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Fundraising in State College

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By Taylor Havlisch, Account Associate, Volé

The Volé team shared a trend titled “Student Fundraising Techniques” at the March All-Firm Meeting. Fundraising is the greatest component of our work within the team, as Volé is a completely student-run organization. During our presentation we encouraged fundraising, especially within State College, by offering advantages of doing so. Among them is the most prominent advantage, that State College is completely centered around Penn State life. The greatest population to approach and persuade is the student body that swarms campus daily. For Volé, no population could be more appropriate, considering they are a student organization themselves.

We then continued to explain a few main components of publicizing fundraising events including social media, fliers, and media attention. For our client, we have implemented all three of these components as we often develop Facebook pages to encourage participation during events, design fliers for display throughout campus, and write press releases for the most widely read newspaper on campus, The Collegian. 

After discussing the helpful components, we offered essential strategies to be cosidered during the planning of fundraising events. The most obvious is to “Think Positively.” It’s important to think outside of the box for the development of creative event ideas, while remembering to be realistic. “Establishing a Financial Budget” comes next in which a limit must be established on spending before-hand for the development and promotion of the chosen event. It is crucial to keep in mind that the amount spent must be less than the amount raised, which can be hard to predict. Next, one must “Establish a Fundraising Plan.” All of the details must be considered, including risks or problems that could occur during the event itself. It is then essential to “Organize the Fundraising Activity,” making sure to delegate tasks to all participants, publicize the event, and secure all the components of the event. After everything is said and done, it’s necessary to “Evaluate the Fundraising Activity.” Go back and look at the pros and cons of the planning and the event itself. This can help determine what can be changed for future fundraisers.

Following the basic strategies, we exhibited a few of our own team efforts regarding fundraising activities. Among them we described the steps that went into Volé’s night at Five Guys, in which $175 was raised within a three hour period. We described the process of planning from contacting the manager of Five Guys to overseeing the event itself on January 26th.  Our current efforts focus on the sales of advertisement space within programs to be distributed to audience members during Volé’s April 25th performance. We are offering the opportunity for businesses in State College to reach an audience of almost 600 with their purchase. Up to this point, we have distributed solicitation letters to almost fifteen businesses in the area. We await their confirmation  due in the beginning of April.

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