League Fundraiser with Social Purpose $1,646 raised in July Garage Sale
LWV WHITEWATER AREA is known in their community for sponsoring one of the best garage sales in town. The huge fundraiser sale, held every other year for the past several years, has been a steady source of income for the League’s modest Treasury. The sale raises an average of $700- $1,000 per sale event and the funds help offset membership fee deficits, programming, and other costs.
After years of low-return fundraising letter campaigns targeting a narrow segment of the Whitewater community, the LWV Whitewater Area board reconsidered how to raise money. They wanted to do it with an event that introduced the League to a broader community audience, symbolized their social service values, and raised funds. Rethinking their purpose launched their biennial garage sale with a unique catch. Buyers are greeted with the positive message that they may pay whatever an item is worth to them or what they can afford as a donation to the League. Nothing is priced although a few items of special value are tagged with a minimum price. Encounters with the public during the sale lead to conversations about the League’s work. Unsold goods are donated to a local thrift store, Bethel House of Whitewater, or the newly established Whitewater Community Space, which provides free food, clothing, furniture and more to people in need. Integrating fundraising with a social service works to the League’s and the Whitewater community’s benefit.