The phrase “poor college student” exists for a reason. Students are expected to live on their own and take part in real-world bills and expenses, as well as keep their grades up and prepare for a career. So when it comes to college fundraising ideas, students need to get creative. They need to find ways they can put in as little money as possible in order to get a decent amount of money for whichever organization they’re supporting.
For many people, fundraising is unfamiliar territory and it can be overwhelming. You need to pick out a strategy that is affordable for you, but something that will be able to grab people’s attention. To get better acquainted with fundraising, we offer this course that gives the basics on fundraising and offers 10 fundraising strategies.
College Fundraising Ideas
Many college students do not have the budget for big, glamorous fundraisers and have to use their creativity to come up with ideas that are easy, cheap and can result in decent funds raised. Here are some ideas that college students can use:
- Bake Sale
The bake sale is the go-to for low-budget fundraisers. Baked goods are inexpensive to make and you can make a good amount of money off of a few dozen cookies, brownies and more. This type of fundraiser is also quick to organize and execute and does not take much planning to get off the ground. Schedule the fundraiser during peak times on a college campus in a well-populated building. This will ensure that you can get in front of as many students and staff as possible. Also make it clear as to what you are trying to raise funds for. People who might normally walk by may stop and donate if you are representing an organization or cause they care about.
Make sure to be diverse with your assortment of goods. There are many people who follow different diets and lifestyles. Two of the more popular diets you will run into are vegan and gluten free. By including vegan and gluten-free options in your bake sale, you will be able to target many groups of people. There are many substitutions and products out there that you can use for vegan and gluten-free baking. We recommend this course on gluten-free bread baking. For vegan baking, we recommend this vegan and vegetarian cooking course. In it, you will learn vegan cooking techniques and receive recipes to get you started. With these skills, you will be able to cater to a diverse group of people.
- Sell Art
Colleges are most likely to have an art department with dozens of talented student artists. Work with the department to get students to donate some of their works to be sold as part of a fundraiser. Talk to professors and see if they can give extra credit to the students who donate new and unique pieces of work to your college fundraiser. It will not only benefit your cause, but also give the students incentive to donate. If you want to try to hone your own artistic side, we offer this course on easy art making. In it, you will learn the basics and build off of them to start creating your own unique pieces.
- Host a Benefit Concert
If you live in an artsy and musical area, you can put out a call for local bands in the area to contribute to a benefit concert. Once you get bands willing to participate, you will need to lock down a venue for the concert. You can try to rent a room on campus or go outside campus to a coffee shop or music venue. There are plenty of options available no matter how big or small your campus is. For admission, set the cover price at a suggested $5 donation. Make sure you market the fact that it is a benefit concert and highlight the cause or organization so people will feel compelled to donate more if they are passionate about it. Additionally, you can ask the bands if they want to donate merchandise to sell as another way to raise funds. Depending on the venue, you can also bring in food and drinks to sell as fundraisers as well, so you can not only get funds from the admission, but from different avenues as well.
- Craft Sale
Making crafts is something almost anyone can do, especially with websites like Pinterest with thousands of creative and easy-to-make craft ideas. If you know of a lot of crafty people, get them together to make some goods to sell for a cause. They can be as simple as decorated mason jars and vases to re-purposed furniture and intricate beaded jewelry. There are plenty of options you can find online to make depending on your skill level and how much money you have to spend on supplies. Like bake sales, craft sales are relatively easy to organize, affordable and you are able to host them frequently.
- Yard Sale
We all have those clothes items in the back of our closets with the tags still on them. Why did we make that impulse buy to begin with? Instead of pitching it, turn that impulse buy into something good by having a yard sale with the proceeds going toward your organization or cause. If you have a lot of friends with bulging closets, gather them together to donate their goods to your yard sale. In addition to clothes, you can also get friends to donate used books and household items or whatever they have laying around their house that might be of good use to the sale. With events like this, you can also double dip and sell baked goods (or other kinds of refreshments) or art. It really depends on what your budget is and how many people you can get involved to help.
Most colleges offer an indoor track, outdoor track or both. You can easily utilize these for a walkathon fundraiser. Walkathons are popular fundraising events because they promote the health benefits of walking, are social and most importantly, support great causes and organizations. Unlike bake sales, they are a little bit more difficult to plan, as you have to obtain permits and permissions to use facilities to hold the event, as well as gather a team of walkers to fundraise. If you want to bump it up a little and add a little excitement, you can hire a DJ, include food and games to encourage additional donations. You will want to start planning a good amount in advance so you can promote the event and get people to sign up to raise money, as well as sponsors to aid in the fundraising. If you’ve never hosted an event or tried to attract corporate sponsors, we offer you a course that shows you how to successfully put on a fundraising events and attract sponsors. This course will not only help in your planning for a walkathon, but it will give you additional ideas for other events your can host that won’t cost you any money.
The best kind of fundraising not only raises money for your organization or cause, but it should also be fun. Give fellow college students a reason to get involved by making it social and fun. For more ideas on how to host unique fundraisers, you can check out this blog. You will find additional ways to fundraise that are different than the ones listed above.