Every sorority has different purposes and characteristics, but what they all have in common is philanthropy.
Philanthropy and community service is usually the foundation of most fraternities and sororities. Each year, chapters all over the United States raise millions of dollars for worthy causes, or for their own foundations. Sororities, in particular, are by their very nature, built upon the idea of charity, service and sisterhood. Fundraising is a crucial component of sorority membership and management and is a fantastic way to increase participation and enthusiasm on campus.
Here’s our 5-Step Guide to executing a successful fundraiser for your Sorority;
1. Fundraising Committee
Firstly, a fundraising sub-committee should be established within your group. This may be just two-three members or it may be 80% of the membership – that will be determined by how much interest, time and sisters there are to spare. No matter how many people the committee has, what’s important is that there is a group of interested volunteers who are willing to commit their time and effort into raising money.
Once these members have been established, have a discussion about what abilities and skills those members bring to the table. This will allow people to take on tasks that are most suited to their talents. You will need to make some decision about what roles are needed for the committee to host the event, and who is going to step into those roles.
One person will need to take on the role of the ‘administrator’. This person will be in charge of keeping the event cohesive, following up with committee members to ensure that tasks have been completed and taking care of any hitches that may arise. This ensures that there is at least one person who can see the ‘bigger picture’, while people are going about their tasks.
2. Choosing an Event
The most crucial decision to the success of the entire event is going to be choosing the right event. It’s important to keep your ideas fresh – nobody will leap at the chance to attend the exact same event as you held last year, or one similar to what the fraternity down the road held last month. Choose something original – uniqueness will attract much more attention!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Casino Night
- Inspiring Women Night (with guest speakers)
- Mardi Gras
- Car Wash
- Dance Marathon
- Battle of the Bands
- Sell Toilet Paper
- Bingo Night
Getting sponsors is a fantastic way to cut down costs and increase the fundraising potential. Just be sure that any companies or products you are engaging with for the fundraiser are verified and safe, and make sure that you have checked any boxes you may need to with your college administration. You don’t want to get too far into the planning only to find out that you have forgotten to file the necessary paperwork.
Now that you have your committee and your event established, some of the technical details must be set in place.
Think about the following:
- What is the fundraising budget?
- What is the fundraising goal?
- What resources are needed, and what is available?
- How long will the fundraiser last?
- Who will perform which steps?
- When will it take place?
- What promotion will you use?
- Who will be there on the day?
At this stage, each committee member needs to be delegated roles so they can move forward with carrying out their event responsibilities. Make sure that everyone is clear about what is needed, and is comfortable with doing the tasks they have been assigned.
Decide how the event communication will be managed. Will there be regular committee meetings or can it be done through email or a Facebook group? Make sure the administrator is clear about how he or she will communicate with all of the members, and how you will all be able to contact each other if needed.
Now that there are some concrete details revolving around your event, you need to establish a plan for the event’s promotion.
In the busy planning stages of how the event will be run, it can be easy to forget that promotion is crucial. As with anything in life, you get out what you put in. You will need to ensure that there are some members of the fundraising committee who will be actively promoting the event. The hours that are put into this will pay off.
Publicize your fundraising event as far in advance as possible. This allows people to save the date as well as generate excitement and word of mouth about the event itself. Be sure to include crucial details when promoting it such as where, when and what the cause is. Ensure that people know why your cause deserves to be supported, and what the benefits are to them (a cool new t-shirt, a great night out etc…)
The easiest and cheapest ways to spread the word are by telling people about your event. Create a Facebook and Twitter page and get posting the information as early as possible. Ask everyone in your networks to promote your event and hand out flyers for people to put on their dorm room doors and cars. Make an awesome video, upload it to YouTube and have everyone in your sorority share it around. You might even consider running a competition and sourcing a donated prize for the person who shares the video the most on social media. If your event is interesting, you can even approach local press and ask if they would be interested in covering the event. This can be fantastic exposure for both the event and for your cause.
Remember: promotion is not the area in which to cut corners. You must promote the event with every resource available to you, in order to pull it off successfully.
5. The Day
On the day of the event, ensure that you have enough people present that everything is in place and organized. If possible, have one or two people there who don’t have any other responsibilities other than coming to the aid of any last minute disasters.
Be sure to thank each and every person who contributes, whether they be a volunteer or a ‘customer’ at the event – every dollar helps and contributions are valuable whether big or small. Be kind and smile to your donors as you let them know how valued their support is to the sorority and its philanthropic goals.
Lastly, have a great time! The planning and hard work that was put in by your sorority and volunteers all comes to fruition today. Enjoy engaging with people, and watching that hard work turn into dollars and cents for the causes that your sorority cares about. You did a great thing – now have some fun!