Interested in coming to the conference, but worried about how to cover the costs?
First, Ask for Help
From Your School: Ask your Student Government, Women’s Center, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, Queer Student Center, Multicultural Centers and ethnic studies departments on campus to help pay for travel to the conference. They typically have funds for student leadership and training that often go unused. Most Student Activity Centers have forms to request funding. Check out this sample funding proposal for inspiration.
From Your Community: Local businesses and community members are also often an untapped resource for funding. Many businesses, especially larger law firms, have specific women’s initiatives that may be more likely to give. 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.
Chain restaurants and larger businesses likely have standard giving programs. Ask a coffee shop or a restaurant if they’ll donate 10% of their profits for individuals who come in from your school on specific days or times.
Crowd Funding: Don’t be afraid to ask for money by starting a Crowdrise or a GoFundMe 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 and Facebook. Check out this list of tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign and this example from the 2015 NYFLC.
Plan an Event
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.
Movie Night: 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, Dark Girls, The Laramie Project, The Handmaid’s Tale, Jackson, Fried Green Tomatoes, Girl Fight, Sisters of ‘77, The Life, Miss Representation, Obvious Child, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, THE LINE, After Tiller, Young Lakota, 12th & Delaware, Girlhood, Sexy Baby, No! The Rape Documentary, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and more!
Dance-A-Thon: 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!
Condom Grams: Support safe sex AND raise funds. Apply to become a SafeSite to receive free condoms from Advocates for Youth. Them use the condom to create “Condom Grams” that you can sell for $1-2 on Valentine’s Day or throughout the year. Check out this article about students from Brown who sold condom grams for inspiration.
Feminist Greetings: 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.
Merchandise: 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.