Brooklyn Community Pride Center is fortunate to enjoy the generosity of so many people and organizations in the community. 

Hosting an Event to Benefit Brooklyn Community Pride Center Foundation

Frequently, people spend their own time and money to organize a fundraiser to benefit Brooklyn Community Pride Center. These fundraisers include everything from performances to parties, special product promotions, school projects, or more.
If you are interested in hosting your own third-party event to benefit Brooklyn Community Pride Center, please call us at 347-991-8500 or email Jere Keys, Development & Engagement Manager. We can offer guidance to help make your event a success and approval to use our name and logo.

FUNDRAISING TOOLKIT

OVERVIEW

What is a third-party fundraising event?

A third-party fundraising event is conducted by an individual, group, business or organization in the community with proceeds to benefit Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

Who can conduct a fundraiser on behalf of Brooklyn Community Pride Center?

Individuals and organizations can host an independent fundraising event to support Brooklyn Community Pride Center. These can be grateful patrons, civic organizations, churches, schools, businesses, government agencies… anyone in the community can hold an event to support the growth and success of the Center.

How will this toolkit help me?

This toolkit was designed to make planning your fundraiser as easy as possible. From creating a timeline and a budget, to organizing and publicizing your event, it is a complete planning guide that will allow anyone to become a successful fundraiser for the Brooklyn Center. Feel free to use a few of our ideas and suggestions or all of them — whatever works best for you!

Where will my donation go?

There are many programs and services at The Brooklyn Center that your donation can support. If you have a passion for a specific area, we will work with you to ensure your donation goes directly to that area. If you’d like details about the funding areas or would like different funding ideas, please contact Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

How can Brooklyn Community Pride Center help me?

Listed below are ways Brooklyn Community Pride Center can help with your fundraiser:

  • Provide consultation on fundraisers and events
  • Provide a letter of authorization to validate the authenticity of the event and its organizers
  • Provide and approve use of our logo, provided certain criteria are met
  • Help you select a program for your donation to support (although we greatly prefer unrestricted donations)
  • Send you Brooklyn Community Pride Center brochures and literature

We are here to support you. However, there are some services we are unable to provide:

  • Our sales tax exemption number
  • Insurance or liability coverage
  • Mailing list of donors and/or vendors
  • Brooklyn Community Pride Center stationery
  • Funding or reimbursement of your expenses
  • Guaranteed publicity & promotion
  • Guaranteed attendance of Brooklyn Community Pride Center staff or leadership

GETTING STARTED

Deciding to host a community fundraiser for Brooklyn Community Pride Center is a huge accomplishment in itself — thank you!

Here are 10 steps to help you get started, depending on the type of event:

  1. Form a planning committee. Bringing together a group of enthusiastic and dedicated people who share an interest in raising money for a great cause will increase the probability of a successful event.
  2. Brainstorm ideas for your fundraiser. Gather members of your planning committee, and give free rein to your imagination — several heads are better than one! The more people participate now, the more committed they’ll be later.
  3. Choose the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interests, talents, goals and time availability of your planning committee.
  4. Identify your target audience. Consider who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you have selected.
  5. Develop a budget. Try to identify all the expenses involved with your event (invitations, postage, rental space, signage, food and catering, promotional materials, website, advertising, etc.) Then think about possible sources of funds, and people and companies you know who may be able to donate products (food, equipment) or services (like design, printing, photography) to reduce your costs. This will help keep your costs down, which is something everyone will appreciate. We encourage you to maintain fundraising costs at 20 percent of your budget. .
  6. Develop an event timeline. A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event.
  7. Schedule the event. Select a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Be sure to check local community calendars for conflicting events.
  8. Open a bank account. You may find that you will need to establish a bank account to accommodate incoming revenue and expenses. This can be done by visiting a local bank and creating a business account under your event’s name.
  9. Collect all funds. We ask that all event proceeds designated for Brooklyn Community Pride Center be forwarded to Brooklyn Community Pride Center Foundation within 30 days following the conclusion of your event.
  10. Say thank you! Sending thank-you letters, notes, or e-mails to everyone who participated in or supported your event shows your appreciation and reinforces their goodwill about supporting Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

IDEAS FOR INDIVIDUALS & SMALL GROUPS

The following are some ideas for your community fundraiser. We suggest thinking of something you enjoy doing (e.g. book club, cooking) and working to add a fundraising component into that. This way you are not starting from scratch and, in addition to giving back to a great cause, you are doing something you love!

Birthday/Anniversary Party

Do you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary, shower or bar/bat mitzvah? Consider making a contribution to the Brooklyn Center in lieu of personal gifts – and ask your friends and family to do the same. This is a great way to get the kids involved!

Cocktail Party

Throw a cocktail party in your home or at a local restaurant or bar. Many venues provide great deals for very little money. Ask your friends to donate $50 and then spend no more than $20 per person on the food. This will ensure you will have a good amount to donate by the end of the night. Include a raffle or auction to increase revenue.

Garage Sale

Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause. Organize a garage sale and you’ll clean out your house while supporting LGBTQ+ Brooklynites at the same time!

Golf Outing

Whether planning a small golf outing with friends and family or an outing for your business, think about making your swing really count and partnering with us to give back to the patrons of Brooklyn Community Pride Center!

School Fundraiser

Kids love to help! Have fun with your students while teaching them about the meaning of philanthropy with anything from a coin drive to a read-a-thon. Be creative! We’d love to hear about your school fundraiser ideas and stories.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Many marketing/promotional item companies offer a lot of discounted items. Create t-shirts, bracelets, key chains, etc., and sell them above your cost to create revenue.

Trivia Night

This is a fun way to raise funds while increasing awareness about the LGBTQ+ community. Host your trivia night at a restaurant or other local establishment and invite between 10 and 50 of your friends and family. This website offers advice on creating a trivia night.

IDEAS FOR BUSINESSES

A Portion of Proceeds

One of the most common ways businesses have helped us raise funds while aligning themselves with a worthwhile local charity is by pledging to donate a percentage of sales from either a single item or from the whole business during a certain time frame. We have had businesses of all types do this — from movie theaters to tattoo parlors, from eyewear stores to florists, from restaurants and cafes to gyms and breweries.

VIP Reception

Show your most valued LGBTQ+ customers that you support them with a private VIP Reception held right in your store. There are many ways to turn this into a fundraiser — perhaps by collecting bar tips, taking donations from guests, or offering an exclusive product or service available only to these invited guests with a portion of proceeds donated to Brooklyn Community Pride Center. This can also take several forms — a meet & greet with a celebrity, a cocktail party, a special class or demonstration, a guest speaker, or anything fun and exciting.

Ongoing Support

This toolkit is designed around the idea of a one-time or limited-time fundraising project. If what you’d rather do is provide long-term or ongoing support (for example, donating a percentage of sales for a period of 6 months or longer), or simply making a one-time direct donation in support of a program, please contact Jere Keys.

PUBLICITY TIPS

These tips and tools will help maximize publicity of your event at very little cost.

Create a Timeline to Maximize Publicity

A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Keep this timeline in mind as you put together a publicity plan:

  • 3-4 months before the event:
    • Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests and location.
  • 4-6 weeks before the event:
    • Distribute marketing materials (e.g. Facebook posts, fliers, social media, printed invites)
  • 2 weeks before the event:
    • Make follow-up calls and send e-mails to key invitees who received the information.
  • 1-2 days before the event:
    • Send final reminders, post to social media, verify guest lists.

Marketing and Social Media

The type of event you plan will determine the best ways to generate interest and success for your fundraiser. Many classic tools are still very effective for certain event types: printed invitations, fliers, posters, etc. However, depending on your audience and experience, social media can be a great resource, too. Don’t forget word-of-mouth and in-person promotion!

Spend some time thinking about your marketing well in advance. A well-designed flier or Instagram post or promo video can do a lot for the success of your fundraiser. By getting started on marketing materials early, you will force yourself to recognize what details still need to be finalized (e.g. how do people RSVP? Do we need to announce a dress code? What instructions do people need?).

Marketing materials that include our logo must be sent to Jere Keys for approval before you release them publicly.

If you would like us to share your marketing materials with our social media followers or on our bulletin boards, please send them to Jere Keys no later than 6 weeks prior to your fundraiser. While we cannot guarantee that we have the capacity to share them in our sometimes very busy marketing calendar, we will evaluate them on a case-by-case basis.

TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS!

Photos are a great way to document your event, whether for publicity or simply to share with family and friends. Here are some tips on capturing special moments at your fundraiser:

  • Write out a targeted shot list in advance to make sure you get photos of everything and everyone you want
  • Take candid and close-up shots that capture the different aspects of your fundraiser
  • Include kids in the photos, if applicable
  • Capture images of the biggest donors at your fundraiser
  • Include three to four people in a photo for the best publicity shot

AFTER YOUR EVENT

Send in Your Donation/Proceeds

  • By check:
    • Mail a check to: Brooklyn Community Pride Center c/o KRA, LLC , 100 Crosby Street, Suite 303, New York, NY 10012
    • Checks should be made payable to Brooklyn Community Pride Center.
    • Include a short note explaining your fundraiser.
    • Once we receive your donation, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.
  • By web/credit card:
    • We accept donations through PayPal, which can be accessed at https://lgbtbrooklyn.org/donate/. You do not need your own PayPal account, but you do need a credit card valid in the U.S.
    • Immediately after submitting your donation, please send an email to Jere Keys explaining your fundraiser. Be sure to include the name of the person on the credit card and also the name, email, and address of the person, business or organization who should be credited for the donation.
    • Once we have received the donation and instructions on who should receive credit for it, we will send an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes.

Send us Photos

E-mail the best 3-5 photos from your event to Jere Keys

Logo Use

Use of Brooklyn Community Pride Center logo is allowed for up to 30 days after your event. Remove logos from any materials after this time. You can access our logo and other guidelines here.

Start Thinking of your Next Fundraiser!

The best time to think of a new idea is right after an event or fundraiser. Think of what parts went well and what could be changed to make the next event even more successful.

A SPECIAL NOTE ON JUNE & PRIDE

June is always an exciting time of year for us. All of New York City seems to get covered in rainbows and there are many, many celebrations and events to attend. It is also the month of our biggest fundraiser event, our Community Leadership Awards & Gala, and the end of our fiscal year. Additionally, many of our major foundation supporters require progress reports and renewal requests in the month of June.

Which means that June is an exceptionally busy time of year for us.

While we understand why many people want to hold their third-party fundraisers on our behalf during the month of June, just know that your fundraiser will not receive the same level of support in terms of guidance, marketing, or staff attendance. It’s also entirely possible that your fundraiser could be eclipsed by major events during a very busy calendar.

We appreciate Pride month fundraisers as much as we appreciate fundraisers at any time of the year, but we encourage you to consider holding your fundraiser during another month. If you want to tie it to an LGBTQ+ related time in the calendar, October is LGBTQ+ History month and includes National Coming Out Day. There are also days in the calendar for Bisexual Visibility, Transgender Visibility, AIDS Awareness, Harvey Milk Day, and so many more.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long does it take to get my Fundraiser Proposal approved?

Proposals will be approved within 10 business days of receipt.

Do I need to create a 501c3 (non-profit) organization to host a fundraiser for Brooklyn Community Pride Center?

No, anyone can host a fundraiser for Brooklyn Community Pride Center with our approval. Staff can provide an authorization letter confirming the organizer’s intent to raise funds for Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

Can someone from Brooklyn Community Pride Center help me plan my event, and attend and/or speak at my event?

We are happy to provide guidance for your event, but we do not have the staff to handle the organizational and administrative tasks associated with most third-party events.

We do our best to attend events supporting Brooklyn Community Pride Center, but we cannot guarantee attendance of staff, leadership or volunteers at your event. The more advance notice you provide, the more likely we will be able to attend. If your fundraiser is taking place in the month of June (Pride Month) please contact us at least 6 weeks in advance if you will be requesting our attendance. With such a small staff, our June calendars fill up very early.

Can I use Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s name and logo?

Once your fundraiser is approved, we will provide you with Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s logo for your marketing materials. We must review everything with our name and logo before it’s printed or distributed. This includes the use of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center logo on your website or your company’s website.

Can Brooklyn Community Pride Center provide insurance for my event?

Because Brooklyn Community Pride Center is the beneficiary and has no direct involvement with running the fundraiser, we cannot provide insurance for third-party events. The event organizer is responsible for obtaining insurance for the event.

Can Brooklyn Community Pride Center help me get a permit for my event?

The organization and execution of the event is the responsibility of the event organizer. The event organizer must obtain any necessary permits or licenses.

Can I use the Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s Tax Exemption number?

Because Brooklyn Community Pride Center is not hosting your event, it is considered a third-party event. For this reason, you will not be able to use Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s IRS 501(c)(3) charitable classification, federal tax ID number, or tax-exempt certificate.

Will each of my donors get a receipt?

Brooklyn Community Pride Center cannot issue charitable tax receipts for donors or sponsors who make payments directly to your third-party event. If your donor wants a receipt, please be sure the check is made payable to Brooklyn Community Pride Center and leave the check in its original form before sending it to us. We prefer to send tax acknowledgements via email, so please attempt to include one. Alternately, a donor can make a donation directly through our website at lgbtbrooklyn.org/donate

Please note that there are complex regulations around the distribution of charitable tax receipts. This includes donations of money, in-kind items and services. Issuing an inappropriate receipt can put our charitable tax status in jeopardy so please do not promise any kind of receipt. For more information about charitable tax receipts please contact Brooklyn Community Pride Center.

How do I open a bank account for my event?

We recommend you open a non-interest bearing checking account, or benefit account, at a local bank. The account must be opened in the third party’s name. It cannot be opened using Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s name or financial information.

Can I pay myself back for expenses I’ve incurred?

We recognize that some coordinators need funds to run an event and pay expenses. However, Brooklyn Community Pride Center cannot fund or financially support community fundraisers. Coordinators are responsible for covering all expenses and cannot be reimbursed by Brooklyn Community Pride Center. For these reasons, as you start to collect money you may want to keep some funds on hand to help pay your expenses. This amount should not exceed 30% of your gross revenue. In your planning process, make sure to develop a budget reflecting the type of event you are having and the many costs related to the event. After the fundraiser is complete, please send us all checks addressed to Brooklyn Community Pride Center as well as one lump sum check from your checking account.

Can we have a check presentation at Brooklyn Community Pride Center?

Yes, we can arrange for a check presentation to be held at Brooklyn Community Pride Center. Please contact us to schedule a time. You will be responsible, however, for arranging any props and a photographer.

Should I send a personal thank you letter or card to my donors?

Definitely! It is important to thank everyone who was involved with your fundraiser!

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