With the exception of blanket tax organizations, most clubs are NOT funded by the University on a yearly basis. For this reason, it is often necessary for clubs to raise funds, both to cover operating costs and to sponsor special events and projects. Possibilities include charging members a nominal fee and co-sponsoring events with other clubs. Clubs are expected to come up with their own creative ideas for raising funds.
Provided below are some thoughts on how you can approach the concept of fundraising as well as some examples of things to get your brainstorming started. Before you begin you should be able to answer the following questions:
What do we want to accomplish with this fundraiser?
This should be the first question your group considers. You need to understand how the money will be used so you can explain to others what your goals are.
Who is the audience for the fundraiser?
- Undergraduate Students
- Graduate Students
- Faculty and Staff
Establishing your target audience will give you a clearer vision of how to promote your event.
What is the financial goal for this fundraiser?
- You need to know at the beginning what your end goal will be.
- Do not forget to factor in your initial/startup expenses.
- It is important to know how much money you may have to invest up front before you see a return.
- Knowing how much money is needed upfront will give you a clearer picture of how you will proceed.
How much time and energy can you devote to this fundraiser?
- Raising funds takes time and energy.
- Is your organization setting realistic goals when it comes to the project?
- Do you have enough people who are willing to put in the time necessary?
- Have you given your group a reasonable amount of time to achieve your goal?
Now that you have answered these questions, it is time to begin brainstorming ideas for what your group would like to do. Always remember you have to tailor your event to campus and your target audience. With that in mind your group should do the following:
- Determine fundraising categories
- Ongoing - any events that raise funds over a period of time and are often sales oriented.
- Event specific - any event that occurs once and can incorporate services.
- Establish fundraising goals
- Assemble a budget
- For the fundraiser
- For the event it supports.
- Develop a realistic picture of the income and output required to conduct the fundraiser.
- Create a checklist
- Include everything, such as advertising, decorations, paperwork, pre event deadlines, reservations, timeline, post event thank you notes, etc.
- Make sure all group members have a copy of the checklist.
- Remember that you will probably be running the fundraiser along with your regular events. It is an additional responsibility that may require you to adjust your events.
- Plan for advertising and publicity needs.
- Be clever with promotion and don't forget to remind participants how the proceeds will be used and the benefit(s) they get by contributing.
- Publicize your results.
- Assess the overall value
- Determine whether it was worthwhile
- Write up recommendations for what went well, what could be done better, timeline adjustments, etc
- Review the questions you addressed when you began planning to see if you met or exceeded your goals.
- Was this fundraiser worth the effort involved? Or was it a drain on everyone?
- Based on how much was raised is it still realistic to pursue the event you had planned?
- Follow up with participants. Ask them to contribute to the evaluation.
- Send thank you notes.
NOTE: Sales of books, stationery, supplies, and novelties are reserved for the campus bookstore, food for Rice Catering, and all items at athletic events for the Athletic Office. Plans to sell any items should therefore be approved by the Office of Student Activities before anything is begun.
NOTE: If your fundraising plans involve the sale of taxable items (i.e. articles of clothing) see Sales and Sales Tax Exemption Section.
Fundraising through the Athletic Department
Clubs might also serve as rotators during Volleyball games (people who throw the ball back to the server). For more information contact Elias Canales, 713-348-6221 in the Athletic Department email@example.com