Across the country, monuments and statues stand to memorialize those who dedicated their lives to serving our country. From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to the Gold Star Monument in Medina, Ohio, these tributes represent the strength and courage of our armed forces.
Whether you’re raising money for a memorial bench or custom statue for your community, this article will help guide you through the fundraising process.
Fundraising Rules and Regulations
Before you start thinking about ideas to raise money for your military or veteran memorial, there are a few legalities to consider.
For Registered Nonprofits: 501(c)(3)
Most states have adopted charitable solicitation laws designed to protect donors, the general public and charities from fraud. Generally, charities and their fundraisers are required to:
- Register with the state.
- Describe their fundraising activities.
- File financial documents.
- Pay a fee that covers the administrative expenses of monitoring charities.
The rules and regulations for fundraising vary by state. In Ohio, fundraising efforts must be conducted in accordance with Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 1716.
For Individuals or Unofficial Groups
If you’re an individual looking to raise money for a veteran’s memorial, or a group of people not affiliated with a nonprofit, there is an easier way to raise money than filing the one-time project as a nonprofit group, or a 501(c)(3).
Go to the county or city government and ask for a line item on their books. Since they are already a 501c3, the new donations will be part of the city, but directed to your monument or statue.
This enables the donations to be tax-free, without you having to go through the red tape of registering as a nonprofit.
Contact our team if you have any questions about this process. We’ve helped several individuals and groups as they work through collecting donations.
Fundraising Ideas for a Military or Veteran Monument and Statue
Once you’ve complied with the fundraising rules and regulations within your state, think about how you will raise the money for your monument or statue. Here are five ideas to help inspire your fundraiser.
1. Run a Crowd Funding Campaign
Crowdfunding is an effort to raise money with donations from a large number of people. Starting with those you know—such as family, friends, organizations you’re involved with, your church—is the best place to start.
Nowadays, crowd funding is quite simple. There are several websites you can use to get started. All you need to do is choose a site, create an account and design your page.
Effective crowd funding pages usually include:
- An informative title like “Veterans Monument Project,” and can include more details, such as the city name or who is being honored.
- An attainable donation goal.
- An image that relates to your campaign.
- A detailed description explaining what the campaign is meant to accomplish.
Once you’ve completed these steps, consider sharing the page with your community. This can be done through social media, word of mouth (or email) or community events and meetings.
2. Sell Donor Bricks and Benches
A great way to get members of your community involved is by making them feel apart of the fundraising process. Many times, statues or monuments are placed on a concrete or brick base. You can raise money for your military monument or statue by selling bricks and benches with donor names engraved on them. These personalized bricks and benches can be laid out on a walkway or wall near your monument or statue.
3. Host a Memorial Dinner
One way to raise money and bring the community together for a cause is to host a memorial dinner. Get your community involved by asking people to donate food and drinks. Determine a location and organize a decorating crew.
Also, consider displaying images of the monument or statue you’re raising money for. That way, guests can really get a feel for what you’re trying to do.
You can sell tickets for the dinner or place a general donation jar so attendees can contribute throughout the event. It can also be a great opportunity to sell donor bricks or tie the event in with other donation initiatives.
4. Organize a Walkathon
Walkathons are great for active community members who want to show their passion and appreciation for our armed forces.
First you’ll need to choose a location and time for your walkathon. Give your walkathon a name and promote your event through flyers, social media and personal connections. Next, make registration forms that include liability waivers to make sure you are not responsible for any injuries that may occur during the walk. You can have people submit registration fees when they register or give you their pledges on the day of the event.
5. Start a Flag Subscription Service
If you’re not looking for a short-term fundraising idea, consider a flag subscription service. This is a long-term fundraiser that will take place over the course of several months, but it can help show patriotism within your community.
To start a flag subscription service, ask people if they want to pay a small reoccurring fee to receive a different flag for each holiday throughout the year. Then, hand out or hang holiday appropriate flags on porches throughout your neighborhood.
Create a Custom Military or Veteran Memorial
Military or veteran memorials are designed to commemorate members of our armed forces. At Milano Monuments, we’ve built monuments, memorial benches, statues and other tributes recognizing our nation’s heroes.
To receive a quote and more information about designing a veteran or military memorial, contact us today.