By Madeleine Taylor, Parliamentarian
Fundraising is a key component to running any effective chapter. Having sufficient funds opens the gate to having a successful year. In order to conduct a fundraiser, a few components are necessary: an idea to pursue, and students willing to make it happen. Fundraising can help your chapter raise money for scholarships to aid students to become members, help students contribute to a worthy cause (which can include the state service project), and help make a difference in your community.
Having funds is necessary in running a chapter; here are a few fun and unique fundraising ideas. Firstly, a t-shirt sale. For this you will need a creative design and a t-shirt manufacturer, like a local printing company. When buying shirts in bulk, the cost per shirt remains low and profits stay high. A fun shirt that supports a good cause will have many interested community members. This fundraiser is a great way to get artistic students involved in the design process. Making a design specific to your community or Michigan is a great starting place with your designs. Contacting and working with a printing company will grow students’ network and communication with sales. Having a tangible item with any fundraiser increases the participation, which increases the funds raised. Many students, teachers, family, and community members will want to purchase a shirt that also supports your chapter.
Other, more basic yet efficient fundraisers can consist of can/bottle drives, scrap metal drives, and bake sales. If students are determined and willing to put in time and effort to any fundraiser, it will be a success. Reaching out to the community and families will result in a lot of participation. To promote fundraisers it is important to give people a timely announcement of the event, and make posters and post them around town and on social media. Reaching out to local businesses will help your fundraiser reach more individuals. Also posting on social media pages will spread the word of your fundraiser and cause to a broader audience.
Furthermore, many food chains such as Blaze Pizza, McDonalds, and Buffalo Wild Wings offer fundraiser opportunities. At locations like these, you can plan a night where a portion of the money made goes directly to your cause. To plan a fundraiser at one of these popular restaurants, reach out to your local store and look at their website to find out how to apply. These events make for a fun night out for families and friends to get dinner and help a worthy cause.
Fundraising can also help your chapter contribute to the yearly state service project. Raising money or collecting items can help members become involved in the state service project by donating the funds raised to an organization that supports the projects theme. Contributing to the yearly project can also qualify your chapter for service awards and support a very charitable cause.
Fundraising is not only a great way to make money, but it is also a great opportunity to strengthen the bond of your chapter members. Planning and pursuing a fundraiser will help those involved strengthen their communication, planning, and leadership skills. Any fundraiser can be fun when done by passionate students who care about their cause. A sense of fulfillment comes along with fundraising; knowing you’re making a positive change causes participants to feel proud and happy with what they have contributed to.