Interested in coming to the conference, but worried about how to cover the costs? Worry not, precious flower.
First, Ask for Help!
For Groups: Ask your Student Government, Women’s Center, Women’s Studies Department, Public Service Centers and ethnic studies departments on campus to help pay for travel to the conference. They have funds for student leadership and training that often go unused. Most Student Activity Centers have forms to fill out to request funding. Local businesses and community members are also often an untapped resource for funding: approach a business with a small brochure or a sheet of paper with the background of your group, and a letter explaining why you need the money; if for any reason they cannot give money, ask if you can place a donation jar at the counter that one of your members can come and check once a week.
For Individuals: If you write for your school paper or a feminist group, ask if they’ll cover your costs in exchange for a piece on what you learned. If you intern with or volunteer with a feminist organization, see if they’d be willing to send you and cover your costs in exchange for notes.
For Everyone: Don’t be afraid to ask for money by starting a Piggybackr (good for groups) or GoFundMe (better for individuals) and sending it to friends, family, your group members, your feminist classmates, and the general internet! If you email a fundraising link to firstname.lastname@example.org, we can even help you spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr!
Ideas for Individuals
Got some old textbooks you never resold? Tired of trying to make that tunic from last summer look good this spring? Good! Because whether you post on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or have a good, old-fashioned yard sale, there is someone on this Earth who will buy your heavily used copy of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Host a clothing swap in your house, apartment, or dorm lounge! Ask folks to bring clothing they no longer want and a $5 donation and let them swap the day away. When they’re done, sell the clothes nobody claimed for a bit of extra dough or donate them to a domestic violence shelter to do a bit of good in the process.
Have a special skill? Got a hobby you’re really good at? Offer to teach your friends yoga, paint your aunt’s kitchen, or draw caricatures of your friends with their pets for a reasonable fee.
Ideas For Groups
One of the easiest ways to raise money is to have a jar at every meeting and event and on every informational table your group is at until the conference to collect loose change. Decorate the jar in order to personalize it for your group and let folks know that any change is welcome. You never know who has a little extra change in their pockets! And you never know how close you can get to making progress on paying for your plane ticket by accepting a few quarters every day.
Have a pay equity bake sale! Raise awareness about feminist issues while you’re raising money for your members to go to NYFLC. Price desserts out based around statistics about the wage gap, with some selling for a dollar, some for 78 cents, some for 51 cents, etc. Pledge that 100% of the proceeds will go to NYFLC, and encourage sale donations from faculty members and non-attending folks as well.
NYFLC comes after Valentine’s Day (February 14) and International Women’s Day (March 8), so have your group help folks celebrate! Add some feminist flair to the lives of your fellow students by designing and printing special cards that folks can buy and personalize for the holidays.
Find a comfortable venue to screen a film or some episodes of a television show and ask for $5 donations at the door. Some suggested feminist films:
- Iron Jawed Angels
- North Country
- Real Women Have Curves
- A League of Their Own
- The Joy Luck Club
- The Laramie Project
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Girl Fight
- Sisters of ‘77
- The Life
- Miss Representation
- THE LINE
- After Tiller
- Young Lakota
Go to a local dry cleaner and ask them to donate as many wire hangers as they can spare. Then have a pro-choice proclamation party somewhere on campus. “Sell” the hangers for $1 and let the buyer write a message as to why they are pro-choice. Staple the message to the hanger and hang them around campus, or simply display them at your FMLA events and meetings.
Host a craft day every other weekend where group members gather and can make everything from buttons to scarves. Then, sell it all for cold, hard, cash! Make sure you price the items so that you’re making profit. You can also contact your FMF campus organizer about getting products from our feminist store at cost and selling our own feminist gear on campus.
Put some music on and host your very own dance party on campus! Give attendees a small gift and donate some proceeds to charity. Challenge folks to sponsor their friends per hour, put on some Power Plays, and get into it!
Open Mic & Art Show
Know any artists or poets? This is a great event to gather those in need of creative self-expression and to raise money at the same time! Contact artists, poets, or performing artists in order to confirm 2-3 people to get the ball rolling so that others will feel comfortable expressing their creativity. Make sure to publicize the event on campus. You can charge money at the door – even if it’s just a dollar, it will help. For an art show, artists usually donate 50% or more of sales when showing their art for a charity event.