Is Fundraising Allowed At Competition

Hi everyone! Our team was thinking of selling buttons for any connotation of money at the North Bay competition. And we wanted to give all of the button proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society, but one of our mentors mentioned a possible blanket ban on all types of commerce (for-profit and not-for-profit), does anyone here know if this is a rule, and if so if it would apply to fundraising?

There is a blanket ban on selling things at a competition, regardless of what it is. The rule you’re looking for is in the Event Rules Manual:

E07. Don’t sell stuff or distribute food. This includes, but is not limited to, raffle tickets, food, hats, shirts, candy, water, soft drinks, fruit, or any promotional products.


Thanks so much!

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I know some teams do sell things like little rubber ducks to raise money for cancer research. But there is a rule against it, sooooooo…

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people sell stuff. I’ve seen little kids sell candy, and I’ve seen teams sell the rubber ducks. Event event staff and volunteers buy the ducks. Why enforce a rule the prevents a team from benefiting cancer research?

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To be clear, my understanding of this rule is that it only applies to teams, not event organizers. So, at the FiM District event I help plan, for instance, we’re allowed to fundraise for the event (though we don’t) or sell merchandise at the event, as long as the proceeds go towards the event itself and not any specific team. In the past we collected donated items on behalf of a local charity, but we were told a few years ago that we could only collect monetary donations, and not items, at our events.

If your team is looking to fundraise, perhaps one alternative to get around the rule would be to have whatever fundraiser you’re doing on your teams website, then post or hand out links to the team website, that way you’re technically not fundraising at the event. Alternatively, if you’re fundraising for a different non-profit, perhaps talk to the event organizers about setting something up on behalf of the non-profit at the event itself?

in FNC, they sell fans to play “heads or tails” and then whoever wins, their team of choice gets $500, they have been doing it for years, I am wondering if that contradicts the experience you have had with FIM, and how that inter-plays with the rules?

A large part of this rule has to do with venue contracts. Many events are held in locations with specific vendor contracts in place, and part of those contracts give those vendors exclusivity. Having a blanket rule like this keeps things simple for teams, as we don’t have to figure out if there are such restrictions on each event we go to and change our plans - every event is the same.

I would imagine the rules are different when the event is held in a high school without those vendor contracts. Often, high schools will have one group or another fund raise by working concessions for an event, for example.

My team has had to work within these rules for an annual luncheon we hold at the Minneapolis regionals (coming up this week!). There may be cheaper options if we could do what we want… but instead, we have to go through the university to get tables, chairs, and speakers in place. We have to order from a limited list of approved vendors to feed the 280 people we’re planning on attending. We can’t charge admission fees or anything like that to offset the cost (not that we would - we find sponsorship specifically to cover the event).

Interesting. I wonder if because the fundraising is being done by the event and not going towards a specific team (but rather one chosen at random), if that allows them to get around that (or perhaps the regulations we have are FiM-specific)? Seems like a bit of a grey area, tbh.

How about a troup of cute little girls selling Girl Scout cookies?

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