June 26, 2010; Source: Press Tribune | We would never have known. Apparently, in California, only “fundraising nonprofits” can legally sell consumer fireworks. Those roadside fireworks stands that pop up in the days and weeks leading to July 4th are run by nonprofits, due to a Sacramento businessman who sparked, so to speak, the nonprofit fireworks sales restriction back in the 1960s. In Roseville, California, the fireworks-dispensing nonprofits include the Roseville West Little League (which uses the income to purchase bats, balls, and insurance), the Roseville Sunrise Lions (whose fireworks income will send deaf children to a wilderness camp), the Roseville High Athletic Boosters (which made $21,000 last year from fireworks sales), and Rocklin High School Football (whose director says he “lives and breathes fireworks”). Mark this down as one of the most unusual in the list of unusual nonprofit funding sources.—Rick Cohen
About The Author
Rick joined NPQ in 2006, after almost eight years as the executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Before that he played various roles as a community worker and advisor to others doing community work. He also worked in government. Cohen pursued investigative and analytical articles, advocated for increased philanthropic giving and access for disenfranchised constituencies, and promoted increased philanthropic and nonprofit accountability.