Fundraisers can be a gamble. With the investment in a large party or gala hanging like a Sword of Damocles over the charity’s head, organizations take the risk of losing money when they intend to gain it.
But Dave Kane is looking to take the risk out of fundraising. In a new model he’s calling “Just For Funds,” Kane promises to deliver an all-you-can-eat buffet, professional entertainment, a large venue and even promotional materials for $20 per person. And Kane’s not even setting a minimum for ticket sales.
Kane’s new model has charitable organizations sell as many $30 tickets as they can, taking $10 for their cause, and putting $20 toward the event. No matter how many tickets they sell, the venue, meal and entertainment are automatically paid for, and the fear of losing money is eliminated.
Kane’s fundraising model is particularly timely with the current economic climate, but he said he’s been harboring the idea for many years.
“I’ve had this idea for maybe 14 or 15 years,” said Kane. “I’ve just been trying to find the right venue.”
After doing several shows and events at the Shriners Imperial Room on Broad Street in Cranston, Kane decided to pitch his “Just for Funds” idea to them. Those at the Shriners, known for the charitable work through the Shriners Children’s Hospital, loved the idea.
“It’s a win, win,” said Hillary Williamson of the Shriners Imperial Room. “Our restaurant is already open, so we thought it would get people into the facility.”
But how does Kane plan to make money off of his $20 per ticket scheme without at least setting a minimum number of tickets that have to be sold?
“It’s already been figured out,” said Kane. “The $20 covers the buffet, the venue and the entertainment.”
With the venue and food covered by the Shriners, the only thing left is the entertainment, which Kane will provide himself. “I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for 102 years,” said Kane, age 64.
Over the years Kane has built up an extensive resume that includes credits as a talk radio host, comedian, author and performance artist. His priest parody, a character by the name of “Father Misgivings,” has made appearances at dinner theater performances statewide, eliciting laughs wherever he goes.
“He’s very, very funny,” said Williamson.
Kane will bring his talents to the table at his “Just for Funds” events, leading the crowd in interactive comedy, prize drawings and games throughout the night.
“There’s a drawing just for being there,” said Kane.
In addition, there’s a guessing game where a photo of an everyday object is cropped and enlarged. Guests have to guess what they think the object is, and one correct guesser gets a $25 gift certificate to Picture This.
“Everybody has a good time,” he said.
Kane said he has organized similar events in the past but is just starting to get the ball rolling this time. The “Just for Funds” events will be offered every Thursday at the Imperial Room. Organizations reserve a date, and then sell as many tickets as possible. Charities do not have to pay up front, and can let the venue know how many guests they are expecting on or before their reservation deadline.
Williamson said she thinks the timing is perfect for charities that may be struggling to raise funds in these difficult economic times.
“It’s a win, win for them,” she said.
The Imperial Room holds approximately 200 people, but Kane said there is no pressure to fill all of the seats.
“The room can have as many as three charities in it at one time,” he said. “Or you can sell out the room.”
Kane doesn’t want to exclude smaller charitable organizations by putting pressure on them to fill up the large venue. He said the point of his idea is to help any and all charities, especially those that may be struggling or concerned about losing money on a pricey fundraiser.
Kane hopes “Just for Funds” is attractive to both major 501c3s and small, local organizations.
“They can be small groups looking to raise money for a child’s wheelchair,” he said. “It’s for any charity throughout the state.”
To find out more about “Just for Funds,” or to reserve a date, call Hillary Williamson at 467-7102.