Grange graphicBy Jane Moyer
Master Gardener 2005
WAIT! Before you decide you’re not interested in reading an article about finances, stop and ask yourself some what-if questions. What if the Jackson County Master Gardener Association ceased to exist? What if you could contribute to its continued existence with absolutely no cost to you in either time or money? Has your interest been piqued? Keep reading!
As you probably can guess, the main source of income for JCMGA is the Spring Garden Fair. Other sources include the Winter Dreams Summer Gardens Symposium, sale of Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley (two volumes), the yard sale, pop-up plant sales, the Holiday Gala, collection and redemption of eligible cans and bottles, numerous other once-a-year endeavors, and member dues. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 income has been reduced to the sales of Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley, member dues, and the collection of redeemable cans and bottles. (Reminder: the funds collected from students for the Master Gardener class tuition supports the OSU Master Gardener Program, not JCMGA.)
What does JCMGA do with the funds collected each year? Since the main purpose of the association is education, the bulk of the annual budget goes to the Practicum (Reminder: Practicum is a function of JCMGA to supplement the Jackson County Master Gardener program and receives no financial support from other sources, including OSU or SOREC,), Demonstration Gardens, school grants (pre-K to 12th grade), plant related scholarship(s) at OSU, community garden grants, Plant Clinic, Community Education classes (Reminder: the funds collected for these classes go to the OSU Master Gardener Program, not JCMGA.), Speakers Bureau, and the costs of running our association of volunteers (no salaries).
In March, when the pandemic started, the Board of Directors voted to freeze all but the most essential 2020 expenses. However, some costs had already been incurred and some simply could not be skipped this year, for example a broken underground pipe in Greenhouse #1 had to be repaired. So, while the usual amount is not being spent, looking forward to 2021 and beyond, the usual carryover will be greatly diminished.
Which brings us back to the first question: what can each of us do to support JCMGA financially with no cost in time or money? We will be reviewing the current fundraising options one at a time each month with the hope we will all make use of the many ways we can contribute. This month we will look at the Grange rewards program.
The Grange gives a rebate credit to members who spend over $500 in any year. Many of us shop at the Grange, but how many of us are not members or spend less than $500 in a year? Instead of letting a reward go unused, we can ask that our purchases be credited to the Jackson County Master Gardener Association. Since the Grange has stores in other counties, these exact words have to be used: “Please credit this to the Jackson County Master Gardener Association.
Just in case your cashier is unsure how to do this, asking to have your purchase credited to account #15333 is the surefire way to accomplish it.
The Grange rewards will be used toward materials used by the Practicum, the Demonstration Gardens, the JCMGA booths at the Spring Garden Fair, and any other activities that require gardening supplies.