By Andrew M. Seaman | July 29th, 2010
SPJ’s Convention and National Journalism Conference is just around the corner (October 3 – 5), which can only mean one thing: campus chapters need money! SPJ is not oblivious to this, which is why the campus board members pulled together some fundraising ideas for campus chapters.
- One of the fastest ways to earn money is to partner up with a local restaurant or business willing to donate part of a night’s profits to the chapter. The basic idea is that the chapter would promote the evening, which means an increase in business. A lot of chain restaurants do this, but you can always check with local businesses to work out a similar arrangement.
- Some campus athletic departments will also allow campus organizations to sell concessions for a cut of the profits. A twist on this idea would be to sell an item that the department does not typically carry.
- Selling t-shirts and other memorabilia with a catchy phrase or slogan is always a big moneymaker. Early in the semester may be the best time for this fundraiser. Other items to put slogans on could be notebooks, drawstring backpacks, and water bottles.
- Some other popular items to sell – with a little bit more planning and effort – are AP Stylebooks. A stylebook sale can be very profitable. However, chapters need to be willing to make a much larger financial commitment upfront, and be prepared to compete with the campus bookstore.
- Creating midterm care packages for incoming students is also a great way to raise money. A school’s academic affairs office can provide chapters with the names and addresses of parents and legal guardians. A chapter can charge around $20 for a package, and then fill it with $5 to $7 of goodies. Another nice touch is to include a signed card from the parent or guardian.
- Don’t be afraid to “hit people up” for money, too. Department chairs, deans, and provosts usually have a special fund that can be used at their discretion. Be prepared with a good argument as to why the convention will not only benefit your chapter, but the whole school. Student governments have also been known to give money to organizations in need.
There are six ideas to get you started, but there are countless more out there. Chapters with their own fundraising ideas are encouraged to share their ideas in the comments! Also, a big thanks to Board Member Neil Ralston for most of these tips!
Don’t forget to check back for more convention ideas and news!
Andrew M. Seaman is a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and a recent graduate of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He is one of SPJ’s student representatives on the national board and you can follow him on Twitter @andrewmseaman.