Many students, faculty, university groups and associations look for new and exciting college fundraising themes to help them raise money for their cause, while communicating a relevant message. Whether you are raising funds for your sorority, fraternity, sports team, poetry club, or for general development projects for the University itself, the following college fundraising themes should help point in the right direction as you begin to identify the type of fundraiser you’d like to host.
Website for Online Donations
All college campuses have a website dedicated to informing students and alumni about special events, semester schedules, current news and announcements. Most students and many alumni check in with these sites on a regular basis to see “what’s happening.” Utilize this portal to post an announcement about your fundraising campaign. Direct users to a page that provides details about the fundraiser, an explanation about what the donations will be used for, and allow people to make online donations. If the fundraiser is an event, include an invitation for people to register online. All of these tasks can easily be managed utilizing online fundraising software.
Advantages of online giving:
- Easy to use for donors
- Secure online processing
- Contributors can select which school or program to give donations
- Instant Response: Donors get an instant e-mail acknowledgement thanking them for their contribution
- University students & recent grads are comfortable online, having used the Internet every day at college and making online credit card purchases
University Fundraising Sales
An item that may be very popular for current university students are college discount cards. Students are often budget-conscious, and the local establishments on campus often offer specials to cater to this group. Look into offering a fundraising discount card that provides students with savings at local restaurants, bars, fitness centers, retail shops and book stores. These cards typically cost students only $10 and may save students several hundred dollars over the course of the school year.
In college, it seems pretty common that students run out of the bare necessities. Try selling one of life’s necessities to raise money for your cause. Your group buys a truckload of toilet paper at wholesale prices and then pre-sells rolls of paper to other groups. This is absolutely something people need! And, it makes sense approaching groups (perhaps dorms and/or frat houses) that have a lot of people living there, and always need to keep toilet paper stocked. Keep some extra on-hand and offer individual packs for sale in high-traffic areas. What better way to avoid a trip to the store if you can pick up a needed roll on your way home from class? Use funny slogans to promote your cause, such as “Help wipe out hunger!”
Budget-conscious college students may not want to purchase something that costs much more than their lunch. So offering affordable options are a great idea. Colorful silicon bracelets can be imprinted with your group’s message and easily sold after classes, during lunch or at campus events (just fill up your backpack whenever you are out). You can make 50% profit by selling the bands for only $2.00. Many students have a couple bucks in their pocket, and once they purchase they can “show off” their support by wearing the wristband. The Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised more than $100 million for cancer research with the Live Strong wristband campaign.
University Fundraising Events
There are so many options to consider when planning a fundraising event. From planning a walk-a-thon through campus to organizing a charity golf tournament to hosting a fundraising gala dinner and silent auction event… the options are endless!
Create a customized fundraising event that not only achieves your financial goals, but is an activity that college students will enjoy doing. And, remember to think outside the box. Here’s an example: What is something that all students need to do? Study! How about a “study-a-thon” where students reach out to family and friends to raise pledges for a day dedicated to becoming a better student? Students can rent out the school auditorium and recruit faculty to teach tips for improving study habits. Read more about some creative fundraising event ideas.
Remember that fundraising events open doors to earn even more money than single donations. Charging a small admission fee, selling food and beverages on-site, or planning a fundraising raffle as part of your charity event, can be great ways to earn additional dollars. The costs to organize a raffle are minimal, as prizes are usually donated, and offering items like college sporting tickets will be desired by most of your audience!
College Group Fundraising Ideas
College sororities and fraternities frequently organize fundraisers to make money for their own non-profit group. These two groups can be expensive, so they hold fundraisers quite regularly to get funding to continue running their programs and events. Read on for more sorority fundraising ideas or fraternity fundraising ideas.
While university fundraising efforts often target current students and their parents, past graduates can be excellent tarts for donations and support as well. Read more ideas and guidelines on alumni fundraising.
College sporting teams, drama groups, and other organizations also tend to get in the spirit of fundraising to help pay for their uniforms, equipment and supplies. Bake sales, raffles, and car washes are common types of group fundraisers. See our section on community based fundraising for more ideas.