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BarnBrat
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:15 AM
This was originally posted on the 2 tier thread but I thought it deserved a thread of it's own. If you support the long format please read this. Bold text added by me.


Cindy, thank you for name-dropping us.

Sadly, I don't think the Long Format Club has had much of an impact. We had hoped to, but it too is in danger from lack of support.

We wish we had more folks donating so that we could pass that money along to the organizers, and show them that even if the entries aren't always there, that eventers DO want to see the classic format continue.

Unfortunately, we have received no donations for the 2010 season. With the first Classic coming up shortly, we have nothing to offer that organizer.

The LFC is at a crossroads. LFC's future? Unknown.

While the directors firmly believe in the idea, we have not been able to garner the financial support necessary for our mission.

If any of you out there believe in what the LFC is trying to accomplish, please, please, please: make a donation, purchase merchandise, or ask how you can volunteer to help LFC help the organizers.

We would like to be the LFC to be a force in supporting Classic eventing. You can help us make it happen.

Thanks, Amy

I know times are tough, but this just blows me away. If this board is any indication there are a huge number of people out there who support the long format. They are downright passionate about it. And now we have this great organization to funnel all of that support into. An organization that can channel that support, organize it, and make sure it counts by getting it out there to the organizers running these events. We finally have a means to do more than just piss and moan about the loss of the long format and nothing is being done?! It's a little unbelievable.

Rivnoak, I'm hoping maybe this is a case of out of sight out of mind. The long format is mentioned and discussed on this board almost daily but I rarely see The Long Format Club mentioned. And the few times I have seen it mentioned it is usually along the lines of 'what ever happend to that Long Format Club?'. Someone may or may not come along and post the link to The Long Format Club site, but that is the extent of it. I don't think enough people know about the club. Have you ever considered having a designated PR/'marketing' person? Someone who could troll this board and others and every time people start bemoaning the loss of the long format said PR Person could jump in with a post of 'hey guys, check out The Long Format Club, we are out there helping to save the long format by doing x,y, and z and Three Day Event ABC being held next month really needs some funds so they can spiffy up their water complex. Said PR person could also start threads on the board to raise awareness for specific events. 'Three Day Event ABC Entries Open Today' and in the post mention items on that events 'wish list'. This person should also be the one to start the Roll Call and Event Report threads for any long format event and any other thread regarding Long Format Club news. These are just a few ideas.

I really hope that we Eventers can step up the plate when it really counts and as the old saying goes put our money where our mouth is. The VA Classic Three Day Event will have at least my measly $20 of support. It's not much but it's all I can give at the moment. The fact that this was the first donation of 2010 is depressing. :no: I'll be there in May to volunteer. And I did the only other thing I could at the moment to help keep the long format alive, which is to post this thread. Please folks, lets step up to the plate.

Blugal
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:17 AM
I can't speak for the organization, but there are quite a few monthly contributors, so presumably there is some money trickling in every month. That of course is not going to add up fast!

It is fairly easy to set up monthly contributions through Paypal (although it kicked me out once and I had to jump through some hoops to re-set it). I started a year's worth of small contributions (in lieu of membership in Equine Canada) since I wasn't eventing and that organization certainly deserves my support less than the Long Format Club!

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 4, 2010, 05:58 AM
Oooh, great idea!!

And... that's something that I've been meaning to do... get on here and brag about the LFC and encourage people to go to the site and donate or volunteer! But...sadly, with work and riding, and job stress and the loss of my baby pony stress... I haven't done it.

But.... thanks for reminding me!!

And... as a friendly reminder...there are some great articles on there!! I'm heading to FENCE April 2-4th to help out (and run regular training) so will be available to answer any questions or help out whoever needs it. And... I should have some great pics and another article for the website then too!

FoxChaser
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:52 AM
BarnBrat, thank YOU for the education!! I know all about the Training 3-Day and it's campaign, but not the LFC. So.... I did a quick web search. If anyone else out there didn't know about it (like me), check out: http://longformatclub.com/ They also have a FaceBook site which is linked on the website. Count me in!!! :)

BarnBrat
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:57 AM
I'm glad at least one person now knows about The Long Format Club that did not before. I really meant to include the link in my orginal post! Oops! Glad you were able to find it with a search. I really think this is such a great resource to have and its disheartening to see it not getting the support it needs. My big dream is to one day ride in a long format three day. I bred my now coming six year old for that purpose and with the way things are going I'm afraid there won't be one around by the time I get to that level.

LAZ
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:29 AM
I donated $250 last year, but haven't gotten any sort of "hey, time to renew" note..maybe it's time to create an email list and shoot out e-blasts? I haven't the faintest idea how to do that, but it would be a good idea!

I support the Long Format to the extent that I put on the IEA T3DE and steer my students to them.

Gina Miles, Bonnie Mosser, and Dorothy Crowell (forgive me if I'm missing someone) all attended the T3DE meetings at the convention. Perhaps we could get one of them as a spokesman?

BarnBrat
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:38 AM
LAZ, thanks for supporting the Long Format! The fact that you, and I would assume others who donated last year as well, have not received a 'time to renew' email really shows that there is big gap in the 'outreach' area for The Long Format Club. I think some sort of semi-regular news letter would be a great step. The news letter could also be posted here on the board. Just something to keep the club in the front of people’s minds. Of course it would be awesome for the club to have a well known visible spokesperson like Bonnie Mosser or the others you mentioned. But even just a newsletter and someone to serve as the virtual voice and presence of the club would be great! Maybe the club could even have its own user name here on COTH for the rep to speak thru. What does everyone think? Rivnoak, Is this something the club has considered? Does the club already have an e-mail list of some sort or is this something that needs to be organized? Is there anyone here who would be interested in helping out with this? I think I will update the title of the thread to better reflect the direction of the thread, and maybe we will get more input.

rivenoak
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:29 PM
Just a quick check-in; I'm limited by my real job as to how much I can post during the day.

Thanks, BarnBrat for giving this a thread of its own. :yes:

I promise I'll get back with a comprehensive reply to all of your questions/ideas.

In terms of how often LFC is heard from here on the boards, please keep in mind the no-advertising rule:
"It is OK to post announcements for charitable horse-related (or BB-related) causes, within reason. If donations are being solicited, the recipient organization MUST be a registered charity with the IRS. Again, please post only in the forum that is most appropriate, and please don't abuse this privilege by posting more than a "reasonable" number of times. (The definition of "reasonable" is up to the moderator.)"

LFC is not yet a 501(c)3. More on that topic later. So, we tread lightly, as by our existence, we are asking for $.

seascout3
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:37 PM
BarnBrat - thank you so much for your efforts here to generate interest in the Long Format Club! :)

The LFC has been a labor of love for it's Directors (rivenoak, myself and Gue). We have donated 100's of hours of time and $1,000's of dollars for website development, inventory, letterhead, communications materials, mailings, strategic planning, etc.

Let me try to tell you a little bit about what we have experienced in the year that we have spent developing the LFC.

What people often don’t understand is the amount of time and money it truly takes to put these wonderful ideas into practice. To be blunt, the LFC has had very poor luck with relying on volunteers. For whatever reason, when it comes time to actually commit the time or dollars, the support vanishes.

As an example, one of our volunteer groups was actually tasked as part of their involvement with providing email contacts, writing articles, keeping the LFC in the forefront of COTH and other internet groups, etc. Unfortunately, at this point, none of that has happened. Personally, it has become a second full time job to keep the website updated, monitor all the internet sites and try to post about the LFC, constantly communicate with volunteers to organize them and get them to do what they are asked to do, attend meetings, travel etc. My travel budget is in the many $1,000’s to attend the annual/area meetings, go to the classic events, show up at functions to talk up the LFC, etc. (So much for a vacation!) I have been running at 150% for an entire year and I am in danger of burning out from the stress of neglecting my job, my family and my horses to try and make the LFC a successful and self-sustaining organization. <end pity party> Welcome to the world of volunteer work! LOL

But realistically, the ideas that people come up with (and they are great ideas!) cannot be implemented by three people with full times jobs. Not to mention conditioning our horses for a T3DE/P3DE and managing our equestrian assets. As another example, putting together mailing lists (think Constant Contact) and designing professional monthly electronic newsletters is a huge project – time wise and dollar wise. People casually agree to help, but they either end up disappearing or don’t have the skill set necessary to produce a professional product. And that is just one “action item”: there are no less than 20 “action items” on the LFC Director “to do” list right now.

As another example, let me use our website. I will be the first to admit that it is a work in progress. I have a list at least 3 pages long of improvements we want to make. Several people volunteered to work on the website, but only one person ended up helping me with it (thanks Amber!!). I had never coded a line of HTML in my life and I have no professional training in website development or design – but the website was critical as it was the LFC’s main communication interface. So I put in quite literally 100’s of hours and www.longformatclub.com (http://www.longformatclub.com/) was born. The bids I got from professionals to create the website were way, way, way out of my and the LFC’s reach financially. Remember, that the LFC is committed to having 100% of donations go directly to the organizers. So either the Directors have to personally donate the funds to accomplish something, or they have to do it themselves, or we have to find someone who has the expertise and is willing to donate their services.

I would love nothing more than to be able to have monthly e-newsletters, a column in USEA or other magazines, a physical presence at each long format event in the country, ads in all the major publications, a booth at the annual meeting, etc. But there is a huge disconnect between coming up with the ideas (you should see the minutes from the Director’s meetings of things we would like to do!!) and finding the time, money, volunteers, & expertise to get it all done. The LFC budget could easily reach six figures if we did all the things we want to do to increase awareness of the long format and support the organizers who offer classic three-day events. Our donations have barely hit four figures and that counts all the money the Directors have contributed as well! And the donations cannot support an operating budget at this point – all donations are going to supporting the organizers of the long format events to encourage them to keep offering them until they become profitable.

It is very difficult for an organization to rely heavily on volunteers because volunteers are just that, volunteers. People are extremely well meaning but when family issues or finances or work issues come up, the volunteer commitment is the first thing to go. And that is completely understandable – but it leaves the LFC in a very precarious position when a deadline is missed or a project is not completed because our resources vanished. I am very grateful for the donations we have received to date and the volunteers that have come through for us. People such as PhoenixFarm that helps with PR and marketing ideas – people like Amber who helped us with the logo/website. And I am grateful for the “big name” people who came forward at the USEA annual meeting and are willing to donate their ideas and lend their name to the LFC (more to come on that soon).

I wish I had unlimited resources to donate to the LFC. I wish I could quit my job and run the LFC full time. I wish we could afford a professional to market and run the LFC. But we have to work with what we have available to us.

Oh and LAZ – since the LFC was formed late in 2009, we won’t be asking for renewals until later in the year. Don’t worry, you will hear from us! LOL

breakthru
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:42 PM
any way we could set up a merch booth at events?? even if no one ends up buying anything it would be another way to publicize the idea. I'll be at SPHT 1 with a bunch of students and would be willing to help out with shifts at such a booth??

breakthru
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:47 PM
or not even a Merch booth necessarily, but an information booth- giving out sheets of paper with a mission statement and information on how to contribute, website, etc?

I'm a monthly contributor- my $8/mo isn't much, but it's something. Just think of AAAAALLLLL those people out there that "support the long format". If everyone just contributed that little bit, it would go a long way...

seascout3
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:27 PM
Greetings Breakthru!

Believe me, your $8/month contribution is definitely something! :) The LFC appreciates it very much! I agree, if we could just get 100 people to donate $10/month - that's $1,000/month or $12,000/year. It would be a good start.

Keep in mind that there are 17 Training and Preliminary long format events on the 2010 calendar. Giving each event even $1,000 (that's $17,000 right there) barely makes an appreciable dent in the organizer's operating budget. To make a significant impact on the event's profitability, the donations would need to be even larger! It's a daunting task...

Having a physical presence (a booth if you will) at each long format event is a big goal for the LFC. It's a ginormous task to organize, and we would LOVE for someone (or multiple someones) to step up and take over this "to do" item. If we had one volunteer point person that was the overall incharge LFC person for each long format event, then we could go a long way to having representation of each event! These volunteers would be our "regional representatives" and would be recognized as such on the website, etc.

Here's what needs to happen (17 times!):

Someone needs to contact the organizer and get permission to have a LFC booth (for free!). Then I need to ship the LFC banners and informational literature and merchandise to the point person. That person needs to find the tables/chairs/whatever and actually get the booth set up. That person needs to be responsible for all that stuff and ensure it's return back to me in a timely manner. That person needs to have the booth staffed by responsible people who are knowledgeable about the LFC and long format eventing to field questions, etc. Funds from merchandise sales and donations must be safeguarded as well as the merchandise, etc. The booth needs to look somewhat professional as it is the visual representation of the LFC. All donations received need to be forwarded back to me along with unsold merchandise, the banners, unused brochures, etc.

In addition, I would ship prizes to the point person who would be responsible for getting those to the organizer and probably act as the presenter of the prizes. Photo opportunities, press releases, any kind of PR coverage is a real plus. There is also information to be included in competitor's packets and banners to display that need to be moved from dressage to x/country to show jumping (with organizer's permission). Oh yeah, and there are advertisments to get in the program (preferably for free!) by the printing deadline.

See how quickly it turns into something more than just "sure, I'd be happy to show up for a couple hours and help staff a booth"?? Don't get me wrong, we need exactly that: people who volunteer to show up for a few hours and staff a booth. But what it takes to make that happen: THAT is where we really need volunteer help!!

And we need to think outside the box too! For example, I have been playing around with the idea of having a mobile LFC booth (basically a traveling golf cart that has the LFC banners, merchandise, promotional info, etc.). There are many events I attend where I have to be out on cross country or elsewhere and can't sit at a booth - it would nice to be able to represent the LFC while I am doing my other duties at an event.


or not even a Merch booth necessarily, but an information booth- giving out sheets of paper with a mission statement and information on how to contribute, website, etc?

I'm a monthly contributor- my $8/mo isn't much, but it's something. Just think of AAAAALLLLL those people out there that "support the long format". If everyone just contributed that little bit, it would go a long way...

BarnBrat
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:51 PM
All I can say is WOW. What a daunting task you all are undertaking. I was never under the impression that running such an organization would be ‘easy’ but I did not fully appreciate all of the challenges you are up against. I really don’t know where to begin. Let me start with a huge huge THANK YOU to seascout and Rivnoak and the other directors who have sacrificed and worked hard to get the club to where it is today.

Obviously the directors cannot continue carrying the weight of the club indefinitely. The question is how do you find volunteers who are willing and capable of accomplishing various tasks for the organization? Talking about the problems and coming up with ideas and solutions is the easy part. Finding someone willing to follow thru with the solution is the hard part. And I am just as guilty as the next person. I’m doing it right here in this thread.
I came up with the great idea of putting together a newsletter for the club, and having club news posted here on the BB. But I didn’t step forward and volunteer to write that newsletter or post on behalf of the club. I don’t think I have the skills or time that would be necessary to do so. I guess I am hoping that someone else will, and together this board can figure out how to make it happen.

So here are my thoughts on the matter. I think that in order to get people to step up and help out they need to be given well defined tasks that they feel they can accomplish relatively easily. Obviously many of the tasks that it takes to run an organization do not fall into the well defined and easy to accomplish category. But some do. For example, it may be a large task to write an entire newletter every month or even every other month, but writing just one section of the news letter is much more manageable. It is something I would be willing to commit to. Of course, having a newsletter written by 10 different people may not make for a very professional and cohesive effort. And you would still need someone in charge of putting it all together in some sort of presentable format. Obviously there are many obstacles, but it may not be an impossible undertaking.

I guess my point is that in order to get people to volunteer there needs to be someone out there letting the masses know what exactly it is that the club needs. I am thinking of posts being made on COTH and other BB’s along the lines of “Attn: LFC is in need of someone to write a 3 paragraph article on XYZ’ or “Attn: LFC is looking for someone with website building skills to create a X section on our website”.
Maybe the directors could go through the ‘to do list’ and come up with a list of tasks that could possibly be handled in this manner? I think it would be really helpful to have a ‘volunteer coordinator’ to be in charge of taking that list and posting the items on the BB and finding people who are willing and able to complete those tasks. Of course that would require someone to volunteer to take on that not so simple and easily accomplished task. But just maybe there is someone out there willing to take it on, and you will never know if you don’t ask people for their help.

I hope some of this has been helpful. It is entirely possible that the directors of the club have already been over this and have come up with a million reasons why any and/or all of the above ideas won’t work. I only hope that getting people talking about the LFC on this thread is productive and helpful in some way.

seascout3
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:20 PM
Barnbrat your participation in this thread has been of great help! If nothing else, maybe people will start to comprehend what a tremendous task it is to run a nonprofit organization, even a small one.

You are right, just the time to discuss what needs to be done can often end up taking up most of a day (kind of like today!). But it is absolutely critical to do - both to define what needs to be done and to do a "self check" about what we are doing, and why, and how we do it, etc.

My posts are not meant to whine or complain or make people think our task is impossible. But I do want people to know what we are up against, especially in this economy, and the realities we have encountered so far.

When people like you post, it keeps me from throwing in the towel when things look bleak. So thank you!

I think the overriding thing to keep in mind is that, at the end of the day, if we don't get the donations, we will not survive. Even if we get 100 volunteers that we can count on, if we don't have the money to print brochures, design advertising, buy merchandise, and of course donate to organizers of long format events - this is all an exercise in futility.

One of my strengths is that I am very detail oriented and can break things down really well. But we do need some people to step up and help share the load - get the information (the to do's) out there and manage the "sign up" and completion of those tasks. Will you help?

The Centaurian
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:21 PM
Is there going to be an info booth at Red Hills?

seascout3
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:50 PM
Let me just add one more thing to this discussion. Just because you are not an expert in an area doesn't mean that you can't volunteer to help!

In the last year I have become an able (but not expert by any stretch of the imagination) website designer, HTML programmer, public speaker, T-shirt designer, advertising mock-up designer, creative writer, funds solicitor, etc, etc, ad nauseum.:)

I can assure you I didn't know sh*t about any of those subjects. I'm an accountant! What I do possess is a very anal ability to break down tasks and figure out how to get them done and learn what I need to in order to accomplish the task. I'm not any smarter than the next guy - but I'm probably more driven! hehehe

If everyone would just pony up to do one or two specific tasks and absolutely commit (no excuses, army drill sargeant mentality) to getting them done, I think things would move faster and we would see more of an impact from the LFC!

Who's up for the challenge???

And besides that, everyone needs to give a few dollars. It is so easy to think, "sure I want to help" but then a week goes by and then a month and then... you never did it! So many people said they would donate and they didn't. So many people said they would buy merchandise, and they haven't. So many people said they would volunteer, and they never came through. I know it's a really rough economic climate out there right now. Couldn't think of a worse time to start a narrowly focused non-profit organization!! But the long format needs us! It can't wait! If we all wait around until things get better, there won't be any long format to support - it will have died a quiet death.

Clearly, I'm not the best motivator in the world because the LFC has not caught fire as I'd hoped - but I guess I'll put that on my "to do" list and get better at it!:)

deltawave
Mar. 4, 2010, 06:30 PM
I'm a PayPal trickler. And hope to be supporting one with entry fees some time this year! :D

CookiePony
Mar. 4, 2010, 08:40 PM
seascout and Rivenoak-- you have an email-- I am still planning to help out!

retreadeventer
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:18 PM
Speaking from a lot of experience, this is a very VERY hard way to go. Creating something and having a lot of babysitting to get it off the ground, and this from non paid, volunteer people -- pretty big mountain.
Great concept, really hard to develop and nuture. That's why people get paid big money to concept ideas and market them.

LAZ
Mar. 4, 2010, 09:26 PM
Rivenoak/SeaScout

Give me a list of tasks that you need filled and I will see about getting at least one of them taken care of.


I am hopeless at computer things
I am good at motivating people
I work best when I have to meet a deadline
I do not want anything to do with other people's money
I live out in the bushes and shipping things is a problem but I could arm wrestle one of my people into doing it for me, I bet.
I work more than full time and am self employed, so hours would have to be flexibleLee Ann

P.S. Good thing you remember when I joined--I couldn't remember and was too lazy to go back through my books. :D

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:32 PM
I'm guilty too of the "Sure I'll help" and then not quite following through, but I am aiming to get better!!!

However... I do think that barnbrat hit the nail on the head... I am one of those people that loves to help, but with work, horses, husbands, family, riding, lessons, cleaning the house, etc... I pretty much need to be told EXACTLY what you want me to do and when. Then... I do it. (usually)! But I'm not good at doing things on my own. Which I am working on, but....

Anyways... not reallly contributing anything else to the thread, but.. hang in there!! I'm helping now :) I plan to go and run the PR stuff at FENCE :) (In addition to ride, but hey.. it's a start!).

So.... maybe we can figure out a way to get those little tasks assigned and taken care of! :) I'll help.. just tell me what to do!
:)

seascout3
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:46 PM
LAZ and FleckenAwesome- Due to all the recent interest in what the LFC needs, I am going to add a new page to our website - Volunteer Info. I will post a list of tasks and checklists that we need to get accomplished and see what kind of support we can get. I will also post/link this here on COTH and on our FaceBook page. Both of you, thank you so much for your financial support and your offers to volunteer time!

Like you guys, I am motivated by deadlines. I am also motivated by public humiliation!;) My thought is that if we can assign tasks through the website/COTH/FB and people know who is responsible for what and when, etc. that may help to motivate us all to do more and do it better and on time! What do you think?

Silly you LAZ, thinking we wouldn't be hitting you up to renew your donation!:cool:

ss3777
Mar. 5, 2010, 06:18 AM
Love this thread, it was a great reminder to put my money where my mouth is. Wish it could be more $$$.

many thanks to you folks that do all of the heavy lifting!!!

BarnBrat
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:01 AM
LAZ and FleckenAwesome- Due to all the recent interest in what the LFC needs, I am going to add a new page to our website - Volunteer Info. I will post a list of tasks and checklists that we need to get accomplished and see what kind of support we can get. I will also post/link this here on COTH and on our FaceBook page. Both of you, thank you so much for your financial support and your offers to volunteer time!

Like you guys, I am motivated by deadlines. I am also motivated by public humiliation!;) My thought is that if we can assign tasks through the website/COTH/FB and people know who is responsible for what and when, etc. that may help to motivate us all to do more and do it better and on time! What do you think?

Silly you LAZ, thinking we wouldn't be hitting you up to renew your donation!:cool:

This is exciting! I will take a look at the list and try to find at least one thing I can take on! I think that public accountablity is a great motivator. I think it will also make people feel like they are working together to accomplish things and save something that we are all passionate about. It will also serve to get the word out that the LFC is out there getting stuff done. And hopefully, the more aware people become of LFC the more money will start to flow in. Because seascout is right...we can accomplish all the little tasks in the world but the bottom line is the money!

Gnep
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:49 AM
The biggest surprise, all the regular small contributions and they actually kept the LFC going.

The biggest disapointment, broken promisses, lots of them, to many of them actually.

Every show I rode or worked I promoted the LFC, talked to every trainer, pro and rider I could grab or get a hold on.
Not one Trainer not one Pro in my area has contributed, dispite them having their students ride 3D or have been riding T3D or P3D themself.
If Rivenoak, Seascout or I would take our traveling cost to promote or organize the LFC we would double the amount of contributions, easily.

For me 2010 will be the make it or brake it year for the LFC, if we have the same rate of broken promisses or desinterest than it was a nice idea, but I would recoment to my fellow partners in crime to cut the losses.

Booth at Redhill, nice idea, but who is going to pay for it, me ? Rivenoak ? Seascout ? and who is going to man it, the same 3 ?

LAZ
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:58 AM
The biggest surprise, all the regular small contributions and they actually kept the LFC going.

The biggest disapointment, broken promisses, lots of them, to many of them actually.

Every show I rode or worked I promoted the LFC, talked to every trainer, pro and rider I could grab or get a hold on.
Not one Trainer not one Pro in my area has contributed, dispite them having their students ride 3D or have been riding T3D or P3D themself.
If Rivenoak, Seascout or I would take our traveling cost to promote or organize the LFC we would double the amount of contributions, easily.

For me 2010 will be the make it or brake it year for the LFC, if we have the same rate of broken promisses or desinterest than it was a nice idea, but I would recoment to my fellow partners in crime to cut the losses.

Booth at Redhill, nice idea, but who is going to pay for it, me ? Rivenoak ? Seascout ? and who is going to man it, the same 3 ?

Hey Gue,

I can't speak for Red Hills, but I think if I have a stack of stuff I can get a table set up at most of the events I go to in my area & have it staffed at least some of the day--I expect my people to help out at shows and they're generally glad to do so.

I think having it set up at the secretary's booth, the photo vendor, or scores is probably the best place.

It is a daunting task, and you're right--there are a lot of people who will not put their money or effort where their mouth is. Sad but true...but I hope there are enough of us that really do care to keep this going until the next generation of eventers has the chance to see and experience a REAL 3 day. If it fails after that, well, then, I guess ennui is just the way of the world--easy is good, action is harder.

I'm going to shoot John Thier a note and see if he will give us a blast on Eventing Nation.

breakthru
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:27 AM
Ok, I just email blasted all my students asking them to donate, and called out all my facebook eventing friends to do so too.

I may be at the Virgina HT and Prelim 3Day and if there's an effort to run a booth, etc, there, count me (and possibly my students) in on helping out with whatever needs to be done.

colliemom
Mar. 5, 2010, 01:50 PM
I just subscribed at $20 per month, and will blast my friends, too. Thanks for bringing this up!

deltawave
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:17 PM
OK, I'm going to beef up my PayPal trickle now, too. :)

seascout3
Mar. 8, 2010, 02:43 AM
As promised (had to meet that Sunday night deadline and it's now 11:40PM!!:)), on the LFC's website, I put up a VERY preliminary list of tasks/jobs for which the LFC needs volunteer help.

There is a link at the very top of the home page of the LFC website, www.longformatclub.com (http://www.longformatclub.com), called "LFC Volunteer Opportunities Now Available". If you click on that link it will take you to the page which has many of the major tasks broken down into sub-tasks. This should give people some idea of what we are trying to accomplish!

These are just a few of the items on our "to do" list. I wanted to try and let everybody know what some of the LFC's goals are for 2010 and to break those goals down into more manageable tasks. Don't worry, this is just the first draft and many refinements will be forthcoming. If you have additional ideas or suggestions, please let us know!

If you are willing to help the Long Format Club become an major supporter of classic eventing, please contact one of the Directors and volunteer your time! (PM seascout3 or rivenoak or email us at the information on the Contact page on the LFC website.)

And BTW, thank you so much to all of you who donated and/or ordered LFC merchandise over the weekend. You all kept me busy updating the website and sending out membership info & "stuff" ! :cool: Go to the website and check out the Donations Received page!

BarnBrat
Mar. 8, 2010, 08:15 AM
Awesome! Thanks so much seascout! The prelim list looks great! I love how the 'point person' task is broken down to let people know exactly what is expected. I will think on the list and try to pick something out I am comfortable taking on!

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:28 AM
Awww.... I just saw the donation in Dewey's memory! What a great idea :) Will do that myself on Thursday :)

And....working on some of that list!

Ajierene
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:53 AM
I see Gnep has done some talking at horse trials as well. Is there a reason the Long Format Club is concentrating their booth efforts at Long Formats, rather than working to recruit and educate at regular horse trials?

It seems a better use of time/efforts on volunteers' parts would be to set up a table or have information at local events.

seascout3
Mar. 8, 2010, 11:14 AM
Are you volunteering? ;)

There is just no way that the LFC can be everywhere. We are already present at the competitions that offer a long format due to clinics, press releases, prize donations, etc. (and hopefully because we are riding!). So we are trying to multitask and get the biggest bang for our travel buck.

In addition, it is expensive to design, print and stock all the educational information - so we have to try and use it as wisely as possible. And I have to ship banners which are really expensive to ship and we only have so many floating about at any one time. And sometimes they don't get returned in a timely manner. If I have to ship merchandise back and forth, that is expensive too! I had two different people volunteer to distribute materials at events last year, so I mailed the information and they never even went to the event! And all the materials "disappeared".:cry: So we have to be really careful about what kind of presence the LFC has at competitions and how it is managed. We would love to have your help!

If you would be willing to take on the tasks listed on the LFC website for an event (obviously without the items that pertain to running a classic at that competition), please let us know and we will try to set it up!

And yes, all the Directors talk up the LFC at every event we attend. We talk about the LFC everywhere we go! LOL



I see Gnep has done some talking at horse trials as well. Is there a reason the Long Format Club is concentrating their booth efforts at Long Formats, rather than working to recruit and educate at regular horse trials?

It seems a better use of time/efforts on volunteers' parts would be to set up a table or have information at local events.

missamandarose
Mar. 8, 2010, 11:57 AM
Awww.... I just saw the donation in Dewey's memory! What a great idea :) Will do that myself on Thursday :)

^^ DO THIS

How many of us have a dear friend(s) who has lost a horse recently? When you heard about it, it broke your heart and you wished somehow there was something you could do. But unlike people, there are no funerals to attend to show support to your grieving friend. DONATE IN MEMORY of your friend's horse. $50. $15. Whatever it is. Send it in. It shows that you care not just about your friend and her loss, but also you care about and support her passion... the Long Format.

But taking it a step further... Donate in honor of you LF-crazed friend's birthday... or in honor of her completing her first T3DE... or reaching her goal of qualifying for next year's
P3DE. Its a wonderful way to show support of your friends, colleagues and fellow riders. You want them to succeed, but you also want the Long Format to succeed, and donating in memory/in honor of someone is a perfect way to express that sentiment.

rivenoak
Mar. 8, 2010, 12:05 PM
As usual, life got in the way of my responding earlier. Thanks everyone for being patient.

Seascout’s done her usual fantastic job of communicating and taking an idea and giving it some life. The volunteer opportunities page on the LFC website really highlights so many of our “To Dos” and lets you know where you might be able to help.

For anyone concerned about not being a great writer, or an LFC publication (newsletter, etc) not being cohesive because of multiple contributors, it’s not a problem. I’m an editor in real life, so can pull it all together. Please, give it a shot! I can help you out as you help LFC. :yes:

Several UL personages have agreed to help be on an “advisory council,” LFC just needs to figure out how to best leverage their help. Be it as spokespeople or behind the scenes advice-givers.

Retreadeventer, I’d be interested to hear more from you on the start up of a volunteer-run organization like this. We really leapt before we looked and are definitely learning as we go. Any advice, hints, etc, are welcome from all quarters.

And I think that’s something we should’ve done earlier: reached out to the base of US eventers for their assistance. It’s difficult for control-freaks to let go, but we’re trying to, having come to grips with not being able to do it all ourselves.

I like the idea of the LFC having a CotH log-on of its own. I will pursue that this week.

We have a small e-mail distribution list, but would love to grow it. Maybe Sherry can chime in about the feasibility of obtaining USEA’s, or any Area’s, mailing list. It’s another one of those things we can’t afford to pay for, but if the information can be given to us…

We have all of the 501c3 paperwork prepared to submit to the IRS. We understand its importance and feel that donations may even increase once we have that status. We have held out, because it is yet another cost that we weren’t sure we should incur when the viability of the LFC was in question.

However, with support growing, I think we can justify the expense; the funding has already been pledged. And luckily, through procrastination, we have probably waited long enough that the IRS has their online submission process up and running, which will save us half the cost! Go electronic filing!

Ajierene, please read post #12 for the logistics of having a booth. If we had that presence at every Classic Event, then I think we could consider branching out to “plain” HTs. But until we are visible at the very events we want to support, they must be LFC’s first focus. If someone wants to take on being the face of LFC at some non-Classic events, great, let us know!

One of the other issues we run into is this is a West Coast-based organization. We do not have a director on the East Coast or anyone with strong ties to that area. Might we want to remedy that in the future? I would say yes. But until that time, we would like to utilize the Regional Representative idea to help get the word out. We have a few volunteers to do that, but if its something that more of you would like to consider, please contact us! Many hands make light work.

This didn’t end up being as long as I thought it would be, but hopefully it answered some of the questions that came up early in the thread. If I missed something, or someone has other ideas to present or additional questions to ask, please have at it!

seascout3
Mar. 8, 2010, 12:08 PM
missamandarose - I do like your thinking!!:)

missamandarose
Mar. 8, 2010, 12:13 PM
well thanks! :D

(way too many years working for NP's... some things have rubbed off on me!)

BarnBrat
Mar. 8, 2010, 01:05 PM
[QUOTE=rivenoak;

We have all of the 501c3 paperwork prepared to submit to the IRS. We understand its importance and feel that donations may even increase once we have that status. We have held out, because it is yet another cost that we weren’t sure we should incur when the viability of the LFC was in question.

However, with support growing, I think we can justify the expense; the funding has already been pledged. And luckily, through procrastination, we have probably waited long enough that the IRS has their online submission process up and running, which will save us half the cost! Go electronic filing!

[/QUOTE]

This is great news! And I think it is an important step in getting more substantial donations.

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 8, 2010, 03:52 PM
Okay bumping this up, but.... if anyone will be at FENCE April 2-4th and willing to help me man the LFC booth, that would be awesome!! I'll be running my horse too, so... can't do it ALL weekend.
So... please email me at hbreauxdvm@yahoo.com or PM me if you can help :)
Thanks
Holly

seascout3
Mar. 8, 2010, 09:52 PM
I have updated the Volunteer! page on the LFC website at www.longformatclub.com (http://www.longformatclub.com) and added menu links.

I have expanded several of the tasks and have included contact information for those people that have already agreed to take on some projects! The support is awesome so far!

If we keep up donations we may yet be able to make some meaningful contributions to the organizers of the classic events. In this economy, they are going to need all the financial help they can get as entries are slow to increase.

Thanks everyone! :)

BarnBrat
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:45 AM
Seascout, the list looks great! I just want to clarify...has the e-newsletter task been 'adopted' by Cassidy & Amber? Do you still need people to volunteer for the newsletter 'sub-duties'? Or are they been taken care of by Cassidy & Amber? Just want to make sure everyone is clear on what still needs taking care of! :)

seascout3
Mar. 9, 2010, 12:31 PM
BarnBrat,

The LFC definitely still needs help with the newsletter project. What I have been doing is adding the people who have volunteered to the LFC task list so that everyone can see what is going on. I think what I will do is come up with a [closed] tag or such to indicate that the task has been completely staffed and everything is scheduled to be completed.

Cassidy and Amber have volunteered to be involved in the newsletter at the beginning to get the basic design template started. We have not finalized anything yet, so we would love to have more offers of support. As we get "groups" formed, I will finalize the to do list and due dates and let the overall task point person go to town!

I have also tried to indicate where people are willing to take on an entire project, and where people just want to work on a specific sub-task or just be a support member of a project. The volunteer opportunity list is still evolving (remember, the first task is somebody to manage the whole list!!:))

The key is to form groups of people so we can keep each person's work load manageable. Obviously, the overall point person will take on a management roll as well as actually "doing stuff".

In addition, I have highlighted the tasks that we feel are critical to get started immediately in red - if you can help us with one of these "tasks", please give it first consideration when volunteering!

Thanks again everyone for your support - both in donations and volunteering. Let's keep it up!:)

Ajierene
Mar. 9, 2010, 01:51 PM
Are you volunteering? ;)

And yes, all the Directors talk up the LFC at every event we attend. We talk about the LFC everywhere we go! LOL

I am cautious about volunteering, considering what happened last time I put a lot of time and effort into this club.


As usual, life got in the way of my responding earlier. Thanks everyone for being patient.

Ajierene, please read post #12 for the logistics of having a booth. If we had that presence at every Classic Event, then I think we could consider branching out to “plain” HTs. But until we are visible at the very events we want to support, they must be LFC’s first focus. If someone wants to take on being the face of LFC at some non-Classic events, great, let us know!

You do not need a booth/table to accomplish the goal of starting to get the word out there.

Seascout-you mentioned sending a ton of information to someone who never went to the event. Why don't you e-mail flyers to volunteers and ask that they print it at Kinkos or Staples or somewhere? This would be part of their volunteering. Explain the lack of funds that the Long Format Club has and that this would be part of the volunteer. If they are unwilling/unable to do this, you know they are not going to help in this regard. If they (like 95% of the population) do not follow through with their volunteer duties, you did not lose any money/flyers.

While selling merchandise at the actual Long Format events would be good, it would seem to be preaching to the choir asking for help to keep the Long Formats alive to people already putting their money into entries. It would probably do better to start with putting flyers on windshields/walking around talking to people at the horse trials to bring awareness up.

You want a larger mailing list? Ask people at the regular horse trials if they want more information, get e-mail addresses and use the newsletter e-mails to start bringing awareness level up.

Also, keep in mind, it takes about 5 years to really get a club off the ground - so expect to be doing most of the work for a while. I speak from personal experience.

seascout3
Mar. 9, 2010, 02:06 PM
If you are referring to the paper that you sent, I still have it. As I told you, it was not formatted correctly and I couldn't put the article up on the website until is was reformatted. I still have the article, but I just have not had time to reformat it yet. If someone volunteers to take on the Education page for the website, it will be included in those subtasks!


I am cautious about volunteering, considering what happened last time I put a lot of time and effort into this club.

Ajierene
Mar. 9, 2010, 02:11 PM
I do not know what you mean by it needing to be reformatted. Is that to fit in a website? I have absolutely no experience in creating websites. So when you say 'it needs to be reformatted', I am in a word document frame of mind and have no idea how it would be incorrectly formatted in a word document.

This is, of course, after I was told to 'put it on my website', which was not part of the original task and, again, read above.

seascout3
Mar. 9, 2010, 02:24 PM
Ajierene, please feel free to talk up the Long Format Club at the "regular" horse trials you attend! That would be great! Lots of people have been getting the word out - not just the Directors and Regional Representatives! We don't need to formalize that aspect of volunteering. But we do need to formalize having a legitimate presence at the horse trials that are supporting the LFC and long format eventing. We are starting to move beyond the "show up at an event and talk about the LFC" and "putting some flyers on some windshields". Those ideas have merit and will hopefully continue, but to be taken seriously, the LFC needs to be careful to present a capable and professional image.

Funny you mention it, already had two wonderful volunteers offer to print up any information I could get to them so I didn't have to mail lots of paper! Awesome step in the right direction. I love our volunteers! :)

BTW, our merchandise has sold more at the events we attend than anywhere else! People see someone wearing a baseball cap or polo and come ask me where they can buy one. It saves shipping costs and is a great outlet for us.:)

I hope we are lucky enough to be established within 5 years - our long range planning is estimating longer than that.;)

We don't want a "larger" mailing list - we want one period! LOL It's a big item on the volunteer opportunity list. If you get email addresses at the events you attend, please pass them along! The email database is a big commitment, one I hope somebody will be willing to take on.

Thanks for your comments - hope to see you at a classic event soon!

ss3777
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:20 PM
woohoo! I got hired by the LFC for a very cool (volunteer) job............stay tuned and thanks Sherry!

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:21 PM
Great idea about getting email lists from the show!! I'll make sure to have a sign up sheet at the booth for more info, and hopefully I can work on email shout outs to those signed up with info about upcoming three days, etc.

seascout3
Mar. 9, 2010, 08:35 PM
We are working on getting you some super cool forms to use! :)

We are also working on setting up an interface for the volunteers to network and share info and files and scheduling!!

Man, this is awesome!:D



Great idea about getting email lists from the show!! I'll make sure to have a sign up sheet at the booth for more info, and hopefully I can work on email shout outs to those signed up with info about upcoming three days, etc.

Kairoshorses
Mar. 9, 2010, 10:32 PM
maybe this is a dumb question, but:

Is LFC a non-profit? I need to know asap

LFC2
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:19 PM
Kairoshorses,

Yes, LFC is a nonprofit, but if you mean are we a 501(c)(3), not yet. We are in the process of preparing to file for IRS approval.

I believe it is retroactive once approved, but I'll be honest that I don't have the brainpower right now to read through their website. Perhaps tomorrow I can give a 100% answer.

If you would like to discuss the situation privately, please feel free to contact us!

sofiethewonderhorse
Mar. 9, 2010, 11:45 PM
SeaScout3...great effort

The format change was decided by the FEI in 2002 (ish, the 3-Day Event world is governed by the FEI....

When the format change was imminent, there were other 'voices' who called for a 'grass roots effort', a few said 'it was too late'

Sorry, it's too late..

US Eventing is not going to change the opinion of Royalty ;)

On the other hand, the skill of 'riding' is becoming very much in demand! :)

Regards...Kathryn

seascout3
Mar. 10, 2010, 01:51 AM
sofie: Thanks - That's just how we roll! hehehe

Watch us go... us grass roots 'Mericans have never much cared what the FEI thought about anything.. ;)

We're gonna go out and kick ass over some Training and Prelim long format courses and have a blast!:D


SeaScout3...great effort

The format change was decided by the FEI in 2002 (ish, the 3-Day Event world is governed by the FEI....

When the format change was imminent, there were other 'voices' who called for a 'grass roots effort', a few said 'it was too late'

Sorry, it's too late..

US Eventing is not going to change the opinion of Royalty ;)

On the other hand, the skill of 'riding' is becoming very much in demand! :)

Regards...Kathryn

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 10, 2010, 07:51 AM
^ Love it :)

BarnBrat
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:33 AM
I did it! I'm going to work up a manual of sorts for the 'point person' to use! Whoohooo!!! :)

RacetrackReject
Mar. 10, 2010, 09:52 AM
Sofie, I don't think the LFC is out to reverse the changes already made. I think it's more about supporting the long format events that are out there and helping to ensure that they continue and grow.

Ajierene
Mar. 10, 2010, 12:25 PM
Ajierene, please feel free to talk up the Long Format Club at the "regular" horse trials you attend!

Ha! Sounds like a plan! I will send you a PM once I get rolling...

missamandarose
Mar. 10, 2010, 01:30 PM
We are working on getting you some super cool forms to use! :)

We are also working on setting up an interface for the volunteers to network and share info and files and scheduling!!

Man, this is awesome!:D

Some serious, super cool MANNER MADE forms! :D

lfc1
Mar. 11, 2010, 12:59 AM
Just a note to say that an email sign up has been added to the Long Format Club's website, www.longformatclub.com . There are options to receive both general information and volunteer information.

In addition, there is now a Google calendar that shows all of the USEA Classic Training & Preliminary events offered in 2010!

More to come! :)