Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising

Spreading awareness about a cause or a movement is important to build interest and support.  So far this Spring semester I have been educated about the cause “School Supplies for Afghan Children”; I’ve learned how to spread the message; and now I am focusing on encouraging others to donate.

Jillian Alpert, Associate Director for WUSF Public Media, came to speak to our class this week with tips to adequately collect funds and materials for the School Supplies for Afghan Children.  It is a process that should be specific and the details must be focused on.  Include this, double check that, send this out on time…the process can be quite intimidating. Additionally, there seems to be a stigma that people do not like to be asked for money. But Jillian advises to “stay positive” and I intend to do just that.

Sometimes I think of fundraising as a balancing act. You want to entice others to give by giving back to them in a way they will be satisfied with but will not monetarily negate the donation. As our class is deciding on what type of event to hold, we are realizing there are many options.  And thus the fun begins.  Do we give out free food? A chance to win a prize? A free t-shirt? How can we build excitement, collect donations, and not get lost in the thousands of other organizations that are constantly giving away free things to students on campus.  I want to be different, and I want it to be fun.

A student out a USF's Bull Market. (Photo Courtesy of Daylina Miller)

It is a large task to handle, but knowing the impact that the last group of students made only encourages us. The last class collected 220 boxes full of school supplies and $4,000 for shipping costs. Talk about motivation.

The Honors Class from Spring 2011 (Photo Courtesy of Liisa Hyvarinen Temple)

Fundraising is tricky.  It can be intimidating to walk up to a stranger and ask for money or a donation of school supplies.  I never want to bother people or be pushy.  But one thing I noticed in Jillian was the passion she had when she spoke to us.  She wasn’t asking any of us for a contribution, but she was selling us on the idea of engaging others and creating loyalty to the cause.  It filled me with empowerment that I too could raise funds and supplies for the children in Afghanistan. The nerves have left me. After all what is the worst someone can say, no?

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This entry was posted in Awareness campaigns, Charity, Children, Education, School Supplies for Afghan Children, University of South Florida, USF Bulls Market, USF Honors College and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising

  1. Fritz M Brothers II says:

    Very good, I would think outside the box here. Don’t look for all of the money from the end user but instead ask local food operations to donate food and supplies( they get a tax write off) then charge a “cover donation” to get into the event, maybe even have a movie theatre donate a theatre at an odd hour of the day and get people to come for a donation, the theatre gets e chance to sell popcorn and candy and you guys get the donation. Just takes a lot of person power to get it done. I would love to donate.

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