“What do I get with the affiliate kit and what is the cost?”
- This kit will support you in launching and sustaining a successful RAF in your community by providing:
A shared drive of training modules with folders containing: guidebooks, overview, launch, annual calendar, personnel, board governance, development, marketing and media, volunteers, provider partners, recipient partners, sustainability, outreach, facility, technology, finances, vehicles, medical studies, and preferred vendors*.
A marketing starter package
Initial set of business cards
Consultation hours to guide you through the start-up process
One year of licensing rights to the RAF brand, renewable, each year, thereafter, contingent upon adherence to agreement ($2,500)*
- The purchasing price for the Affiliate Kit is a one time fee of $5,000
*Please note that some modules, such as technology and finance, are overviews because you may choose to use different resources than we recommend or have needs specific to your community.
“What are the operating costs and budgets of an affiliate site?”
- Once you are an official 501(c)(3), you will be able to fundraise
- Branch operating cost will vary, but expect between $300,000 – $400,000 to cover the expenses for launching, ongoing operations, as well as a cushion of operating reserves
- Each year, thereafter, may round out to an average of $300,000, annually
- Costs will depend on your community’s market, the area’s cost of living, and what resources are available to you (as well as your ability to garner those resources)
- Some branches, for instance, are able to use a warehouse space for free, though this is not typical, while other individuals have market connections that can offset expenses in other ways
- You will need to invest in several initial “one”-time purchases, such as a van, cooler, strong and sturdy storage shelves, tools, tables, chairs, etc. We have in-depth details in the affiliate kit.
- A sample budget is a part of the affiliate kit
- There are in-kind opportunities that might off-set your budgeting costs, such as finding someone who can help with renting a facility or someone who can finance the cost and/or up-keep of the vehicle
“How do you seek out and obtain donations?”
This comes with being a registered 501(c)(3), licensed to utilize RAF branding and logo. It is incredibly difficult to seek out sufficient and sustainable funding without this status, which is why we provide you with a pathway to become your own entity. Every branch must establish their own fundraising styles. You must have a dedicated, experienced fundraising or development team on your board because there are so many different avenues of funding that must be considered, on an on-going basis.
“What advice do you have on how to get donors or a foundation to contribute to a start-up nonprofit without being an official 501(c)(3) yet?”
- Host house parties to inform guests of RAF and its mission, share RAF testimonials and stories, and then ask guests for start-up money to help bring RAF to your community.
- Utilize resources from RAF to help get the conversation going! This might include promotional flyers and/or videos from previous events.
- Connect with local rotaries, chambers, and foundations
- Participate or host yard sales, local market, craft fairs, garden parties, etc.
- Be aware that you cannot give a tax write off to someone who gives you money if you are not a registered 501(c)(3)
- Do some research online – there are plenty of options, given what your interest level is in certain activities
“How do you solicit volunteers once you are a 501(c)(3)? How are their jobs broken down?”
This is the “easy” part. People love working with flowers and we have found there is no shortage of individuals to help us fulfill our mission. Volunteers come to RAF after hearing about us at volunteer fairs, home and garden shows, media exposure, attending Flower After Hours, and our volunteers introducing and inviting their friends to RAF. We also have RAF arrangement recipients who became RAF volunteers. We have a list of the volunteer responsibilities broken down in the kit, but essentially, we have volunteers on the following teams. Some exist on multiple teams.
- Floral Deconstruction/Preparation Team
- Floral Arranging Team
- Floral Pick-Up Team
- Floral Delivery Team
- Workshop Organization Team
- Special Events and Fundraiser Team
“What are some key elements to success in launching a new affiliate site?”
Random Acts of Flowers relies on the support of many individuals and resources to sustain operations and continue to deliver bouquets of hope to those who are in need of some cheer. Here are some elements that we believe are crucial, when starting up and affiliate site. These will be covered in greater detail as we move through the steps for incorporation.
- Local board leadership
- Financial support for long-term sustainability
- Healthcare facility partners
- Floral sources
- Solid volunteer base
- Dedicated personnel
- Facility space
- Third party support
“It looks like you have a warehouse where you store flowers and repurpose them. What materials are needed?”
Yes, a workshop is vital to our operations. The affiliate kit details all you need to consider and how to arrange operational materials in the most efficient manner. Some of the essential items are:
- A cooler for flower storage
- A large utility sink
- A washer and dryer
- Vases (we have tips on how to get these, for free, in your community via vase drives and other promotions)
- Tools for pruning/cutting/arranging
- Tables/chairs for workstations
- Buckets and carts for flowers
- Compost bins
“I know another nonprofit or organization that has space I can share. How would this work?”
For legal purposes, we cannot “team-up” with another nonprofit in terms of Board of Directors, staff, workshop space, etc. Each affiliate site must be its own, stand-alone entity. You may find a location where you share a building with another organization. You must, however, have your own delineated space with your own lease, parking, access point, loading zone, etc.
“How many full-time employees do you need?”
Our affiliate sites typically have 2-3 full-time employees:
- An Executive Director
- A Program Manager
- Optional: A Program Associate
Quality, well-trained, and kind staff members are vital to our operations. A van driver would be helpful, but given the part-time, heavy-lifting nature of the position, may be difficult to recruit and retain. We have found that a combination of volunteers and the Program Manager/Program Associate can assist with pickups and deliveries. Please refer to the affiliate kit and guidebooks for steps to take to ensure proper training, insurance protocol, etc.
“I want to do an RAF on a smaller scale / my own way.”
We are thrilled others want to share the power of repurposed flowers in their communities! At this time, the RAF Affiliate model is designed for those who wish to duplicate our specific practices and join our copyrighted brand, on a similar scale, with a full-time commitment.