Times are getting so bad that even towns are looking for fundraising ideas to raise money and other ways to reduce spending.

Shawn Touhill, a Doylestown Township supervisor, got people together as part of a new town fundraising committee. They gathered Monday night to brainstorm ideas for saving and raising money. Most of the ideas came from township staff, who suggested everything from enforcing existing ordinances (to increase revenue from fines) to requiring inspections on homes before they’re sold (and charging the seller) to holding Bingo nights to hiring a grant writer.

Doylestown has been struggling for the past few years to keep property taxes low, while maintaining its level of service and pay for capital projects, such as road repairs and bike and hike path resurfacing. You hear the same story in town after town across the country. But it appears like Touhill is helping his town to brainstorm ideas other than simply raising taxes or cutting services.

Doylestown Parks director Karen Sweeney suggested that the township ask other municipalities that might not have parks and recreation programs if they want to “buy into” Doylestown Township’s programs. The municipalities would pay a fee and their residents would be charged the resident rate (rather than the higher nonresident rate) to participate. Thinking outside the box was the main purpose to find revenue sources that had long been ignored in the past.

So the question for you is what funding opportunities are available to you or your group/organization that you have not considered to date? Have you gathered the appropriate people to brainstorm? Doylestown offers a great lesson for all of us. Times are changing and we need to change with them.

Posted on 16 March 2012

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