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3 Simple Ways to Fundraise in College

When joining a club or team away at college, expenses can add up quickly. And after adding these extra curricular activities to your class schedule, you are left with no time to squeeze in a job. Although many students save money over the summer to spend during the school year, they often don’t consider club dues, sports equipment, or overnight trips. However, there is an easy solution to this dilemma and that’s good ol’ fundraising! Some of you may even have prior experience from your childhood, like selling Girl Scout cookies, Cub Scout popcorn or Joe Corbi’s Pizza.

Fundraising not only lets you pick your own hours, but can also better your communication skills by giving you a real feel of what it’s like to be a salesman out in the field. Sales and promotion is just one of many ideas of how to get the best out of fundraising. Below is a list of suggestions to help you raise money for a variety of causes. Whether it’s a pizza night for your residents or an overnight ski trip requiring hotels and transportation, there is a solution!


Candy Boxes.

Consider this the lemonade stand of college fundraising. You can easily purchase candy boxes online or from a BJ’s or Costco. Distribute the boxes to your club members and have them pay half of what they owe ahead of time. When they finish selling their boxes, require them to pay the additional half and put the rest towards whatever they’re saving up for. Also consider Waspit Law #1: Less is More. From personal experience, I have found that by keeping it simple and cheap, you are likely to sell more of what you’re offering. In most cases, candy bars will sell for $1 giving you a 100% profit when you buy them in bulk. Often students do not have time in between classes to grab a snack from their campus store. Bring the fundraising candy box we all know and love into your lecture hall and let the Reeses (my personal favorite) sell itself.

Plan an Event.

Planning a successful event can be an extremely rewarding experience. First, think of an event that you believe will attract a lot of students and something that will cost basically nothing to operate. The second step would be to set a date and contact student services to rent out a space on campus for your event (gym, pool, theatre, field, etc.). When it comes to marketing and advertising, social media is your best friend. Create a public event on Facebook and encourage your friends to invite students from your university. Share it once a day and push it to your other accounts, like Twitter and LinkedIn. To make your profit, charge teams (if applicable) a fee to participate, require a small cover at the door, and sell water, Gatorade, chips, and candy. This can be as small as a bake sale or as hectic as a dodgeball tournament with cash prizes. Either way, people like to see you work for their money.

Team up with Waspit! 

During the fall semester of 2012, a business club from SUNY Albany reached out to Waspit and told them about a trip they were planning. They shared with Waspit the itinerary and the budget necessary to make it all happen. The goal was to organize a weekend trip to Montreal where they would be responsible for arranging hotels,transportation, meals, and safely moving 50+ students over the Canadian border, and then back into the US two days later. From there, Waspit proposed an idea where students would be able to fundraise money toward their own trip!

Otherwise known as an affiliate program, UAlbany students had the opportunity to market Waspit by increasing brand awareness in exchange for a free trip to Montreal. For each new referral the student generated, Waspit donated an agreed upon amount of money toward that individual’s trip. After a month of fundraising, the student’s accumulated around 400 signups and received $2,500 in return from Waspit. This is what I like to call the perfect example of a win win situation.

The Conclusion.

Above are just three examples of how I have personally raised money in the past for a cause or event. I have found that the most fun way to go about this is creating your own idea and bringing it to life with the help of others. What are some other fundraising activities you have participated in?

Please comment below and share any ideas or success stories.

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