Fundraise for Your Degree!


Maybe you didn’t land a summer job this year. Or maybe you need to supplement that income. In that case, consider other ways to raise cash.

We’ll look at more of these later, but for now let’s consider how a personal fundraiser might help you cover some of your school costs next term. After all, you have more resources for fundraising these days. And you can use social media to extend your reach to those friends of friends of friends.

Novelty and fun can provide a big boost to your bottom line. So think up you own new spin on the standard fundraiser.



Here are 3 examples to get you started:


 1. Use your networking skills to round up prizes for your own personal raffle. Prizes could range from new items from stores to an experience, such as a voucher for a massage or dog walking service. You could also get personalized swag as giveaways. 

Some people offer prizes because of your connection with them. But others might do it just to promote their product or service. And remember, you can also provide some of those services yourself.

Tip: Sympathetic relatives and family friends might be willing to buy a handful of tickets if they’re interested in the prizes and you keep the price reasonable. This is for a good cause, after all – like paying for your textbooks!


2. Auction yourself. If you make the event entertaining, one day of you cleaning out someone’s basement, for example, may net you a lot more if you action yourself than if you just charge X dollars an hour for a standard clean-up.

Tip: Funny hats and clothes are fine, but always protect yourself. You and your family or friends should know who and where they are, and your auction winner should respect your limits. Also, don’t commit yourself for more than one day.


3. Plan an interactive game that won’t cost you much but which people would pay $20 or so to enter. That’s a good deal for several hours of fun. For example, you could set up and promote a geo-caching event (perhaps at night or in interesting locations). Or a photo shoot hunt (they use their phones to collect pictures of a garden gnome, a yellow drinking fountain and the like). Or a scavenger hunt with entertaining items to locate. But hey, no street signs -- keep it legal.

Tip: Since your first event takes extra time to set up, the best payoff comes from running repeat events. Aside from using social media, here’s an easy way to spread the word: giveaways for each participant. Compare a few companies that print your event onto your giveaway. It’s an easy way to brand your fundraisers.

Find giveaways people would want, but which don’t cost much in bulk. There's no point just adding junk to the landfills. So tailor it for the people you’re dealing with.

For example, golf balls are perfect for some and no good for others. What would appeal to them: golf balls, stress balls, martini glasses or just the classic t-shirt, for example? You might get stainless steel mugs and tumblers for under $3 or a six-pack carrier for under $2. If that’s too much, a ‘koozie’ or other can holder keeps people's drinks cold for under 60 cents each. Just remember to ask about printing, shipping or setup fees so you factor in all your costs.

Finally, balance price with quality. Use a company that lets you check out a free sample before you order.


Sound do-able? If not, try a joint fundraiser. It's easier and more fun when you team up with friends.

You may also want to tweak your approach once you try things out. That shows you're open to new ideas and suggestions, which can get you a better response.

But once you hit a fundraising formula that works for you, lock that in. Why not use your formula again when you need to raise more cash?