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Fundraising Guidelines

Johnson County Government Fundraising Guidelines


Fundraising campaigns: the County's three campaigns approved by the Board of County Commissioners including Feed the Need, United Way of Greater Kansas City (herein United Way), and ArtsKC.

Fundraising events: events sanctioned and approved by the Fundraising Committee and County Manager to benefit the County's approved fundraising campaigns.


Johnson County employees have demonstrated a tremendous sense of community-sharing by their participation in fundraising events that benefit our County residents and neighbors. Johnson County Government sponsors these employee-driven activities for Feed the Need, United Way, and ArtsKC. It is important to recognize that Johnson County employees must ensure that charitable activities conform to the standards of conduct and practices in the Johnson County Human Resources Policy 107, Ethics and Business Conduct, and Johnson County Code of Ethics (Resolution No. 162-88).

Following these parameters and limits are essential to preserving local government accountability and transparency, thus the Fundraising Campaign Chairs should review the procedures with their committees annually.


The Fundraising Guidelines are maintained and enforced by the Fundraising Committee, subject to the County Manager's oversight. In the event of a disagreement, the Fundraising Committee makes recommendations to the County Manager, and the County Manager has final approval for all Fundraising activities.


CHARGE: The charge of the Fundraising Committee is to advise the County Manager on issues concerning the administration, facilitation, and coordination of the annual Feed the Need, United Way, and ArtsKC employee fundraising campaigns. Specific tasks of this committee include:

  • Coordinating activities for fundraising campaigns
  • Ensuring leadership continuity and knowledge transfer for fundraising campaigns
  • Administering the approval and enforcement process for employee events for fundraising campaigns
  • Serving as a resource to the County Manager on any issue pertaining to the fundraising campaigns as directed
  • Directing fund distributions

COMMITTEE STRUCTURE: The County Manager appoints Johnson County employees to the Fundraising Committee. All Chairs-elect will be selected by September 30 to serve three-year terms on the Fundraising Committee; membership of the Committee will shift at this time. The Management and Budget Analyst from the County Manager's Office provides staff support. Members include:

  • Assistant County Manager
  • Management and Budget Analyst, CMO
  • Director of Legal Services
  • Risk Management
  • Director of the Office of Treasury and Financial Management
  • Current chairs of fundraising campaigns
  • Chairs-elect of fundraising campaigns
  • Past chairs of fundraising campaigns
  • Three staff representatives (3 year staggered terms)
  • Johnson County Charitable Foundation, Inc. 501(c)(3) Representative

MEETINGS AND LEADERSHIP: The Assistant County Manager serves as Chair of the Fundraising Committee. The Committee meets quarterly, and the Chair may call additional meetings, or may reschedule or cancel meetings, as needed. The Chairman may also establish ad hoc committees to review issues that cannot be resolved during regular meetings. The Management and Budget Analyst is responsible for documenting decisions or actions taken by the Committee.


Johnson County Government sponsors three formal fundraising activities: Feed the Need, United Way, and ArtsKC. Fundraising or solicitations for any other cause requires Department/Agency Head approval and must be conducted in accordance with Johnson County Human Resources Policy 405 and its procedures.


Fundraising events must be sponsored by a County Department or Agency and must be approved by the Fundraising Committee. The following events have been sanctioned by the Fundraising Committee and do not require submittal of an event application; however, sanctioned events must be entered onto the Event calendar so that the Fundraising Committee is advised of all fundraising events:

  • Bake Sales
  • Breakfast, lunch, snack, candy, or other food item sales
  • Plant sales (not vendor sponsored)
  • Book sales (not vendor sponsored)
  • Drawings (drawings must be held in compliance with Kansas law; may suggest but not require a donation; one ticket must be provided upon request)
  • Cutest baby contest
  • Auctions
  • Bowling tournament (external solicitations and event location limitations described below)
  • Basketball tournament (external solicitations and event location limitations described below)
  • Softball tournament (external solicitations and event location limitations described below)
  • Selling of coupon books
  • Guess the number of items in a jar
  • Car washes
  • Dunk Tanks
  • TFM 5k Race; FAC/ITS Golf Tournament; PWK Golf Tournament
  • Food/School Supply Drives

Events may be added to or removed from the sanctioned event list following approval from the Fundraising Committee. Future races or golf tournaments must submit non-sanctioned event requests and receive approval from the Fundraising Committee.


Non-sanctioned events must be approved by a majority vote of the Fundraising Committee members participating in the vote subject to the ultimate authority of the County Manager. Applicant must submit an Event Application with the support of a Department or Agency Director. The Fundraising Committee will vote whether to approve or deny the application, and the Management and Budget Analyst will inform the applicant of the Committee's decision within five business days. The County Manager may disapprove any application, event, or activity on the Manager's own initiative, or upon recommendation of the Chief Counsel, the Director of Legal Services, or the Risk Manager. No event should be approved which is or may be perceived as:

  • Offensive to any group or class of persons
  • Likely to cause embarrassment or the disclosure of private information without the consent of participants
  • Overtly sexual in nature or sexually suggestive
  • Involving gambling
  • Suggesting a violation of law or ethics
  • Contrary to the best interests of Johnson County Government


SOLICITATIONS: Solicitations for contributions, donations, or participation shall not target Johnson County vendors, including past vendors or known potential vendors. Mailing and contact lists shall be composed of broad categories of individuals and businesses, for example, all Kansas City engineers, all architects, or all chamber of commerce members. The lists may include past participants in a Johnson County charitable event, provided that the materials sent to them state that they are being contacted as "past participants."

ADVERTISING: Advertising is not allowed on County property or as part of a County event. Recognition is allowed to express appreciation, provided that the recognition signage and materials are limited in size and scope. Business logos and trademarks are not allowed.


Johnson County Government does not make a determination regarding the deductibility of donations or contributions, and employees of the County should refrain from making any direct representation of the tax consequences for any donation or contribution.

For fundraising that involves a purchase, participation in an event, or the awarding of a prize, the amount paid or contributed may not be deductible for tax purposes, and County employees should not make any representation on the deductibility of such contributions.


All proceeds derived from a fundraising event sponsored by the County Government are to be used only to benefit fundraising campaigns. The person or persons conducting the activity are responsible for the safe keeping of all proceeds, and the proceeds may not be commingled with any public monies of the County.

Proceeds may be used to pay for direct costs of conducting the fundraising event or for the cost of actual goods purchased and used for the fundraiser. Proceeds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Proceeds may not be split with any vendor nor used to pay the vendor a "share" of the sales or donations.
  • Proceeds may not be used to pay for labor or other provided services.
  • Proceeds may not be used to pay any cost which is higher than that cost readily available for similar goods acquired by other public or charitable groups.
  • Proceeds may not be used for any purpose not related to the approved event.
  • Proceeds may not be used as seed money for future events.

Whenever any portion of the proceeds is used for paying costs, then adequate records must be kept for all such expenditures, and notification must be provided indicating that proceeds are used to pay for the costs of the goods or other event expenditures. Fundraisers may state that "All proceeds benefit Feed the Need" (or other fundraising campaigns) ONLY when all proceeds are contributed to the fundraising campaign.


Department or agency directors may authorize employees to use work time to plan and conduct activities for approved fundraising. However, employees must use approved personal leave when they participate in a fundraising event for an extended period, such as competing in a golf tournament, 5k race, etc. Use of employee time for approved fundraising should not disrupt the normal and ordinary performance of duties, should not cause or require the use of overtime or compensatory time, and should not use unreasonable amounts of time. All participation in fundraising activities is voluntary.


Public funds may not be used to pay for any direct costs for fundraising events. County equipment and supplies may be used for incidental purposes and only when authorized by the Department or Agency.


EVENT LOCATION: Fundraising events must be conducted on County property whenever feasible unless another location is expressly authorized by the Fundraising Committee and/or County Manager. Use of County property must be coordinated with the appropriate Facilities Department.

PARTICIPATION: Only County employees may plan and execute fundraising events; the event may not be conducted by a vendor or agency other than Johnson County Government. Events are intended for participation by County employees, but the public will not be excluded from participation. The public should not be targeted for participation. All participation is voluntary.


When a fundraising event involves the awarding of a prize, the Department or Agency conducting the event must have the prize publicized and must award the prize. Prizes offered and awarded may not relate to employee compensation, benefits, job continuation, or time off.

The County may offer and award prizes, awards, certificates, receptions, or similar acknowledgements to Departments and/or employees for their participation in the sponsored campaign events. Such prizes and awards may be paid for from County funds when authorized by the County Manager. Prizes may also be donated specifically for that purpose by other persons or businesses. Such prizes and awards may not relate directly to employee compensation, benefits, job continuation, or time-off; and the value of such prizes may be required to be reported as compensation or other value to federal taxing authorities.


Announcements and publicity for fundraising events must comply with the solicitation policies and procedures (HR Policy 405), with the policies for use of the County's email system (HR Policy 404), and with applicable posting requirements.


Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold or distributed by Johnson County employees or as part of the event. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on County property without prior approval from the Board of County Commissioners. The consumption of alcoholic beverages shall not be promoted or encouraged. The operator of the site where the event is held may sell alcoholic beverages if such sales are a part of the operator's regular business operations, for example, by a golf course. The Johnson County Park and Recreation District may sell alcoholic beverages during a fundraising event, provided that such sales are conducted in the same manner as during normal operations.


Fundraising events that involve the selling or distribution of food must follow the Food Safety for Temporary Events guidelines from the Johnson County Environmental Department.

When serving food for fundraising events, preference should be given to recyclable and compostable serving ware, which should be recycled and composted following the event. To the extent practicable, food for fundraising events should come from area farms and growers in order to support the local economy and minimize air pollution associated with food transport. Please contact the Sustainability Program Director if you have questions or need assistance.


Fundraising proceeds for Feed the Need are to be distributed to all pantries operated by Johnson County Government. Donations may also be distributed to an additional five food pantries that are located in Johnson County as determined by the Fundraising Committee. Donations may be distributed based on units of service and do not need to be distributed in equal amounts. Pantries must meet the following criteria:

  • Pantry must be open to the general public
  • Pantry must be located in Johnson County
  • Pantry must use funds exclusively for food, household items, school supplies, and emergency assistance (rent, medications, utilities)
  • Pantry must provide an annual accounting of how the funds were spent and units of service
  • Organizations must use MAAC Link or some other system that helps to ensure that food support is spread throughout the community
  • Periodic audits of the Feed the Need donations by designated Johnson County officials must be allowed as requested


Donations to United Way go directly to the United Way Community Fund.


Donations to ArtsKC go directly to ArtsKC.