Interested in coming to NYFLC, but not sure how to cover the cost?
First, Ask for Help
From Your School: Ask your Student Government, Women’s Center, Student Leadership Center, Residence Hall Association, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, Queer Student Center, Multicultural Centers and ethnic studies departments on campus if they will help pay for travel to the conference. They typically have funds for student leadership and training that often go unused. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask other related departments or schools (i.e. Sociology, Political Science, Social Work, Honors Programs, etc.) if they are willing to sponsor your trip – budgets change from year to year and some programs will have funds open up that they are willing to distribute to students in their programs. Most Student Centers, Student Unions, or Student Governments have forms to request funding. And remember: ask early and ask often! If your group is definitely interested in attending NYFLC, start looking for potential funding sources and make requests for funding as early as possible. 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 flyer detailing 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. Use GroupRaise to find restaurants in your area with fundraising programs and apply to host a percent night for your group. Ask local coffee shops or restaurants if they have their own percent night programs or would be willing to donate a set percentage of their profits for a night to your group’s fundraiser.
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 Night/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: North Country, 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! Make sure you price the items so that you’re making profit.