When it comes to fundraising, the most important thing to remember is to ask early and ask often! If your group is interested in attending our annual conference, start looking for potential funding sources and make requests for funding as early as possible.
Colleges and universities typically have funds for student leadership and training that often go unused. Common sources to ask for funding:
- Student Government
- Women’s Center
- Student Leadership Center
- Residence Hall Association
- Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department
- Queer Student Center
- Multicultural Centers
Most Student Centers, Unions, or Governments have forms to request funding, so get organized as early as possible. Check out this sample funding proposal for inspiration.
Don’t be afraid to ask other related departments or schools 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. Try reaching out to these other departments:
- Political Science/Public Policy
- Social Work
- Public Relations
- Honors College/Program
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.
Start a GoFundMe or a Facebook Fundraiser (or even design a shirt and put it up on Bonfire!) and send it to friends, family, your group members, your feminist classmates, and the general internet! If you email a fundraising link to email@example.com, we can even help you spread the word on social media. Check out this list of tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign and this example from the 2015 NYFLC.
Plan an Event
Feminist Swag Sale
Did you know our Feminist Campus shirts are available for affiliated groups to purchase at wholesale price and resell on their campuses? Feminist-ify your campus by selling our Fearless, Flawless, Feminist; This is What a Feminist Looks Like; and Feminist as F*ck t-shirts, buttons, and stickers. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 and consider charging money at the door. Artists usually donate 50% or more of sales when showing their art for a charity event.
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!
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!
Support safe sex and raise funds. Create “Condom Grams” to sell on Valentine’s Day (or any day). Check out this article about students from Brown who sold condom grams for inspiration.
Add some feminist flair to the lives of your fellow students by designing and printing special cards that folks can buy and personalize.
Host a craft day (“stitch and bitch” anyone?) each week where group members gather to make things. Then, sell it all! Make sure to price the items so that you’re making profit.