View Full Version : Town not helping

11-26-2007, 04:04 PM
Hey everyone,
I have so much fun haunting. So instead of trying to make a for-profit haunt, i have decided to go the other route- non profit charity haunt. I have sent a letter to the town manager, the town selectmen, and the buildings dept in the town. The letter was very well written describing all aspects of the event. I compared it to a non profit haunt in the town over, saying it would be much that like one (which makes 80 grand a season). I said all the profits would be donated to the animal shelter. I chose them as the beneficiary as they are raising funds for a new shelter building now. So i basically said i want to raise anywhere from 50-80 thousand for the animal shelter. I then went on to say "the only variable not filled in the equation now is location." In the end, after all the jazzy talk and whatnot, i basically asked them if our organization of dedicated volunteer haunters could use a town owned building or at last resort, a plot of land. I have not heard back from any of them. My feeling is that none of them are even a bit enthusiastic, and nobody wants to take responsiblity in arranging an area for the haunt, even though it would be a great fundraiser and community event. I need help!! Where do i turn to next?? What do i do? Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

11-26-2007, 04:44 PM
I wouldn't expect an enthusiastic response, although I could be wrong.

I think the way to go would be to approach the shelter directly and have someone there approach the city if a building is needed. Either that or a local property owner with a suitable building. Having someone from the organization as a representative gives you a lot more credibility. It is also harder to turn them down.

Another thing to think about is that for this to be approved, the city's attorney would need to look over everything and give it the OK. Is that enough said about that?

Honestly I think the city would be the last ones to approach, definitely not the first. If you can't make it work with the shelter, find another organization taht will be more appreciative of your efforts.

11-26-2007, 05:25 PM
It's a tough call. They'll always look at things from a legal standpoint and you can't blame them for being concerned or not enthusiastic. As Shawn said, maybe look somewhere else for your location.
I would contact the shelter directly and see if they have anyone who already has a relationship with them that may have land suitable for a haunt. Who knows you might save some stress by working directly with the charity. They tend to have lots of connections.
Also, have an insurance plan in place too.

Good luck.


Old Tree Studios
11-26-2007, 08:42 PM
Yeah Ben, I agree with the folks above. I'm guessing that unless you already have a strong reputation or a recognized organization in the town, they will be reluctant for a myriad of reasons... most of them legal , to allign themselves with you.

So absolutely go directly to the Animal Shelter and work with those folks. However, gotta be a little careful there too... Sounds like you have already done a lot of organizational work, so I would make a formal pitch to the Animal Shelter people to show them that you're "on the ball" with this. The fear here being that they might take your idea and run... without you!

So gather up your pie-charts, graphs, and schematics and blow the socks off those Shelter people. Then together you can approach the city.

Use their cred to get you in the door!

Good luck, and keep us updated on your progress!


11-27-2007, 04:32 AM
thanks for the suggestions. I will definitly forget about approaching the town and go directly to the shelter. Great info!

Greg Chrise
11-27-2007, 05:27 PM
The city probably already gets bills from activities from animal control officers when ever an animal is taken there. They will all feel the pound even a privately operated organization should have no problem operating with in the budget already provided and certainly aren't going to make an effort to make sure there is even more money going to them. Even though this is a legitimate activity, building a building to expand or replace, the city can't play favorites with any one shelter organization in the same or even surrounding counties directly beyond having an account with them unless you go around and petition 10,000 home owners that this is a community wide out cry for action.

Old Tree Studios
11-27-2007, 08:19 PM
I disagree. I spent 10 years working for a non-profit (animal related no less) that has staged fundraising events in towns from California to New York and just about everywhere in between. Each situation and town is unique of course, but providing the request comes from a legitimate 501c3 or similar organziation, and its willing and able to meet the requirements, it's certainly doable.

It seems as though we're looking at facilities rental here. Again, depending on the town, there is usually contract machinery already in place to handle just such a request. The building or land will have to be A. Up to code and B. Available for temporary lease.

The organization will have to naturally jump through all the bureaucratic hoops that all haunts do... including of course the $Million (or more) liability policy.

Of course, the organization will also most likely have to pay rent, however, depending on the regs, this can be considerably more reasonable for a non-profit than the average Joe Schmoe looking to rent a hall for a wedding reception.

Trust me on this... no residential petitions and protest rallys required. Just you with an armful of data and plans, and a rather boring afternoon spent with the local town suits.

So Ben, go see the Shelter folks and get your haunt off the ground! All those little doggies are counting on you!


11-28-2007, 11:02 AM
You may have made a mistake by sending the letter.

Your letter was probably glanced at and immediately put in the "round" file.

Local politics are almost always about personal, face-to-face relationships.


Here's what you should do:

Get a list of all the town council members (including the mayor).

Go talk to each of them separately.

Be prepared for an onslaught of questions about liability, funding, etc.

Get one or two of council members on board with your project and doors will start opening.