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RE: Membership benefits

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Membership benefits
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" <Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 11:37:18 -0400

Membership Benefits:
I. For low income gardeners, include P-patch all cotton t-shirt, baseball hat and a some other trinket. Lotto does well in low income communities: with your membership you have the chance to win a pair of Felcos, gardening tools, all expense paid trip to Disneyland or whatever grand prize. I'm serious. You can get the prizes donated for tax credits - it makes the raffle ( you get so many tickets for each level of membership) a good fundraising, membership modality.
II. Look at the membership levels used by your local PBS/NPR stations & high end museums for those folks who may or not be gardeners but have middle class and upper class incomes. Get your pitch books and brochures up  to snuff and approach local corporations to become part of their matching fund charitable programs ( i.e. if employee A gives to charity number 3 on the list they get our of HR then the fund is matched by the corporation.) Write a letter to Starbucks or Microsoft: they might bite.  I know that Green Guerrillas, the Trust for Public Land the Garden Conservancy and other non-for profits groups are linked on our website as well as big deal gardens like the NY Botanical and Brooklyn Botanic gardens. Scope out their pitches - you can tailor your own looking at their examples:
a) Living as we do in NYC, where charitable foundations nest in otherwise bleak corporate office towers, learning how to write grant proposals is as essential as turning compost. Friends of P-Patch is undoubtedly a 501-c3 corporation and should dragoon, as soon as possible, a Seattle based University/non-for-profit/non-governmental-organization proposal writer. Offer them the opportunity to bill for hours and get a letter from you thanking them for their gift-in-kind: check with a local tax attorney for laws applicable to your state.
b) If you don't already have a formal garden and lawn in one of your gardens suitable for gatherings/cocktail parties for 50-100 people on one of your P-Patch gardens, create one.
 At NYC's  Clinton Community Garden, we designed one for the neighborhood BEFORE we built individual raised beds for gardeners . It welcomes the community into the garden and has created supporters among those who only walk by on the way to work.
It helps big time to show to potential funders that the places where we had rusted cars, corpses and broken glass , we now have an organic lawn, flower and native plant  beds, bee hive, benches, grape arbor and a sanctuary for migrating birds. As you pass around the canapes and chardonnay, being able to show that where we had crack dealers and whores, we now have nursing mothers and babies taking their first steps  in a public lawn free of glass and dog crap really helps. Having public events, like weddings, dance and musical concerts really creates the sense that a community garden is more than a place where people grow veggies and herbs - it creates a unique local community meeting place as well.  I cannot begin to tell you what having a space like this in the front part of our 150' by 100' lot does for us on a public relations basis. We still have plenty of room for over 108 raised plots for individual gardeners.
c) The Clinton Community Garden has a booth at the large neighborhood wide 9th Avenue International  Food Festival where we sell T-shirts, baseball hats, coffee mugs and water bottles all emblazoned with our garden's logo. Our booth usually promotes garden legislation, collects petitions and this year also supported Parks 2001 - a city wide initiative to increase our city's funding for parks, recreation centers and gardens to 1% of the NYC budget ( it embarrasses me to say that current funding levels here in the big apple is only at 4/10 of a percent!)  The garden, should it get the permit from the city, will also be joining with the West 47th - 48th Street block association in a flea market this fall. 
Get the idea?
Best wishes,
Adam Honigman
-----Original Message-----
From: donnette [mailto:donnette@gateway.net]
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2001 11:17 PM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Membership benefits

Seattle has a wonderful city-funded community gardening program, P-Patch which is supported by a non-profit organization, The Friends of P-Patch (FPP).  FPP invites participants in the P-Patch Program to join and support community gardening through voluntary contributions which are then used to provide services to the gardeners.   Currently about 2/5 of the program participants are also members/contributors to FPP.   FPP is trying to increase its membership and enhance membership benefits.
If you know of any non-profit community gardening support organizations which have a membership for fee or donation and which provide member benefits, plz let me know.  I am especially interested in benefits provided, how you attract new members, how you communicate with members, how you involve them, etc.  Also looking for creative fundraising ideas....
Thanks for your time.
Barbara Donnette
Friends of P-Patch
Membership Committee Co-Chair

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