Richard Stolte
Greeley, Colo., Lodge No. 809
While he doesn’t live in the Mile-High City, Lodge and District ENF Chair Richard Stolte has had mile-high results fundraising in his Lodge. Last year, he sky-rocketed his Lodge to a whopping $52.62 per capita! How does one achieve such an astonishing feat? Stolte says the key to his success is the many fundraisers he holds at his Lodge. And, he doesn’t like to reserve Lodge fundraisers just for ENF month! He holds two larger fundraisers each year, each with a different theme, and has many “fundraising gimmicks” throughout the year.

This month, the Greeley Elks Lodge will hold its October fundraiser called “ENF goes Hawaiian”, where members will serve Hawaiian food and encourage those in attendance to wear their best Hawaiian outfit. To increase ENF donations at this fundraiser, the Lodge will match donations from the raffle. Stolte says people really look forward to this perk and ask about it often. To increase donations even more, if attendees wear Hawaiian attire and buy a raffle ticket, they get one free!

While the Greeley Elks have found success in holding bi-annual fundraisers, Stolte says he has raised the most money with his various gimmicks throughout the year.

“Our Red Can fundraiser and donations with dues payments are the gravy of it because there is nothing you have to do but take the money and send it in!” Stolte says.

When members enter the Lodge each week for meetings, they can find Stolte sitting by the door with a red can, collecting a dollar from each person who enters. As they enter, Stolte writes down their names. When he has 10 names written down, he draws one from a hat and the winner of the drawing gets $10.00 donated to the ENF in his or her name. Afterward, he posts the winners’ names for the week in the Lodge. Some people like to win so much; they donate $10.00 when they walk in so their name is the only one entered into the hat! This year alone, the Lodge has raised more than $2,000.00 with the Red Can fundraiser.

Another key to success for the Greeley Lodge is rarely sending donations to the ENF in the Lodge’s name. Stolte makes sure that when sending money to the ENF he includes the donors’ names to receive personal credit. That way, individuals get more involved and are likely to contribute again.

By including a reminder to donate to the ENF with due’s notices, the Lodge often receives $10.00 donations from members who rarely even visit the Lodge.

Stolte checks the ENF reports on a regular basis. If any Lodge members are close to reaching the next cumulative giving level he sends them a letter saying they give more and reach the next level, he would be honored to present them with a certificate for their achievements.

Not only is Stolte an excellent ENF Chair for his Lodge, he is also very helpful to other Lodges in his District. As District ENF chair, he travels to Lodges that have not yet reached per capita and shares his fundraising ideas so that they too can reach the goal!

When asked what his best piece of advice to other ENF Chairs would be, Stolte says, “Have fun while helping others.”

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