. It is an absoulte pain in the *** and I know it. Good luck and if I can help let me know.
    Thank you again Tina, I will give all this info to the FRG leader. She is supposed to be going to some kind of training, but they haven't sent her the packet yet with all her info.

    We aren't doing any fundraising outside of the unit, only at the unit on drill weekend only.

    The Commander didn't take the money, the UA (she's basically the secretary) took the money and it was in a seperate lockbox that was given to the FRG leader to hold the money we use for change. She admitted to the 1st Sgt what she did, but so far nobody has corrected her behavior

    We are waiting for a letter from the new Commander so we can get the EIC number we were told we needed.

    Hopefully we can meet with the new Commander next weekend when we have drill and get some things straight, and then take calsses or courses we need to. Nobody seems to know what they are doing, me included.
     

    KayEhm

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2014
    Christmas gear is always a good bet. People buy that stuff year-round, and around Christmas time EVERYONE is buying decorations and whatnot, so you'll definitely gain some serious financial boost right before the end of the year when you really need it going into the next year. If you can swing it, try going a little more upscale with it and sell hand-made wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, trees even - any craft florist evergreens that any Christmas decorator couldn't ignore. (Check out willametteevergreen.com) It'll help your fundraising stand out and people will appreciate that you're putting effort into giving them quality for their support and not just random trinkets with unit stuff on 'em.
     

    OrangeBirdGirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 3, 2014
    PrincessSuzanne, this might be a silly question but do the family members in the unit actually want to be involved in events you'd put on?

    The only reason I'm asking is because DH is now in the reserves. The family is just so different being in the reserves vs active duty. Maybe you are different because you are near a base where we are not, it's a drill center. When DH was active we were all a family. Unit ornaments, t-shirts, coffee cups, etc we bought. Now there is nothing. I think there is a FRG as they do put on a "family weekend" which is not a fundraiser, it is just awareness of stuff that happens when the unit is deployed.

    Now with drill, most of the service members don't want to be there. They are in the reserves to collect a paycheck, not for why they should be there. Most don't want to do anything above their one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year. Most of them even complain about that commitment. They usually just do one enlistment then leave. Spouses whine about having their life "disrupted" for drill. It's funny because I look forward to the one weekend a month I get ot myself and his AT time. I have no problem with DH doing extra and being gone. I have often thought about trying to be involved with FRG but realized others would not appreciate my efforts as at our center the tie to bring us together isn't there. I'm grateful of the years DH was active duty as I was able to experience the military family then.

    Good luck in your efforts!
     
  • jsmith

    <font color=darkorchid>And now I am off to get my
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2000
    This thread is a couple of years old-but I have years and years and years of experience with this-going back to the mid 80s when the army started FRGs-and when they spread to the reserves. A large part of the success of your FRG in the reserves depends on how commited your commander is to making it successful and also how community centered your unit is-units that are more spread out have less success-i for example rarely participate in my units FRG efforts these days-in part because they are 200 miles away. Also i am in a very unique situation because i am a National Guard senior NCO spouse who is also a contractor on a active duty installation so i can get all the support services i need where i work. The bad part of that is that my lack of participation sets a back example
     

    denneg

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 21, 2009
    We have done bake sales and car washes during drill weekend - some of the guys paid us to not wash their cars (little anal about some wives/kids and a bucket of soap near their car). We also did t-shirts and sweatshirts, and they were a huge success. We found a local vendor who was willing to do them basically at cost, and ran out very quickly.
     


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