Colleges and student organizations often rely on fundraising efforts to finance a range of their activities. Although collecting funds can take time and some discomfort, it is often essential for completing agendas – especially during challenging economic times like the current one.
Raising donations for your college can be a tricky affair. The goals are usually high, student budgets are low, and your efforts might seem to fall short most of the time. To overcome these challenges, you will need to diversify your strategies. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps of assembling your fundraising committee and setting your budget, you should begin brainstorming ideas that will help you reach your goals.
When done well, fundraising can be a great way to not only raise funds but also reinforce community engagement and learning. The following ideas can help you get creative and bring your community together for a successful round of fundraising activities.
Engage with Your Supporters Online
If the recent pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you can often reach your goals without much physical input. While organizing on-campus events is a great way to bring the community together, communicating online can deliver greater reach and engagement.
The best and most organized way to do this is to use a donation platform that can help you design an outreach program, encourage peer-to-peer sharing across social media platforms, and turn supporters into active ambassadors. The more participants, the larger the audience, and, as a result, the opportunity to reach more participants than you could through traditional channels alone.
Another way to approach businesses and potential sponsors for help is to ask them to set up donation jars in their place of business. You can decide on the length of the project and collect the donations every week or so to track your success.
If you’re looking to raise money for a specific cause, you can always create branded or customized messaging to help communicate your mission clearly and encourage more donations. You should aim for businesses that share your value, and you might want to include more than one store in your plan to ensure diversification and increase your chances of success.
Barbecue or Ice Cream Socials
Cookouts and food events are always excellent ways for students, friends, and parents to meet for casual and social dinners.
You can hold the event on campus and charge an admittance or portion fee to those who attend to collect money. Ask students or other university members to help by bringing utensils, food, and any other necessities. Donation boxes are also always a good idea for additional no-limit donations from anyone who wants to support your cause.
Apart from being an easy and natural way to collect money, social events are a great way to bring the community together.
Sports and Dance Competitions
Fundraising efforts are a perfect opportunity to host fun events, and who doesn’t enjoy a friendly match. You can sign up different sororities, fraternities, or groups that wish to participate and host competitions in anything from volleyball to soccer, to dance.
Collecting money from such events is straightforward – simply charge an entry fee to everyone who attends. You can also offer drinks or snacks that guests can purchase and, as always, include donation boxes or rounds to anyone who wishes to provide further support.
One of the oldest fundraising techniques in the book is direct sales. Not much different from the bake sales or lemonade stands you’ve done as a kid, selling fundraising products includes the sale of ready-made or pre-ordered items you provide.
This method usually requires having an on-hand inventory of the products you choose to sell – like t-shirts, hats, or food – so it will require an initial investment before the event. If funds are tight and you cannot afford to assemble your supplies before organizing the event, you can offer purchases ahead of time. To do this, you should have a detailed catalog of your products that people can browse before making their orders.
Fundraising for colleges and student organizations has taken a turn under the economic pressure of the pandemic – but that only means you should push your efforts into a creative direction.
To begin with, you can use the power of digital channels to engage your supporters online. You might also ask your sponsors for help without reaching into their pockets by having donation jars in their places of business.
To tap into the potential of social gatherings, you can organize barbecue or ice cream socials, have sports and dance competitions, and use direct product sales. Nurture these relationships, and you will likely increase your chances of raising the needed funds.
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