Ever thought of starting a 100 club? Denis explains how
When Denis Bass joined the East Sussex branch in 2002 he quickly spotted an opportunity for the branch to raise money consistently throughout the year, he suggested a 100 Club, a kind of lottery which takes its name from the number of members in the club.
Denis explains that branch members, or friends and family can buy a membership for £24 a year. Of this money half goes to the MND Association, along with the relevant gift aid, while the remainder is used as prize money distributed among members. East Sussex has two draws a year, one at Christmas and the other at the branch's annual meeting in April.
The 100 Club has proved to be a popular concept with people keen to give to the charity while at the same time having the chance to win a prize.
"We have the draw because there's an incentive. You will have the chance to get some money back. People love to think they're going to be a winner. There's something about winning prizes which attracts people. It's easier to sell. I still call it a 100 Club although I've got 155 members," said Denis. "People know, of course, that they may not win ever but the chances (of winning) are quite high."
Denis calculates that East Sussex has raised more than £22,000 for the MND Association since its club got underway in 2003. One of keys to a successful club is pitching the membership subscription at the right level. Too high and potential donors are turned off, too low and the club struggles to raise momentum and offer meaningful prizes.
"Of course you can pay multiple memberships, some families have two at least. One lady joined up and added one a year and ended up with eight. There's no restriction you can have as many £24 memberships as you wish," said Denis.
Having members commit to standing orders cuts down on cash handling and means money can flow into branch accounts on a monthly basis.
Denis says that when East Sussex launched its 100 Club it attracted about 50 subscribers in the first year, mainly bringing in members through word of mouth. Modern day social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and electronic branch newsletters mean a lot more tools are available now for branches and groups to get a 100 Club off the ground.
Denis says his 100 Club currently raises more than £2,000 a year for the MND Association, including gift aid. For many groups raising that amount of money can mean a lot of effort going into organising an event or series of events.
Setting up a 100 Club might not be for everyone but Denis is convinced of the benefits.
"In our branch it is almost essential amount of money because it can be very difficult to raise money. To get a few extra hundred pounds a month coming in through the 100 Club has been good news," said Denis.
Check out the East Sussex Branch 100 Club enrolment form here.
Words by Keiron Henderson - Volunteer writer