Friday, September 08, 2006


I am vice president of my guild, which means I'm in charge of programs. Here is the story. We have a 4,000.00 a year budget for programs. Which really doesn't go far, For instance, a speaker who came a couple of months ago, drove. He charged .40 per mile, all expenses, meals etc. Motel costs, he charged several hundred dollars for workshops, and program. All totaled, it cost around #2,000.00. We had another speaker recently that cost 1,500.00 not counting our share of plane ticket, and motel stay and meals. Luckily, these speakers fell in two different 'guild years' As it is, it is the first month of our new year, and I have used half of my budget on one speaker. Everyone told me "get more like this" meaning more workshops. But, I can't. At least nationally known speakers. You plan to have the workshops covered by the cost to students, but no one comes to the workshops. I do my best to get good people that can teach things you can't learn from one of the MANY quilt shops within a 30 minute drive of where we live. But I have heard complaints from some that I should have workshops for people that aren't advanced. I have a few thoughts on that. First, there are about 12 quilt shops within 45minutes from our area. You can learn all kinds of non-advanced things there. Second, if you don't stretch yourself by taking something difficult, you will never grow beyond where you are. And the third reason is, I will admit it, I have to sit in every workshop. I have to spend most of my free time for days with the person I get in for a program. I also have a job, so this is saying a lot. If I am doing the work, I am going to look to the guilds needs, but I am going to get someone that I want to take a workshop from. I'm too restless to sit in a workshop anyway, if I have to it is not going to be a workshop in making nine patch quilts.
Okay, here is the other side. We charge $15.00 a year for dues, We have one fundraiser every two years. It is a small quilt auction. Our auction is in November, and so far in a guild of well over 100, we have around 40 things to sell. I live in an area that was a big industrial area. Slowly, one by one, they are leaving or going out of business. So since the economy may be good in other parts of the contry, it isn't here. So I don't know how well this pretty much so far unadvertised auction is going to make enough for much of anything. Especially if it is expected to last for two years.

There is a point for this blog. If anyone out there is in a guild would you email me and tell me what your guild does to raise money? I have had some good ideas, and I am looking forward to hearing from all of you.


Rian said...

It's a real conundrum. I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you. All I know is that our guild has two quilt shows with auctions each year to raise funds. Good luck.

diva of quilts said...

I'm not sure of all that mine does since it's only been a few months since I joined, but they have a really major annual show, probably several opportunity quilts and small auctions, as well as charging $35/year membership with some 300 members or more.

Lisa, Procrastinator Extraordinaire said...

I belong to several guilds here in San Diego. Dues are higher here than where you are: $20 - $30 depending on the guild. We also do an auction once a year and have an opportunity quilt (ie. a raffle quilt).

Several ways we've cut costs: We send out the newsletter via email whenever possible. We've done away with the July and August meetings. Not many attend those anyway. The December meeting is a potluck and so is the June meeting. Now you're down to 8 meetings per year. We try to get "local folks" (people within a 2 hour drive) whenever possible. Fortunately there are a lot of teachers in this area. When possible we share expenses with other guilds. ONce a year we do a sharing talent night with 6 or 7 members volunteering to do short demos. That's tonight and I'm demo-ing 4 types of prairie points and origami puffs. Others are doing hand quilting, machine quilting, label tricks, etc.

We also have a "store" with donated fabric members can purchase from, a monthly raffle (small quilted items), book auctions (older library books) and anything else we can think of to raise money.

As a guild lecturer myself I know how difficult it can be to find good quality speakers for a reasonable price. But all that work finding quality speakers is what makes the guild worthwhile.