RV PRO magazine recently announced a major promotional campaign to raise funds for the financially struggling RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.
RV PRO Publisher Dana Nelsen said the Broomfield, Colo.-based magazine will donate 25% of the revenue brought in by ad sales of the magazine’s June issue to the Hall of Fame. Nelsen additionally issued a challenge to all RV dealers and retail stores in the RV industry to donate $500 or more directly to the museum.
“I’ve recently heard a lot of ‘offers’ to help the RV/MH Hall of Fame over the last month, but many of them have had ‘strings’ attached and are basically companies leveraging themselves for personal gain,” Nelsen said in a posting on the magazine’s website. “A gift with strings is no gift at all, in my opinion. We want to help the museum, plain and simple, because it really is one of industry’s greatest treasures. The magazine doesn’t really get anything from this gesture.”
“The RV/MH Hall of Fame is pleased to work with RV PRO in developing a plan to help relieve the present financial crisis facing the industry’s archival center,” said Tom McNulty, executive vice president of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. “We are very happy that the industry is coming to the rescue of what we believe to be an invaluable resource to the entire industry, not only as the home of the largest vintage unit collection, but also the largest archival literature collection of historic books and documents and a growing resource for industry functions.”
The RV/MH Hall of Fame recently announced that, without financial help from the industry, its cash reserves will only allow it to cover operating costs for approximately three months. It faces an estimated annual budget shortfall of $150,000. Going forward, the estimated annual budget of the museum was recently reduced to $500,000 per year.
McNulty said, “The Hall of Fame is in the financial position that with our austerity budget reorganization, if our existing debt condition that is approaching $5 million can be brought under control, our current operational income, along with continued support from Go RVing and our usual annual membership support can maintain our budget at our current level of operation.
“Income sources for the facility include approximately 20,000 admissions of $6 to $8 each to the museum, primarily from RV consumers, plus rental fees for the various rooms and venues in the facility as well as annual supporting memberships and gifts from generous benefactors,” he added.
Nelsen said any ad space reservation in RV PRO magazine made between April 7 and May 7 for the June issue will qualify and 25 percent of those proceeds will be donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. He said this aspect of the promotion is really about challenging the RV manufacturers, suppliers, service companies and associations to “step up and be a part of the solution.”
Suppliers and manufacturers wishing to participate should contact Nelsen at 800-669-0424.
Nelsen said it enables advertisers to do marketing and contribute to the museum at the same time. He suggested that advertisers include in the ad submitted to the magazine a small blurb showing the company’s support for the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Dealerships and Retailers
“There are about 8,000 RV dealerships, RV aftermarket retail stores and RV repair shops in the industry,” Nelsen said. “If each of them mailed a check off to the museum for $500, it would raise $4 million dollars and would secure the museum’s future for a long, long time. This dollar amount isn’t even including the many RV supplier and manufacturers or the donation made by RV PRO from the June issue ad sales.”
Nelsen said acknowledging dealers and aftermarket retailers who help the museum is important, too. Businesses that step up to the $500 challenge also will be published in a special ad in the June issue.
McNulty said he would provide a list to the magazine of dealership and retailer companies who donated $500 or more for publication in June.
Companies that wish to donate anonymously should indicate that in a note with their check sent to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Checks must be received no later than May 2 and should be mailed to the RV/MH Hall of Fame at 21565 Executive Parkwy, Elkhart, IN 46514.
“Everyone is looking for a solution to this problem, and here it is,” Nelsen said, “The gauntlet has been dropped. Who in the industry is willing to pick that gauntlet up and be a part of the solution? Will it be you?”