How to Best Support Wildlife and Conservation
Before a chapter hosts an RMEF big game banquet, it usually receives what is called a support order. This shipment contains all the administrative items and materials needed to host a successful fundraising event. Chapters are not charged for these materials, so the cost does not impact their event results. However, the cost of providing and shipping these items to the chapters hits RMEF’s bottom line. Here are some ways you can best handle support orders to help you help us do more for elk country!
It Starts with Your Regional Director
Did you know that every year the chapter itself should be filling out and placing the order with its regional director? Regional directors should not be doing your orders for you. Why? Because they don’t know what you need or don’t need. Chapters should take an inventory of their support items and materials prior to hosting their next event. Then they should order only what they don’t have in their coffers on the support order form.
Evaluate Your Cost
RMEF actually includes the cost of all materials on the order form even though chapters are not charged for them. We do this to help chapters understand how much each order costs to encourage everyone to be a little more conscious of their spending. The RMEF hosts about 500 banquets annually, and more than 750 total events. The average support order for a chapter should hover under $450. This is a great gauge when placing your order with your regional director. If it’s more than $450, perhaps your order can be reevaluated and revised to include only those things you absolutely require.
Keep in mind that many of these items do not change from year to year and can be used again for your next event. For example, if you take inventory and have 75 donation receipts left over, save them and order less the next year. At the end of an event, when you’re worn down and tired, it’s tempting to just throw the extras away. But this is actually the best time to collect and box up your support materials. Include a list of the items and quantities on the outside of the box, and store them for next year. When the time comes to place your next order, all you have to do is look at the list to conduct your inventory and place your new support order.
Regional directors also keep a majority of these items in their own inventory. When you run low or need something quickly, often they can give you what you need without major hang ups. Committee hats are a great example. If you have 27 volunteers on your committee, why order 40 hats? Order the amount you need, maybe a few extra, and let your regional director know if you end up running low.
Cattle-herd Your Catalogs
Finally, another great cost saver is sharing event merchandise underwriting catalogs. These are tremendous tools for chapters, but they do cost an average of $3.22 each. If your event happens in the first half of the year and you have leftover or unused catalogs, please give them back to your regional director. He or she can share them with other chapters, ultimately reducing the number of catalogs we need to print and ship.
Thanks for helping support RMEF’s mission!