Congratulations on your decision to attend the PRSSA 2011 National Conference in Orlando, Fla.! Some of you have been preparing for Orlando since before leaving last year’s Conference. You’ve followed conference updates on Twitter and Facebook. You’ve decided on flights, hotel roommates and what sessions to attend. You’ve even resolved one of the biggest topics of debate for many PRSSA members: Harry Potter World or Walt Disney World. However, there is one small snag in your Conference plans: paying for it.
Fundraising can seem like a daunting task, but with a little creativity and a few PRSSA friends, the experience can be a pretty enjoyable one. To help get the ball rolling, the PRSSA 2011 National Conference Committee has come up with a few simple fundraising ideas that can make a dent in your Conference costs.
Most colleges and universities take great pride in their team spirit, so why not capitalize on it? Buy plastic wristbands or beaded necklaces with your school’s colors in bulk. Then go around campus on game days, selling them to students, alumni and fans at a slightly higher price than what was paid for them. The jewelry is cheap and the fans are plenty, so go out there and make some money!
This event is great for PRSSA Chapters to socialize with members and fundraise at the same time. What’s best is that it requires little to no effort, aside from planning with the restaurant. Simply go in, tell the cashier that you’re there with your PRSSA Chapter and your Chapter receives a percent of the restaurant’s revenue. Chili’s, Applebee’s, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Sonic and Wendy’s are just a few restaurants that help student organizations in their fundraising efforts. You have to eat, might as well make money while doing it!
This idea is perfect for individual PRSSA members. It’s surprising how many local companies and public relations organizations would be willing to sponsor or contribute to a PRSSA member’s trip. Simply write a letter to the companies and organizations you think might be willing to help; remember to tell them about Conference and all you will gain from attending. A great place to start is local public relations firms and your sponsoring PRSA Chapter. It might not be a bad idea to send that letter to aunts, uncles and family friends as well!
Of course, there are many other fundraising ideas out there and no one but you knows what events will work best for your Chapter. However, if you are looking for additional ideas, take a look at the PRSSA 2010 FUNdraising Bowl Playbook.
What successful fundraisers has your Chapter implemented? How have you funded past trips to National Conference?
This is a guest post from 2011 National Conference Committee member Edward Bennett.