Funding the Future: How RMA 20-30 Invests in Denver's Youth
RMA 20-30 works year round raising thousands of dollars for local nonprofits dedicated to improving quality of life for youth in Colorado. From RMA’s signature Annual Back to School Shopping and fall Annual Children’s Gala events, to the more seasonal soirees such as Mardis Gras or the much anticipated summer White Party, social events work in conjunction with collaborative member efforts to procure event sponsorships, in-kind donations and auction items. All of these philanthropic endeavors share a common, vital thread: the support of a fiercely fired-up Fundraising Committee.
The Fundraising Committee is tasked with providing the resources, tools, templates, and overall fundraising support and guidance necessary for the greater RMA 20-30 membership to successfully secure the financial resources our beneficiaries need to better serve children in the community. Amy Aldridge, Fundraising Chair, says, “This year, my committee has also challenged ourselves with increasing our direct fundraising efforts as a committee to hopefully raise more money for the greater RMA organization and to far exceed our personal fundraising goals”. In last month’s regular member meeting, the collective decided the overall RMA fundraising goal for 2017 to be $100,000, of which, the annual Back to School Shopping event accounts for 10%. To meet RMA’s overall goal, members are challenging each other to strive for $1,700 in personal fundraising this year.
Where Does the Money Go?
Money raised by RMA throughout the year is redistributed in grants to youth-focused not-for-profit organizations in the community, but not before advancing through a thorough vetting process by the Grants Committee.
In addition to aligning with RMA’s mission of helping at risk children in the community, all grant recipient organizations must meet the outlined grant application criteria to be considered an RMA beneficiary. The following 2016 RMA grant recipients utilized $67,000 in funding to enrich the lives of kids in Colorado: Florence Crittenton, Challenge Foundation, Judi’s House, Child Advocates – Denver CASA, Tennyson Center, Girls on the Run, Platte Forum, Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir, and Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.
The ladies of RMA 20-30 intend to grant even more in 2017. How do they plan to increase their grant funds? Armed with the insight of veteran members and reenergized by the welcoming of over 30 new members, this refreshed RMA 20-30 roster is looking ahead to tackling a successful fundraising season in 2017.
Confident in the talent represented on the Fundraising Committee she chairs, Amy describes some areas receiving particular strategic focus this year. “Sponsorships are key, and there are a number of sponsorship opportunities to support RMA’s cause. We are looking for Corporate Sponsorships of various levels, Silent Auction donations and Food & Beverage Sponsors for our Annual Children’s Gala in the Fall, and Back-to-School Shopping (BTSS) Matching donation sponsors.” Aldridge adds, “Corporate Sponsorships, Event Sponsors, and BTSS Matching Sponsors are direct cash donations to RMA - these have the most impactful financial support for us overall.”
Matching Sponsors play an especially important role for RMA’s signature Back to School Shopping event. The BTSS event is RMA’s one hands-on volunteer event during the year where members fund and facilitate a ‘buddied-up’ shopping spree for youth in the community who may not otherwise have means for back to school clothes and supplies shopping.
Aldridge points out that the secret for successful fundraising is not complete without a few more ingredients of entertainment value.
“We could not, however, host our various fundraising events, especially our Annual Children’s Gala, without our Food and Beverage Sponsors and our Silent Auction donations. Food and Beverage Sponsors draw attendees to our events and keeps them happy while they enjoy live music, conversation, and bidding on our silent auction items.”
The Annual Children’s Gala auction boasts a variety of prizes and packages, guaranteeing that sense of something-for-everyone opportunity. RMA members are encouraged to seek donations that can be packaged with other items in the silent auction, and items that offer bidders an “experience” typically raise the most money. Concerts, shows, sporting or otherwise ticketed events; dining+entertainment combinations; travel+accommodations are historically the most bid on items.
Seeking out a generous variety of sponsors and auction item contributors is made easier with simple, accessible resources. The Fundraising Committee is responsible for the production and training of the various easy-to-use tools available to all RMA 20-30 members to personalize for use in their efforts approaching potential benefactors. The Committee maintains these resources and its representatives are available for counsel if members feel intimidated by the idea of soliciting donors, or even for the seasoned fundraisers who may feel ‘stuck’ or stagnant in their fundraising efforts.
Amy points out one more essential way to support RMA 20-30 in its mission to serve at risk kids in Colorado, “The other way, of course, to support RMA 20-30 is to attend any of our other fabulous fundraising events throughout the year, so keep an eye on the RMA website and social media for upcoming events! We would not exist as an organization without the help of all our various supporters, donors and partners!”
For more information about RMA 20-30 and our 2017 Sponsorship Opportunities or to donate, please visit our website: www.rma2030.org.