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Carney Barker Style Fundraising

  • Subject: [cg] Carney Barker Style Fundraising
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 09:35:13 EDT


I usually answer fundraising questions  like this on this listserve so expert 
folks like John Herndon (formerly director of the community gardening program 
of the Oklahoma Food Bank) don't have to.  

While the Clinton Community Garden is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation 
( we had the help of the Trust for Public Land during the early days in 
getting that organized) and has become fairly sophisticated in grant writing, 
our major annual fund raiser is a booth we man (or womyn) at the 9th Ave. 
International Food Festival every May.  (Just cut and paste this link in your 
http://9th-ave.com/9thAveFestival.htm ) 

The festival provides a few booths, gratis, to not-for-profit neighborhood 
groups like block associations, health or educational institutions and our 
garden.  During the first few years we sold plants, but we decided to design 
a logo and design and sell Clinton Community Garden "Gardener from Hell's 
Kitchen" emblazoned t-shirts, baseball hats, coffee mugs, water bottles, cook 
books, to the thousands of  folks passing by.  

After much discussion, we finally jumped for an "Easy-Up" tent to keep the 
rain or sun off us and to define our turf. On our table we have brochures 
promoting our garden, NYC garden preservation and legislation, legislative 
petitions,  Garden Celebrations!, Neighborhood Open Space Coalition, a big 
sign thanking Bette Middler for saving gardens one year and promoting the 
ACGA conference last year. 

Most of our gardeners are nice, quiet people who sit quietly at our table and 
wait for folks to approach it in a laid back fashion.  Maybe because I have 
the pushcart peddler, carney barker in my make up, I'm out in front of the 
booth making a fool of myself saying, "Atone for your Dad's SUV! Buy a shirt 
from our volunteer garden community!" "Can't buy this T-shirt at anywhere 
else but here! Clinton Community Garden genuine china coffee mugs - see...it 
says made in China right here on the bottom." "Help support gardens and fight 
crime in this community!" "We have your t-shirt." "Hey you, (with the gym 
body/cutie/with the kid/tourist/eating that candy apple) this T-shirt would 
look great on you!"

While some like me hustle up front, others take garden inquiries like, "How 
do you get a key" and take the money, and try not to let anyone leave the 
table without buying something or dropping something in the large tin 
watering can we have labled "Garden Donations".

Quite frankly, some just buy stuff or contribute because we make them laugh, 
others are neighborhood folks who just like the place and say, "what the 

The active approach, in a sea of hundreds of thousands of people makes us 
money. If you have a similar event near you, it's worth a try.

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

<< Subj:   Re: Help for raising funds  
 Date:   5/18/03 10:13:35 AM Central Daylight Time   
 From:   <A HREF="mailto:JSBMH2";>JSBMH2</A>  
 To: <A HREF="mailto:milagro.garden@worldnet.att.net";>
 CC: <A HREF="mailto:community_garden@mallorn.com&apos;";>
 John and Lauren,
 Adam usually responds to this type of letter, but I'll try in his absence.  
 First go to the American Community Garden Association website and read 
 A<A HREF="http://communitygarden.org/";>merican Community Gardening 
 Then go to 
 <A HREF="http://communitygarden.org/links/index.html#misc";>American 
Community Gardening Association: Links</A>
 and scroll down to this
 > XIII. Miscellaneous (Funding, etc)
 > Aaahh, Adam does this so much better than I.
 Don't be afraid to ask in the community for donations.  A yard sale stocked 
 with donations from the local merchants will raise more than you think.  
 go after grants and such as we all do.
 John Herndon
 Village Green Community Garden
 Norman, Oklahoma  

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