Fundraising is inevitable for virtually every student organization. Without money, chapter activities are limited. Yet how a chapter gets its support influences the image of NEHS at school. It is necessary to be sensitive to the community and to make sure that the administration is well aware of the ways in which the chapter contributes to the school. The Chapter Advisor should be involved in every step of the plans and should consult school policies concerning any fundraising efforts.
In general, when raising money, a chapter should set specific, realistic goals and develop a clear plan for achieving those goals. Set target dates by which money is needed, make a list of possible sources, and assign individual chapter members particular tasks. Make certain the entire burden of raising money is not left with one chapter member; financial support for the chapter should be the responsibility of all its members.
Chapters may opt to set reasonable local dues for members, either on a one-time or on a yearly basis. Local dues are not to be confused with the one-time national induction fee sent to the Central Office. In determining the amount it is important to be sensitive to the resources of the whole body of members.
Ask the Chapter Advisor about the possible availability of funds from the school. Also, even though a chapter may have received general funds in the past, it may not hurt to ask again for funds for a specific event or for part of a specific project.
Department/Division of English budget
Since the chapter is usually sponsored by the English Department, the chair and/or administration may be persuaded to include an allowance for the chapter in the budget.
Student Government Activity Funds
At some schools, organizations may ask for grants from student activity funds. This is particularly appropriate for special activities, such as bringing speakers to school, or publishing a literary magazine.
Foundations and Humanities Councils
Foundations and state humanities councils may provide funding for the chapter for a special event
Business Sponsors for Specific EventsLocal bookstores may agree to a percentage of book sales for an evening, or restaurants may help to sell food. A computer company might want to support a workshop. Many businesses will support events if they can be mentioned in the program. Such sponsorships should be worked out very carefully with the school administration before any contacts are made and before any funding is received. But such partnerships, especially for a well-conceived and appropriate event, can be beneficial for the chapter, the school, and the sponsoring business.
Money Raising Projects
- Hold a new or used book sale. Ask faculty members, parents, and friends for cast-offs.
- Sell food. This activity can include anything from the traditional bake sale to selling cookies with Valentine poems attached. Be creative; see what local restaurants, bakeries and/or coffee shops are willing to do to help. Ask if any members have previous (or current) food-service experience and are willing to organize an event.
- Have a car wash.
- Sell arts/crafts. Make literary items like bookmarks or book covers.
- Sell flowers for special occasions, such as mums for homecoming or roses for Valentine's Day.
- Sell personalized love poetry for Valentine's Day.
- Design and sell literary T-shirts. Be creative and be literary in the designs. Famous lines from literature and the creative use of language make great T-shirts.
- Try more than one kind of fundraising project and consider combining fundraising with a community service project. Sometimes if the money is going for more than just local chapter activities, people are more willing to give. Join forces with a local literacy group or a library.