Fundraising allows student chapters to cover operating expenses, complete projects and activities and create a reserve for the future. Here are some steps to assist in your fundraising efforts.
Step #1: Have a Planning Meeting
During the planning meeting, the chapter should determine the activities and events they would like to accomplish for the year. For example, attending a state society meeting or the SAF National Convention, student conclave, holding a fall or spring picnic, a camping trip or hiking trip.
Estimate the cost of the activities the student chapter would like to conduct and compare them to the current funds available and other sources of income, for example, chapter dues. This will help determine the amount to be raised.
Develop an event calendar, including SAF activities, mid-terms, finals and deadlines for major class projects. This will help your chapter determine the best time to hold a fundraising event.
Your chapter may want to appoint a fundraising committee or coordinator to lead the chapter's efforts.
Step #2: Develop a Fundraising Plan
Choose the right fundraiser event for your chapter by taking into account:
- The number of chapter members
- Members' interests and skills
- Members' enthusiasm for fundraising
- Members' time commitments
- Creative ideashold a brainstorming session
- Other fundraising activities already occurring
- The best time of year for a fundraising event
- Costs for the fundraiser (advertising, refreshments, etc.)
- University or College regulations as well as state/local laws (some states have laws pertaining to raffles, bingo games, and other games of chance)
If the risks are greater than what the group wishes to assume, it is time to go back and revise the chapter's overall goals for the year. Remember to think positively and creatively!
Step #3: Plan the Fundraiser
Choose a date based on the type of fundraiser the chapter plans to have. Several items should be taken into consideration including weather conditions, academic calendars and other SAF events.
Reserve your room or location well in advance of the event.
Plan a publicity campaign that may include ads in alumni newsletters, local or school newspapers, flyers, signs, letters or e-mail messages.
Find volunteers to assist a fundraising committee or coordinator and delegate tasks.
Keep tabs on expensesyou want to avoid losing money on a fundraiser.
Step #4: The Fundraising Event
Step #5: Evaluate the Event
Review all receipts and deposit money immediately.
Pay any bills or reimburse any members. Remember to obtain receipts from members before you reimburse them.
Thank all the members and sponsors who contributed to the event by sending personal letters or presenting them with a small tokenbutton, t-shirts, etc.
Hold a "wrap-up" meeting to discuss the event. Examine whether:
- The event was successful.
- What could have been differently?
- Suggestions for the next fundraising event.
- Can the event be an on-going or annual activity?
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, Student Organizations and Leadership Development Office, University of Oklahoma at Omaha