Over the past few years, I've struggled with keeping the tournaments I've hosted affordable without losing money hosting them. It seems that balance is incredibly difficult to find, so I've thought about a lot of ways to combat it. In the end, I've come up with a possibility that I'd like some input on, so any constructive thoughts you have would be appreciated.
Idea: Create a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote Redemption through making tournaments affordable and accessible.
What does that mean? Non-profit organizations have access to fundraising opportunities that other people don't. Therefore, once the non-profit was created, everyone would have access to the ability to fundraise to offset the costs of tournaments. In the midwest, for example, Kwik Trip is a gas station that allows non-profit organizations to sell Kwik Trip gift cards and keep 10% of the gift card value. Pizza Hut in WI has coupon booklets that can be sold. Pizza Ranch allows non-profits to serve during a dinnertime and get 10% of the sales plus 100% of the tips. And I'm sure you've seen plenty of other fundraisers!
While we would coordinate everything, we would be open to other options for fundraising events that may make sense for your group. The money would be raised and would have to be sent in to us. Then we would use it to support your playgroup either through helping to pay tournament fees, providing supplies for sealed categories, giving you extra prize support, or starter decks for new players.
A portion of the money raised would go to pay our expenses, but no one would be getting a paycheck for doing the work. I know for sure that there would be ~$400 in upfront costs to create the non-profit through Legal Zoom and ~$200/year ongoing. Another part of the money would be used to help brand new playgroups get started and to promote the game overall. The rest of it (at least half of everything raised) would go right back to your playgroup as mentioned above.
For myself, I know that I spend ~$200/month on gas, so if I did the Kwik Trip gift cards, that would be ~$20/month right there. However, that's just barely enough to cover the ongoing expenses, so I'm not going to start down this road if there isn't interest. Obviously I'd like to help our playgroup, but I think it would help others as well. How many more people would be able to come to tournaments if they were given decks, able to play for free, and maybe even got free food out of it? What if extra prizes were available for most improved, most creative deck, etc? Would that encourage more people to be involved?
So those are my thoughts so far. Please feel free to provide constructive comments, thoughts, and input, as well as letting me know if this is something that you are interested in and how you see it helping your playgroup.