It is important to remember that we can get a dollar from a hundred people easier than we can get a hundred dollars from one. We must also remember that a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Because advertising dollars are short these days, companies are often more willing to provide in-kind services in exchange for free advertising.
Let me give you a few examples of what our club does to get in-kind services in exchange for advertising:
R&P Parts pays for our website each year in exchange for a link to their website and an ad in our newsletter. Our website has been key to the growth of our club and our events. Money saved.
Truck Toys has paid for the printing of our newsletter in exchange for a large monthly ad in the newsletter. They have also included our name and events in their commercials. They have provided the PA system and cones with their logo for our Groundhog Competition. This provides us with free services and supplies while providing them with advertising. Money saved.
Warn Industries have provided us with key advice. We don’t ask them for product, but turn to them for feedback and ideas. In exchange, we hand out their stickers and hats.
Of course we also have 4x4 companies who provide us with product for prizes, such as 4 Wheel Drive Hardware and Tom Woods Drive Shafts in exchange for links on our website and advertisements on our posters.
High Desert 4x4 often provides printing expenses for our club.
All of these 4x4 companies provide us with exposure and saved expenses, allowing us to grow our club, grow our community exposure and use our club money for trail expenses.
But we must think beyond the 4x4 box in order to save money. The more money we can save on expenses, the more money we will have to spend on trails. Here are a few examples:
Alpine Glass and Bend Engraving provide the trophies for Groundhog each year in exchange for advertising. JP & Sons Construction often provides signs for our events and provides kiosk construction at trailheads. ArmorDillo Powder Coating provided gift certificates for prizes. Our local TV and radio stations provide PSA announcements for our community events. Hardy’s Hot Wings and Pilot Butte Drive Inn host show ‘n’ shines each year in their parking lots. They put up our name in their restaurants giving us free exposure.
A few years ago, our Trails Development Committee prepared a 100-page report on the lack of trails in our area. This report was sent to the local forest service and the Governor of Oregon and about 250 people in between. A local printing company, Lazerquik, provided the printing at cost.
Rainbow Threads is a local embroidery company who gives us a good deal on embroidered hats and coats. We include an ad for them on our newsletter. Bend Communications is a CB repair shop that gives club members a good deal. We also include an ad for them in the newsletter.
United Rentals often provides us with equipment at significantly reduced rates. We include their logo on our posters.
None of these companies are directly affiliated with the sport of 4-wheeling, but each provide us with important in-kind services so that we can use our money elsewhere.
The best way to grow our money for trails is to grow our club and grow our community influence. Deschutes County 4-Wheelers host a huge annual forest clean up each spring that has become well know in Central Oregon. When we approach a business for services or donations, we often hear, “Oh, you are the ones who clean up the forest every year.” They know us and therefore trust us.
We also participate in as many Forest Service community events as we can such as the annual Sportsman Show and the Education Fair. We get free booth space to advertise our club and sport and get free access to members of the community who we ordinarily would not see.
Our club has grown tenfold in the last couple of years. More members mean more money. We have become a know entity in Central Oregon and have much more influence with the Forest Service and BLM. This influence with the governing agencies and community has allowed us to develop more trails than we could have ever imagined.
So we must think outside the 4x4 box and find ways to save money, promote our clubs, and bring more awareness to our sport. This will allow us to use the money that we do have to put towards trails.
If anyone has any more ideas on how we can stretch our trail dollars by getting services instead of direct money donations, please post up. We can always use more ideas.
Deschutes County 4-Wheelers
Oregon Executive Director Staff
PNW Forum Leader Team Member
Region 6 Delegate