I was addicted the first time I played bike polo. It is free, fun as fuck and there is heaps of beer involved. When it began in Brisbane it was a handful of guys meeting up once or twice a month to hit a ball in the park with slipshod mallets made of golf clubs and PVC. The humidity and rain tend to thin the numbers out a little over summer, but Sunday polo is a pretty big deal in Brisbane, with up to 6 piles being stacked in advance for games. We figure we either need a better permanent court with lights or to retrofit our beloved Musgrave Park with floodlights. Not all councils are as nice as Sydney’s, who don’t have to pay for their court use. Melbourne players have to pay a small amount of money when they play at their awesome courts near the markets, which is a bit of a deterrent for players. Brisbane players are notoriously lazy and cheap, so having to travel to, as well as pay for courts did not sound like a viable option. Whether it is for travel, court upgrades or insurance, fundraising is sometimes a necessary evil. Today we take a look at how the Brisbane polo crew raised cash post-haste.
At first I really liked Perth’s ideas of delivering the White Pages, but from what I heard, it was pretty physical work for a minimal amount of money. Cake stalls and sausage sizzles at the courts are nice, but they have the potential to underperform as you are only aiming your efforts at fellow polo players, who can tend be total tightarses. What I particularly like about the first 2 options is that they utilise the public’s money rather than polo player’s to make a profit.
Vintage clothing/ rummage sale: I’m guessing other cities have these too. People bring suitcases of clothes to wherever the event is being held. Hipsters then go through your shit, haggle over the price and then buy something when they deem it vintage/ironic/kooky enough to them (usually with hundred dollar bills their parents gave them, bring plenty of change!) This is a good way to clear out people’s garages and spare rooms. This shit is pure fucking profit, plus you can spread the word about how polo makes your genitals tingle with excitement. St Jerome’s festival this year asked people to turn up and sell their wares. You got free/cheap entry and if you hustled your crap well enough, you were free to go explore the festival. If not, you just had to stay around until dark and were then free to leave. The downside is potential poor turnouts due to inclement weather and the fact that they are usually held on the weekend, which is prime polo time.
Scientific fact; beer makes you better at polo. What’s that? Your doctor says you have a drinking problem? Fuck that tool, drinking is rad. Trust me, I’m a nurse. On a number of occasions we have brought slabs like First Choice Liquor’s Cleanskin beer. It is 30 dollars a slab and is a pretty decent lager. Ottinger as well as Hammer n Tongs are also cheap up here too. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good craft beer as much as the next person, but once you have had 2 or 3, taste isn’t really a factor anymore. At first in Brisbane, people were hesitant to drink the cheap beers, but days like Valentines and ANZAC saw us drink 4-5 cases each day, which would have netted a pretty tidy hypothetical profit if money was exchanged for beer, which didn’t happen as we have the utmost respect for liquor licencing laws as well as the kind folks at the Australian Taxation Office.
Selling chocolates for fundraising is kind of cliché and conjures images of angry girl scouts berating you at the door of your home. However it is pretty easy and quite profitable. I contacted Cadbury (just Google Cadbury fundraising) and they sent out a number of mixed pack boxes. You don’t have to pay up front and you take nearly fifty per cent of sales in profits. Workplaces tend to be pretty supportive of the idea, so if everyone pitches in, easy cash can be made. The honesty system tends to work, one of our boxes was accidentally left on a council bus and taken in as lost property. The person who lost it contacted the bus depot to be told that they had sold all the chocolates and she was free to come pick up her cash.
We are well on our way to upgrades for the court, but are always open to suggestion.
Let us know what kind of fundraising you reckon would work. Post a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jamie Barber