Nonprofits need help benefiting from their fundraisers, officials say
1/22/2014 6:05:00 AM
By Kim Steele
KINGMAN - Floriana Hanna, director of Guiding Light Christian Educational Center in Lake Havasu City, told the Mohave County Board of Supervisors Tuesday she knows what it's like to lose out on money for a special cause.
The nonprofit, which provides scholarships to schoolchildren, partnered with the promoter of Rockabilly Reunion last year and provided the liquor license required for serving alcoholic beverages, she said.
The promoter was Events All Around in Lake Havasu City.
"Guiding Light is out of a lot of revenue due to this organization," said Hanna, noting it was the first year she was contacted by a promoter to receive the 25 percent from sales, which the center never got. "It was to be used for scholarships for students to attend school."
It's examples like these that spurred the board Tuesday to move toward protecting nonprofit organizations in Mohave County who may be losing money to promoters who use the nonprofits' licenses to raise cash.
A call to Events All Around was answered Tuesday and a man said he would have the owner return the call. At press time, the Daily Miner had not received a call back from the company.
The board agreed to have staff create an ordinance for the next meeting that would require all receivers of special event liquor licenses from the county to report back to the board at the first meeting after their event.
At that time, they would be required to show proof they got at least 25 percent of the gross revenue from the event, as required by state law.
Nonprofits are allowed to get special event liquor licenses from the county, while promoters are not.
Hanna brought along Joseph Klein, a Kingman resident who owns JNA Stage and Lighting, and Wally Nocks, owner of Eternal Light Pro Audio in Lake Havasu City, to the board meeting. Both provided services for Events All Around and received a $1,500 check, which they said they haven't been able to cash for eight months.
"I'm definitely in favor of following up on these promoters to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do," said Klein. "I am a victim of this particular promoter. I'm holding on to a $1,500 check that I cannot cash.
"I provided services for him and didn't get paid. So I imagine there's probably other organizations out there that didn't get paid, either."
Supervisor Steve Moss, District 5, said the move would ensure that promoters do not take advantage of nonprofit organizations in Mohave County.
Moss said he has heard of situations here where a promoter partnered with a nonprofit that was issued the liquor license necessary to sponsor a fundraiser. At the end of the event, said Moss, the promoter walked away with all the money, telling the nonprofit it didn't make enough to share with agency.
"Are we looking to put teeth in this?" asked Moss. "What do we do when this situation happens? Once we find promoters who are doing this, I think we need to make a few examples of them so they know not to come to Mohave County and engage in this sort of behavior."
Supervisor Buster Johnson, District 3, said he placed the topic on the board's agenda to make sure area nonprofit organizations are getting the money they deserve according to state law.
Johnson said he thought the matter had been resolved by the last board, but discovered it hadn't and wanted to make it right. Johnson said it's the first or second time a lot of nonprofits have partnered with promoters and they don't realize their rights.
"What happens is that the promoters will collect the cash from the nonprofit and say they lost money on the event or only made $5 so the nonprofit won't be getting anything," said Johnson. "I think this is a way to protect our nonprofits and make sure they get their money.
"The promoters are using these nonprofits' licenses to make a considerable amount of money. I think that once we tell the nonprofits what their rights are, if we have more problems with the promoters, we can look to the county attorney for assistance."
In other business, the board:
Voted to appoint Bennett Bratley to the position of Mohave County Economic Development director, effective Jan. 21, at an annual salary of $67,500. Bratley has been serving as acting director of the agency.