In my experience, I’ve found a few helpful ways to combat these challenges. Here are my favorite tips for Chapter fundraising:
1. Understand your audience.
Try to get inside your target audience’s head — What do they want? How much are they willing to spend for it? What’s popular with them right now?
2. Use the FUNdraising bowl.
One of the greatest tools for a PRSSA fundraiser is the FUNdraising Bowl. It’s an annual competition where PRSSA Chapters can submit their best fundraisers and win prizes. Detailed descriptions of the submitted fundraisers are added to the FUNdraising Bowl Playbook. The playbook lists how much the Chapter made, how many members the Chapter has, how long it took to plan and how they promoted the fundraiser. You can use these submissions as models when planning your own fundraisers.
3. Try crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a trendy and easy way to earn funds. On platforms like IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, people from around the world can go to your campaign page and pledge to fund your project. Usually, there is some type of incentive for pledges based on the pledge amount. Get creative with the incentives and use your social media skills to share your campaign across all your channels. It may also be beneficial to email your Chapter’s alumni asking them to give back to their old Chapter.
4. Involve professionals.
Use your fundraising campaigns as a starting point to continue strengthening your relationship with public relations professionals who are interested in your Chapter. Try to assess what would be most valuable or needed as an industry practitioner and design your campaign to fit those needs.
5. Communication is key.
Put a lot of time and energy into how you’ll publicize your campaign. Make sure your members know how they can get involved and promote the campaign. Plan how you will convey your message on social media platforms and look for other ways to announce the campaign around campus.
Good luck and may the funds be ever in your favor.
Which fundraising strategies has your Chapter used successfully?
Kalli Thommen is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in biblical and theological studies at Biola University. She was formerly the director of fundraising for Biola PRSSA. Currently, Thommen is a photographer for her university newspaper and a marketing intern for Yumzar.com. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking and a good book. Connect with her on LinkedIn.