Attending conferences is expensive and sometimes it’s hard to find adequate funding from your school. So where else can you turn? Our NVCC Woodbridgechapter has been hard at work, successfully raising thousands of dollars so far to help cover their travel expenses to attend the 2012 International Conference in Denver (which is now only three weeks away!). Rebecca Samuels, chapter Vice President explains some of the techniques they’ve been using;
NVCC Woodbridge is not the only chapter making great strides with their fundraising efforts. How has your chapter been raising money? Send an email to your Outreach Coordinator if you want to share your story and inspire other chapters!
Fundraising can be a very difficult and tedious task for even the most structured organization. According to Forbes.com, our current recession has negatively affected non-profit fundraising events even more so than for-profit companies, in a time when our services are even more necessary. This poses a daunting challenge to student volunteer-run organizations where members have so many additional obligations, such as work and/or school. The good news, however, is that students are dynamic; we adapt to our environment and we come up with some very innovative and effective ways to raise funds, even in bleak economic times.
At the beginning of the spring 2012 semester, our numbers at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus had decreased, and in planning our trip to the 2012 International Conference, we assumed we would be traveling in a carpool-sized group. Through tabling in the student common areas, we were able to gain a bit of support and alot of exposure. By the fourth meeting of the semester, our numbers had more than tripled and car-pooling was no longer an option. To make sure everybody would have a fair chance to be a part of this amazing experience, we tweaked the trip budget and ended up with an estimated cost well above five thousand dollars. During that fourth meeting, officers suggested a fundraiser through Krispy Kreme since we had experienced success with the program in past fundraising endeavors.
Through the first week of that sale, we sold hundreds of boxes of glazed doughnuts, not only on our campus but other NVCC campuses as well. We also canvased campus faculty and professors, taking special orders to be delivered to them the following day. Some people didn’t want the calories associated with our product but they wanted to contribute to our cause, so they donated five or ten dollars in lieu of buying donuts. On the second day of the sale, we had a fruit cart going through the faculty offices along with more donuts to satiate the needs of the more health conscious supporters.
Outside sources have been very helpful as well; some of our members have connections to local public schools, where we went to ask for donations. Local businesses were delivered proposals asking for their sponsorship and a pledge $500 or more in return for us wearing t-shirts or advertising for them on future flyers or event programs. There have been enthusiastic responses from a couple of the dozens of companies that were visited. Student government is also a great source to look into; our SGA awarded us a $500 grant to cover seven of the member’s conference registration fees.
We still have a little ways to go, but here in week two, after selling Krispy Kreme donuts during the Law Enforcement Job Fair, we are more than halfway to our goal! Police officers and students alike chowed down on glazed perfection while reading SSDP literature and discussing the drug war with representatives from the DEA. There is still a bunch of work here to do in order to make it toDenver, but looking at the participation and enthusiasm of all of the chapter members, and all of the success we’ve had so far, I have never been prouder to be a part of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Vice President, SSDP NOVA – Woodbridge
Krispy Kreme fundraising info: http://krispykreme.com/fundraising/4-ways-to-raise-funds