Do you know that all 4-H money is public money? That’s right. All dollars that are raised in the name of 4-H are monies that follow rules and guidelines for public dollars.
Purpose of Fund Raising
Fundraisers should promote healthy youth development. In addition to raising funds, the project should be
one in which 4-H members can have an educational experience and learn life skills. Fund raising should
only be conducted to meet a specific goal established through broad input of a 4-H organization’s
membership. The need for fundraising should be identified through the 4-H Club or Group’s annual budget
development and approval process. Generally, money raised during the course of the 4-H fiscal year should
be spent that same year unless it for a long-term long-range goal, such as the establishment of an
endowment fund.Fundraising for a long-term objective must be for a specific youth development goal and requires a 5-year plan with specific steps. 4-H Clubs and Groups cannot hold excess funds beyond the defined limits.
Guidelines for Fund Raising
All money raised using the 4-H Name and Emblem must be used for 4-H activities. Because the funds
are publicly accountable, they must be used to pay for educational programs, activities, workshops or
supplies. Funds raised in the name of 4-H become the property of 4-H (4-H funds are not the property
of individuals who may have helped raise the funds). Funds are not to be raised in the name of
particular individual (member or leader). They must not be used for personal financial gain for any
individual. Pocket money, personal items and souvenirs are clearly not legitimate uses of money raised
in the name of 4-H.
At the 4-H Club or Group/Committee level, members should approve the fund raising goal and the fund
raising project being undertaken. Fund raising should not be the main focus of group activities nor
exclude any individual from participating. 4-H Clubs and Groups are expected to support the financial
needs of the total group and when possible, assist with participant costs with county, state, and national
To ensure safety for 4-H members and leaders, door-to-door solicitation is discouraged. Individual
solicitation should be done with family and friends.
All funds raised become part of the club’s treasury and should be handled in accordance with the
guidelines specified in the 4-H Club Treasurer Handbook. It is important to have accurate records of the
Check with local and state authorities on health, licensing, labeling, labor and tax laws.
Fund raising must not be used to endorse, or imply endorsement, of a particular business or product.
If a 4-H organization intends to raise funds in partnership with another organization, the purpose of the
fundraising should be clearly communicated at the time the fund raising is conducted. For example, if a
county horse project wants to raise funds to build a horse barn on the county fairgrounds, the fund
raising information should clearly communicate the funds raised by the 4-H horse project will be
donated to the county fair to provide funds to build a new horse barn on the fairgrounds.
4-H Clubs or Groups that plan to conduct raffles or bingo must comply with state regulations and obtain
licenses. Any 4-H organization that plans to hold a raffle must obtain a raffle license from the State of
Wisconsin Division of Gaming.
Use of the 4-H Name and Emblem in Fund Raising
There are rules about the use of the 4-H Name and Emblem in fund raising. The 4-H Youth Development
Educator needs to review the fund raising plan prior to placing the 4-H Name and Emblem on a product for
sale. The nature of the product, scope of the fund raising project and location of the vendor are all
considerations in determining if approval can be granted at the local level, or if approval is needed on the
state or national level. Anyone wishing to use the 4-H Name and Emblem in a way that does not specify a
local or state program, should seek authorization to use the 4-H Name and Emblem from National 4-H
Headquarters at USDA. Information on using the 4-H Name and Emblem is located at: