16 College Fundraising Ideas
Step By Step Guide (2018 Update)
In this article about college fundraising ideas, we’ll simplify each step your sorority, fraternity, band, or other special college group needs to take in order to organize and run a successful fundraiser on campus.
The first thing you need to do is set up a fundraising committee within your group. Ask interested members to volunteer their time, efforts, and resources and show their commitment to your group in its’ efforts to raise money. Discuss everyone’s resources and abilities to see who would fit well in different areas, such as marketing, organization, decoration, developing advertisement, and so forth. Keep everyone’s talents in mind as you move forward.
What is your group’s fundraising budget? What free resources are available? Now is the time to determine exactly what your group can afford to spend to set up a fundraising activity and what types of resources will be freely available to your group when you need them. Once you’ve determined these things, you can then start brainstorming different, affordable ways to host a college fundraiser that realistically falls within your means.
Come up with an affordable fundraising event that will excite the audience you’re trying to reach. If most of your donations will come from other students, then target your efforts towards activities in which they’ll be interested. If your target audience is the local community, come up with something that’s appealing to them.
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Keep your fundraiser simple and short. Students are generally busy with their studies, social life, and their own groups so run a fundraiser that gives them something of value that doesn’t take up much of anyone’s time.
Get your group together and organize every step of your event. Take into account what everything will cost, who will perform different necessary steps, and when and where you’ll get needed supplies. Make sure you’ve accounted for everything you’ll need. Then, set a fundraiser date in which all of your members will be available. Start gathering materials, creating any decorations, developing flyers or other campaign advertisements, and prepare for your event.
Publicize your college fundraiser in advance. Generate excitement about your event, letting people know when and where it will take place as well as why your group is trying to raise money. Point out any special aspects of it, highlighting interesting points or how donors will benefit from supporting your fundraising efforts.
On the day of your event, make certain everything is in place and ready. Do you have change for customers paying cash for goods or services? Are you in a high traffic area and noticeable to passers by? Do you have all the necessary products, supplies, order sheets, or other items you need?
Don’t forget to thank every contributor generously for his or her donation, no matter how large or small. Always be courteous and polite to your donors and let them know that their support is important to your group and its’ goals.
No matter what type of fundraising idea for college students you choose, remember these important points. Always verify company and product information when attempting to work with any wholesaler or fundraising company that may offer products for your event. Check with your college’s dean or school administration beforehand to get permission for your fundraiser and fill out any necessary paperwork. Keep your donors in mind. Be courteous and professional, applying good business practices. Remember to thank every one of them for their generosity and support.
Here is a variety of college fundraising ideas for you to explore.
Hold a fun barbecue at your sorority or fraternity house or other college location. Charge an admittance or per plate fee to those who attend. Ask other students or members of your group to help by donating utensils, food items, and other necessities. To spice things up, hold a raffle or set up volleyball or other games for students to enjoy.
Throw a themed dance or party for students in which they pay an admission fee to get in the door. Find a volunteer DJ on campus or play mixed CDs.
Direct sales is another technique that can earn plenty of money for your college fundraiser. This method usually requires an on hand inventory of your product. With some companies that provide fundraising products, you’ll have to pay in advance. Others, however, will let your group pay for products after your fundraising event has taken place. If you don’t have the budget to purchase products upfront, your group can opt to go the route of catalog sales. Potential donors can browse a catalog full of different items and fill their order in on the order form. Purchasers make their payment at the time of their order. You then fulfill the orders with the company that provides the catalog and items for sale, paying wholesale price, and retain the profits for your group.
Ask businesses to sponsor your event by allowing you to set up a donation jar at their place of business. Place them in several local businesses. Collect your donations once a week or more until your group has reached its’ fundraising goal.
Offering food to hungry college students is an easy way to their hearts and their pocket books. There is a variety of ways to accomplish this. Cookouts and barbecues are always excellent for students on the run or for a casual dinner event. Selling hot dogs, chips, and other easy to serve items during lunch hours is also one possible way to earn some quick donations. You could also have an ice cream social or sell beverages or snow cones on hot days or hot cocoa or coffee on cold ones to students, faculty, and others passing by. You can also reach out to your community to ask them to donate food items for your fundraising event. Explain the purpose of it and offer free publicity for their restaurant or other business.
Get other fraternities to participate against yours in different, fun competitions on campus. Charge an admission fee to the event, and provide snacks and beverages attendees can purchase.
Have a game night with interesting games like wild variations on bingo or trivia games or set up a casino night. Be creative and make it as fun and interesting as possible! Charge a small entry fee to participate. You can have prizes donated before the event or purchase them yourself for winners of different games. You could also start tournaments, like a Twister, darts, ping pong, or other tournament with ribbons or prizes.
Another way to bring in money to meet your college fundraising goals is internet sales. You can host online auctions or set up a special web page for your group’s fundraising products. Direct students to your link and let them know why it’s important that your group raises the money it needs. Offer affordable products that suit the tastes of the average college student, and you’ll surely draw in their interest.
There are plenty of wholesalers on the internet today, so search for companies that offer the types of merchandise you’re looking for at the right prices and require no minimums. Some companies will even drop ship the items directly to your customers for you for no extra fees or charges. Check out Charity Auctions Today to see if your group qualifies for some of the unique, free programs we have available, such as online auction hosting or access to a wholesale drop shipping company that we’ve set up a special relationship with that offers over 300 items all at deeply discounted prices!
Your fraternity, sorority or group could also generate some campus buzz by creating a Yard Sale Auction. Simply ask local businesses, friends and family to to donate items for your cause, then use our online charity auctions software to display the yard sale items. Once you are ready have everyone email and invite their friends and family to the charity auction yard sale. You would be amazed at how high some of the bids can go!
Get the most popular members of your fraternity to volunteer to have pies or water balloons thrown at them for prizes. Students purchase tickets for each throw they want to take at the popular volunteer of their choice. You can even paint a bull’s eye on the volunteers and whoever hits the bull’s eye gets a ribbon or other small prize. Make it hilarious and find good volunteers that campus students recognize.
Pool, Air Hockey, or Other Table Game Tournaments
Set up a table game or other sporting tournament. Students pay a fee to compete against other students. Students can also donate to bet on who they think will win. Each winner moves to the next round until you’re down to the finals where one winner will take the overall prize.
Selling raffle tickets for a special raffle event is also a good way to raise money for college groups. Most people are willing to spend a dollar on a game of chance in which they might win a prize. You can keep your costs down by accepting donated items or services that can be given away as prizes. You can also try to get local businesses to participate by selling tickets in their stores and so forth. Offer to promote their company name in your flyers and any other materials, letting people know that they are sponsoring your event. This is a great way to get the community involved and spread word quickly about your event. Moreover, it markets these participating businesses, giving them good, free publicity, which is advantageous to their business and gives them a great reason to support your efforts.
Sell school apparel, like sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, and other items featuring your school’s mascot. This is a great way to raise money, especially during sporting events.
Get everyone together for a special movie night with a particular theme, such as “Horror Movie night.” You can even spice it up by having people dress up like their favorite horror movie characters, and offer prizes for “best costume”, “scariest costume”, and so forth. You can sell beverages, popcorn, and other snacks, too, to bring in even more money.
Offer tutoring services for payment for college students that need help with studies. Advertise it on bulleting boards and in dorms around school.
Another highly suitable product to sell is used college textbooks. We all know there are plenty of college students who are strapped on cash and college textbooks aren’t exactly cheap. Do some research on the internet to search for companies that offer used textbooks for sale specifically for these types of purposes, such as http://www.buyusedtextbooks.com/, as well as other sites. You can buy these used textbooks at deeply discounted prices, and then resell them on campus or online, helping students save a great deal of money on books while earning money for your group.
Now, we’ve all heard about charity car washes. Why not step it up a notch by offering other types of washes, too, such as dog washes, window washes, bike washes, and so forth. This is a very inexpensive way to set up a fundraiser. Make it fun and have a great time and people will come.
Create a photo contest where students can submit their funniest, craziest photos of their wild times on campus. Place a jar under each photo. Others can vote on their favorite photo by donating money to that photo’s jar. Run the contest for a week or two, and then announce the winner, who’ll receive a small prize.
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