Tag Archives: Fundraiser

Save the Sanctuary Sunset Fun Run!

The In Harmony With Nature sanctuary for wolves, wolfdogs, and other exotic animals in need is in danger of losing its property.  We’ve posted much to keep you informed so you can share the story and spread the word.

Some students at the University of Central Florida heard about the plight of these amazing animals and want to help.  They are working together to plan a fundraiser event that will include a fun run and exciting other ways to make a difference.  There are 60 students on the planning & volunteer team led by Kaitlin Balcerak and Alex Graves.

Run, walk, crawl, or just howl your support at the finish line!
March 20th, 5 – 7:30 p.m.,
Jay Blanchard park on Dean Road

REGISTER HERE – participants are limited!


If you would like to support these students efforts by sponsoring part of the run, please contact Kaitlin, you can reach us directly at 407-823-3094 or by email at tee.rogers@ucf.edu.



Happy Hour Holiday Party

UPDATED 12/14/2014

This event is open to the public – so please share and plan to join us there!  RSVP on Facebook!

Picture1Happy Hour Holiday Party
Sunday, December 14th, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Keg n’ Cork, 1566 W. Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park
Music by John Lazar
Attire: Creative, fun holiday spirit! (Great prize!)

Join members of the Happy Hour Meetup (and other groups) for a holiday celebration at Keg & Cork with live music by John Lazar.  There will be raffles, prizes, food, live music, live comedy, art, and other surprises – and good company.  Food & Needs Drive (see lists below) and all proceeds benefit the pantry & residents at SafeHouse of Seminole.

AWESOME RAFFLE ITEMS (click for sneak-peek!)

Flyer to share

This adult night out event is free to attend (self pay for food and drink) and open to the public – feel free to share with other groups.

Consider bringing an item to donate to SafeHouse.

New items only, please. If you have questions about donations, please contact BEOrlando@live.com.

QuickList: nonperishable food items including juice boxes, canned goods, spaghetti & sauce, paper towels, toilet paper, all-purpose cleaner, and pots, pans, spices, utensil sets, gas cards, towels, pillows, adult bicycles.  Grocery or gas gift cards and cash donations will also be accepted.

Special Lists:  Pantry and Urgent Needs  |  Holiday Wish List
Can’t be there?  Consider donating online to the First Nights Campaign – When women and children leave home home suddenly to find emergency shelter, they take almost nothing – that first night, many things are needed. You can help.

Consider hosting a drive at your place of business or with a team, social or family group the week before and bring the items to the event.  BE. Orlando can provide local pick-up service for businesses on Dec 13 & 14 (sat & sun) to take to the event – BEOrlando@live.com for info.

A representative of SafeHouse will be IN THE HOUSE from 6:30 to 7:30 to provide materials, accept donations, and answer questions about SafeHouse and the need in our area for the services they provide.


Donated by PintClub.org – Yo-Ho-Ho Rum Basket for the raffle – value $120

Raffle Item donated by PintClub

One of the many raffle items to raise money for SafeHouse of Seminole at the 2014 Happy Hour Holiday Party at Keg & Cork, 12/14/14.

Special thanks to our friends in the Happy Hour Meetup Group for choosing to support SafeHouse of Seminole as the beneficiary of a needs drive and fundraiser!  This happy hour holiday party with a twist of positive impact is a great example of how groups in our community can find creative ways to raise awareness about social issues and engage their members in drives, fundraisers, and volunteer activities that make a difference.  Allison, Galina, and other co-coordinators for this event set an inspiring example for all!


Holiday Giving for the Thinking Donor

As the holiday season approaches, we think more about ways we can make a difference for others. Many seek opportunities to make donations – but are those donations really making the difference we intend?

It is the responsibility of the donor to research the agency in which they are investing.  Some donors give just to feel they have done “something,” but many really want to know their contributions will have an impact that aligns with their values, kindness goals, and personal mission.  Charitable agencies, like businesses, market themselves for maximum profit.  And like businesses, their marketing face does not necessarily represent their true services or impact. How do you find the right one?

Getting to know an organization’s daily practices, its mission, who is served by them, how their programs truly connect with the need they are designed to address, and faith or political agendas funded by donor dollars are all important aspects of evaluating a charity’s’ integrity and character.

Indicators that donors often use to evaluate agencies include executive salaries and administrative cost. But think about these qualitatively, not quantitatively.

A high salary for agency leaders is not by itself an indicator of a bad organization.  For example, consider a powerhouse fundraising organization that nationally collects and invests billions of dollars a year to support extant programming and create new resources addressing critical needs in local communities. This organization requires top-performing executives for responsible management, and therefore must offer salaries commensurate with the business world to attract those leaders.  One executive’s salary, for example, is $268,426; this is 1.16% of that agency’s expenses, as they manage a revenue of $24,179,099 (FYE 6/2013, Charity Navigator).  How much would the CEO of a private investment firm with $24+ million in annual revenue generally earn?

An agency may save cost by hiring executives willing to work for less. Such a leader may be wonderful – that individual may indeed be a great leader who is also a kind, giving soul dedicated to serve without or with limited means of supporting themselves; or, they may be an underpaid, unexperienced, or ineffective leader, impacting the agency’s effectiveness and how your donations are truly used within the organization.

Rather than making assumptions based on a salary, consider what is required of the executives at a particular agency, the services of the agency they represent, and the track record of the agency.

Administrative cost is also not what it appears at face value.  These costs are necessary – facilities, personnel, and outreach are important aspects of most agencies and create the infrastructure to sustain services over time. Amount of administrative cost can vary greatly depending on the services offered. For example, an organization dedicated to providing medical service for terminally ill children, or one whose primary mission is outreach and advocacy through marketing, would have a different administrative cost appearance than others who may be serving animals through a foster homing program or hosting volunteer-run collections of food to distribute to pantries without maintaining their own storage facility.

Additionally, what is categorized as “programming” can be subjective. For example, let’s think about a university college dean’s office and documents printed there. Imagine we ask them: What percentage of the printing cost in your college is spent on programming for students, and what percent is administrative?  It is easy to blur those lines and not all colleges at that university would categorize items the same way; similarly, we can compare agencies’ admin cost percentages, but should be aware that it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison.

Investigate further when you see organizations that make claims about extremely low admin costs or CEOs that operate for free or minimal salaries.  There are costs associated with living and operating a business which are being paid somehow.  Seek genuine transparency over creative reporting.

Money, like time, is a limited resource for everyone – we only have so much to give, and ensuring the most impactful investment of that resource is up to us.  We can use Charity Navigator, Give.org, GuideStar, MelissaData, Charity Watch, Smartgivers.org, Givewell.org, IRS charity verification, and other research tools, but the best way to know how your investment will be used is to actively engage through service and discourse with clients and staff to get to know what the agencies really do with their programs and funding.  What are their daily practices, how do their programs impact others, and how do they manage donations?

Another indicator often used in evaluating charities is faith alignment. Individuals of all faith and non-faith perspectives may have reasons to seek secular charities when investing donations.

Many religious charities do offer great service to our community, but some of the money may be taken away from the actual charitable mission and directed to the additional mission of proselytization or even political activism to promote religious agendas. In addition, some require clients and volunteers to be (or pretend to be) affiliated with the agency’s faith perspective in order to receive services or participate in programs. Though they take donations from the diverse public, they may re-invest them in a limited demographic. Secular charities focus on their mission of service. The Nature Conservancy, for example, does not use donor contributions to promote a faith perspective – they work to conserve nature.

There are also humanist-focused agencies that include the humanist agenda in their programming. These are important to many individuals seeking to promote inclusiveness for all humanity because of the perceived imbalance in representation and visibility of humanist giving. Humanist agencies and those that openly declare secularism represent and encourage a giving spirit in all of humanity regardless of faith perspective.

Faith perspective decisions are very personal; consider the mission of the agency you are evaluating to determine if they will use your donation in a way that represents your world view.

It is, again, ultimately the responsibility of the thinking donor to consider the impact of their investment. One way to find out how your dollars will be used is simply to ask. Consider interviewing a staff member or administrator at the charity and ask them – what do they need donor dollars for? You may find they have a specific program or initiative currently lacking in funding that you would love to see succeed, and your contribution can make it happen; or you may find that their plans for your investment don’t align with your values and impact goals.

Volunteering with an agency and even sponsoring specific events that benefit that agency allow you to be involved in how your dollars are used. Seeing your investments in action is the most rewarding way to give. For example, sponsor a dinner at a shelter where you are also able to participate in the food preparation and serving.

If you are considering making a charitable contribution this holiday season, give responsibly for maximum positive impact. Your investment in our community makes a difference – ensure it is the difference you want to make. List your values and kindness goals and think about your personal mission statement, then decide what social impact area you would like to support and search for and review agencies that align with your personal integrity and life path.

Those who give money to make themselves feel fulfilled or to simply feel like they have done “something” do make some positive contributions to charities that need their help. But the world needs more people who want to make a real and meaningful impact and who take the time to think about donations as investments. We need thinking donors who are not reactionary givers based on ad misericordiam and other appeals to emotion or fall victim to creative misdirection & manipulation in advertising, but rather who consider the needs in our community and donate in ways that represent themselves and their community well.

Thank you for your interest in making a difference in our world!


Group Announcements


Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Not us.  In fact, we want to help save their home.  A local wolf and wolf-dog rescue is in danger of losing its property.

HELP. If you are interested in a volunteer / leadership opportunity helping with the social media campaign or hosting a fundraising event, please contact Tee directly.  If you would like to follow our event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/652277171530584/.

ADVOCATE. If you can share that Facebook event page with your social networks / Facebook connections, that would help.  We need to reach individuals who would want to be a part of preserving this local resource – folks can’t help if they don’t know about the urgent need for assistance. We have to raise $130,000 within the next 60 days.

CAMPAIGNS. We would love to have your children’s drawings of wolves to include in an album of support for the refuge (not a fundraiser – free to enter, no sales). Great family project or youth group project! Send directly to Tee at BEOrlando@live.com.  Artist Hero certificates will be sent for all participants.

Other refuge fundraising and advocacy campaigns include private donor outreach, three online giving campaigns, a Wolf Howl video challenge, and fundraising events (we need more of those!).

The Warmies Project

If you or someone you know enjoys sewing, knitting, and other textile arts and crafts, please consider donating an item to The Warmies Project.  We collect hand-made cozy-warmies like blankets, scarves, hats, and more.  Items should include a hand-written note from the donor to the recipient.   Items will be given to local homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, hospices, children’s hospitals, and other programs.

We already have more than 100 donations for the coming season – help keep the positive momentum going!  Share The Warmies Project(tm) page.  🙂   Note that there is a Tampa branch of The Warmies Project being chaired by Kim – you can contact her through Meetup.


Secular and Religious Minority Awareness (SRMA) Project

SRMA is a workshop that will launch at UCF in the fall, and in our community in the spring. The intent is to promote a respectful academic and workplace environments for individuals of all faith and non-faith perspectives, with a focus on the fastest-growing faith demographic in America: secularism.

UCF project:  http://SRMA-UCF.org
Community Project (draft): http://SRMACFL.wordpress.com

We are looking for focus group opportunities.  If you know of a meetup, team, social, faith community, or other group that would be willing let us come in as a guest speaker to present the SRMA content for review and feedback – or just to host a discussion content – please pass along my contact information.  Tee Rogers, SRMA@outlook.com.

There will be an e-focus group and another group event posted soon with BE.  Please participate if you can – your input will help create and steer this brand new project that will hopefully make a positive difference in our world.

Math,Science, and Pi(e) Festival

March isn’t THAT far away!  If you are interested in helping with the planning and fundraising to support our Pi Day event at the Coalition for the Homeless, please contact Tee directly.  You can learn more about this event at https://beorlando.wordpress.com/pi-day/.

Upcoming Events – Highlights

  • ICCD – Sep 20th.  Join us for our annual kayak / beach cleanup event in support of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD).  More info on our calendar or on our website.
  • Sunday Assembly Orlando – Sep 28th.  Join in the inaugural gathering of the local Sunday Assembly.  See our calendar for more details (they don’t have a website yet, but we will share it as soon as they do).
  • FreeFlo FHA Conference – Oct 10-12. Come enjoy the conference and/or help us host the BE. Orlando table in the information room.
  • Veg Fest – Oct 25.  Come enjoy Veg Fest and stop by or help host our BE. Orlando vendor table.  If it fits your bloodletting schedule, drop in to the Big Red Bus which will be located at the entrance to the festival.  Blood donations will support BE.’s PintClub challenge!



Help us save IHWN!

Join & share this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/652277171530584

Help Now: http://www.gofundme.com/inharmony

From IHWN: In Harmony With Nature is an animal haven located in Orlando. Our property is in danger and must be purchased in order to keep our mission going and provide a safe environment for our animals. It would be devastating to these animals to loose the safe place they call home. We strive to be a special place for volunteers with a passion to connect with nature and to help make a difference in the lives of our rescued animals. The effort to care for these animals is our priority and we want to be able to continue to offer them a safe natural environment as well as to help the others that cross our path. We help neglected and abandoned animals including wolves and wolf-dogs. We have dogs and cats, pigs and parrots, and tortoises too. We provide rehab, re-homing, as well as sanctuary for the ones who need a permenant place. PLEASE HELP US TIME IS CRITICAL!