Chapter Fundraising

Chapters throughout TSA fundraise for a variety of reasons, whether it is to lower the price of conferences or participate in the National Service Project.  However, there are chapters who want to start fundraising, but do not know where to begin.  This year, with help from the National Service Project Committee, the State Officers have created a list of possible fundraisers and tips-and-tricks for effective fundraising.  In addition, we are in the process of creating a page with fundraisers that were shared with us from across the state and country.

Tips and Tricks for Effective Fundraising

Plan Ahead. When fundraising, you want to give yourself ample time to plan, gather members, and spread the word.  A way to make sure that you will not procrastinate is to create a schedule with dates that you want certain things to be accomplished by.

Unique ideas that no one in your school or community has done. You never want to do something that another club in your school has done.  By choosing a unique fundraiser, you can attach your chapter’s name to it and continue doing it for many more years.

Identify your audience. Before you start planning, identify who you will target.  By identifying who you will target, you can choose a fundraiser that will appeal to widest range of people.

Work with other clubs/groups in your school. The expression “the bigger, the better” can be applied to fundraisers as well.  If you are thinking of doing a larger fundraiser, having a second club or group in your school can be great.  A second hand can help alleviate some of the work and attract more people to your fundraiser.

Ideas for Fundraisers

1. Contact a local restaurant or store

If you are looking for a low-maintenance fundraiser, that will bring in some significant cash, this one is for you. First, you will need to contact a local restaurant or store in your area and figure out details such as the date and what percentage they will give your chapter.  Once a date is decided, your chapter would need to publicize the event and patrons would simply need to say they are supporting your chapter when they arrive to the restaurant.

There are many restaurants that would love for your chapter to hold a fundraiser. National chains such as Panera (percentage depends on number of orders), Chipotle (50%), and Iron Hill Brewery (20%) are suitable options. Also try contacting restaurants that are unique to your area.  Keep in mind several restaurants require advance notice for setting up these events and may need to schedule your date several weeks to months in advance.

Here are some other national chains that offer fundraisers:  Applebee’s, Boston Market, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, Chipotle, Friendly’s, Iron Hill Brewery, Outback Steakhouse, Panera, Pizzeria Uno, Ponderosa, Red Robin, T.G.I.Friday’s, Wendy’s

2. Partner with another organization from your school

Does your school hold a school fair, carnival, dance, club day, or other entertaining event? Try to simultaneously fundraise for your club and promote membership by getting involved! First, try contacting your Student Council or whoever runs your school’s events. Then, make a plan to represent your club with a game at a carnival, booth at club day, food stand at a dance, or some kind of sale. Based on the resources available to your chapter, you might try to sell food, drinks, apparel, host a carnival game, or provide some other service. Representing your club to the school community turns heads and builds image, and if done successfully, can also be incredibly profitable to your chapter.

3.  Work with your district to hold a STEM Night

A STEM Night with elementary schoolers in your district is something that many school districts throughout the state employ. STEM Night was originally designed to give elementary schoolers increased exposure to STEM topics outside of the classroom.  During STEM Night, students complete a series of problem solving challenges with help from parents and TSA members.  Students from your TSA chapter help run the event, and as a way to benefit your own chapter you can hold a concession stand to help raise money for your chapter or for the American Cancer Society. Depending on the number of students you are planning to host, you might want to reach out to other clubs in your school to help with the event. Hosting a STEM Night will increase awareness of STEM in elementary schoolers and will be a great opportunity for members of your chapter to do community service as well as raise money for your chapter.