Attention College Students – Don’t Over Think Fundraising

Attention College Students – Don’t Over Think Fundraising
  • Opening Intro -

    One of the great things about being a college student is that you're encouraged to rethink the way the world works.

    Professors often reward students who are critical of the status quo, the idea being that challenging popular beliefs ultimately leads to a greater understanding.

    It's a tradition that dates back to the days of Socrates and it's by no means a bad thing.


By Jason Lancaster

However, when it comes to fundraising for a college club, religious group or other college-affiliated organization, students should remember that the status quo works…don’t over think it!

Let’s focus on the tried-and-true fundraising method of  selling goods and services. While not always glamorous, selling products/services can be effective and easy to manage. Here are five college fundraising rules to live by:

Rule #1:

Sweets sell. You would be hard-pressed to find an American who doesn’t enjoy a candy bar or a slice of cheesecake. Yet despite its universal appeal, most people deprive themselves of sweets for fear of becoming overweight. For most of us, there’s a lot of guilt that comes from eating fatty foods (even if they’re really, really good).

However, for reasons that aren’t entirely logical, most people don’t feel guilty at all about eating a candy bar or cheesecake if it’s for a good cause. If your club or I.M. team needs funds, selling sweets is simple and effective. If selling candy bars – or gourmet nuts or fancy coffee – is too “high school” for your group, remember this: it works.

Rule #2:

Fundraise at community events. Simple community events like street fairs or arts and crafts shows are a great place to sell food. Rather than lugging a box of candy bars door to door, you can setup a table at community events and let the customers come to you. With nothing more than a couple of school banners on your table and a big smile on your face, people will put two and two together and buy their snacks from you. What’s more, most community event organizers will give college groups a free table or booth…all you have to do is ask.

Rule #3:

Parents and alumni will buy anything (well, almost anything). Whatever it is that your group is selling, parents and alumni are a great customer base because:

  • They know what it’s like to be in your shoes.
  • They like you.
  • They want to help.

Therefore, when you need to raise funds, don’t forget to get the word out to parents and alums.

Rule #4:

Support your fundraiser online. In the old days of fundraising, you could send letters and drop off flyers to get the word out. Today, all you have to do is create a quick website on Tumblr or, write up a little bit of info about why you’re raising money, slap on a free fundraising thermometer, and then start sharing a link to your new website on Facebook. It’s instant word or mouth advertising that works.

Rule #5:

Have fun. Fundraising can be a chore, but it’s much less of a chore if you do it with a smile on your face. A smile is the best fundraising tool in your toolbox. People buy things from people they like, which means that smiling young faces sell more than bored-looking young faces. If you brighten up your attitude and your energy, you’ll be more successful and you can finish your fundraiser ahead of schedule.

Good luck!

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Categories: Personal Advice