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10-26-2007, 03:53 PM
Does anybody have any ideas for dojo fund raising?

We are moving our dojo (lease is up next year) and have bought a new place but it needs some work. We are moving in June of next year.

We have a committee to work on fund raising issues but any ideas especially from those with practical fund raising experience would be great.

We are a non-profit organization.

Thanks in advance.


10-27-2007, 01:04 PM
Do you know how much you need to raise?

10-27-2007, 11:49 PM
We do garage sales for one element to raise funds for bringing our shihan out. Another might be self-defense seminar.

10-29-2007, 02:17 AM
The target fund would be up to 60 grand.

We are trying to spark more interest in the dojo by using public access, and filming a demo for a women's self defense class.

We have a few other ideas but I thought I would ask here as some of you may have been in the same boat.

We have till June so we are open to ideas that aren't quick fixes either.

Dieter Haffner
10-29-2007, 04:29 AM
You can always go for The Full Monty (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119164/).
That always seems to work. :D

10-29-2007, 09:00 AM
You can always go for The Full Monty (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119164/).
That always seems to work. :D

Har har. Believe it or not, a calendar did cross the pages of the fund raising list but never made it.

Nafis Zahir
10-29-2007, 10:10 AM
You could hold an Open House for visitors and just make sure to tell them that the Dojo is moving in case any of them sign up. You could also use the event as a seminar also, inviting members from other dojos to support the move and charging just a small seminar fee.

10-31-2007, 02:15 AM
Our current dojo isn't equipped for an open house (visiting area is small).

We have another fund raising meeting on Monday that I am going to attend so again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

10-31-2007, 09:21 AM
It might be a good idea to look at your project and get really specific about costs. Then look to see if there are any internal resources that could help bring the cost down. Maybe just e-mail everyone who has ever been connected with your dojo in any way and ask if they can help in any way. I don't know how far you are in specing out this, but that would be the first thing you would need to do. You might need a person to draw up a blueprint, another person to do some actual building. I don't know a lot about actually constructing what you want to do but there may be people with unknown talents out there. Some people might have had someone work for them in the past who does quality work at a lower cost.

Then once you have your plan and your people to do the work you could look into getting supplies at a lower price. Sometimes just blindly calling anything near what you want can help, someone might have a "goldmine" of wood that you need that they no longer need that they can sell you.

Check Craigslist for various things. If you need a general contractor that is the most expensive, but you still might be able to find someone for less.

Another cost, I'm sure you realize, is the cost of maintaining your present dojo while you work on the new one. Is there a way you can make it workable for practice in the new dojo while you continue to work on it? Make sure to get an estimate on how long the work will take. If you have friends or volunteers working on it that could up the cost.

I think before you have a fund raising meeting you need to have a "development" meeting to get a hold of the costs. The less you need to raise the easier and less stressful it is going to be.

Another option for raising funds, would be to offer your students a benefit for paying their tuition in advance. It could make a great Christmas gift, as well.

Fundraising can be an iffy thing, if you want to discuss fundraising ideas, I would suggest putting yourself in the shoes of someone who is solicited by a dojo in need of funds. What would make you give your money to a local Karate dojo seeking to move to a larger space? I don't think just saying you are non-profit is enough. Also. consider the time and effort in fundraisng with not knowing if it will be worthwhile financially. I think it would be good to have a tie-in with a charity, and give them the money, but you would get name-recognition and from that maybe you could solicit funds or new students.

I was wondering if it would be possible to name parts of the new dojo after certain people. I think maybe if people could "buy" a square or something that could be a draw. You still might want to place most of your efforts towards Aikido people, current and former students and their families. I think people you know are most likely to give funds. You could think of something to give people in return, maybe a plaque in the dojo with the names of the donors, or list them on your website. You could have gold, silver and bronze donors. People often feel generous around the holidays! Come to think of it, maybe some businesses around your new dojo would be willing to give if their name is listed as a donor. They may even have some resources. Make sure someone drops in for a chat with them.

I hope this helps. I'm not saying fundraising could not work and I think it is wise to find someone who has had a success with it in the past. I hope this advice has helped and I wish you success with the project!

11-02-2007, 07:00 AM
Thanks for the above reply. We are looking at internal connections for construction and materials.

I wanted to thank Lynn Seiser for his articles. I have printed out Grant writing 1 and 2 and plan to use them as a template.

11-02-2007, 08:16 AM
So far we have the following as ideas.

i. Auction – silent, bachelor, dinner

ii. EOS Benefit evening

iii. Dinner / Dance or benefit concert

iv. Garage Sale

v. Concert

vi. Wine Sales

vii. Donations – monetary, service, merchandise

viii. Sell mats; walls to sponsor construction at new Dojo


Membership Growth

Customized Programs- ie. Self-defense for women; teens-Senior Movement Class-Jr High School-Program to take to schools (in-school)-Research schools in Neighborhood-After School Programs (repackage kids program) – keep kids off the street. Gang activities. 3-5pm teen pregnancies. As well as many smaller in school programs in development.

If anybody could expand on these specifics or add to them I will surely mention them and give you credit. :D

And remember, this is a thread to get ideas for anybody in need of fund raising for their Dojo.