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Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science College of Pharmacy
ICHP Fundraising Success Throughout the Academic Year
by Marie Aquilino, PharmD Candidate 2022, ICHP Fundraising Chair
The Rosalind Franklin University (RFU) student chapter of ICHP has been striving to introduce unique and innovative fundraising ideas. With the vast number of organizations at our interprofessional university, fundraising becomes repetitive and participation declines with time. Our chapter has been working on increasing member engagement as well as sparking greater interest within the RFU community for our fundraisers.
A common fundraising approach for student organizations is to partner with local restaurants or fast food franchises to earn a portion of the profit for that day. There is a smaller margin available to be made with corporate food fundraisers, and they also require little planning and preparation on the organization’s end. However, with the abundance of local food fundraisers, it is difficult to stand out, spark interest, and foster responsiveness with classmates.
One of our most successful fundraising events we had was making and selling grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup during finals week. We knew that we needed something easy to make, yet appealing to stressed graduate students. We finally decided on grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup which we could sell in our school’s café. Our fundraiser brought food directly to campus to increase participation and also made it accessible to students studying on campus. With careful planning, we acquired the necessary equipment and ingredients for the event. We sold out within the first hour! This event was a great success largely due to the extensive marketing schoolwide. One platform that we found was the most helpful in spreading the news was Instagram. In addition to social media, we shared the flyers with students from other programs at the university.
Another successful event was a t-shirt fundraiser. With the help of our creative executive board, we came up with a great design and made sure to market the shirt to each class in the college. Once designed, the shirts nearly sold themselves. The driving factor was the individuality and quality of our t-shirts. Execution and advertising were vital to student body engagement and the success of the fundraiser.
With new fundraising ideas, substantial planning must occur. With no prior guidance or protocols, the planning process can be daunting and time consuming. Advertising should begin well before the event takes place and should be consistent until the event occurs. Advertising on campus can range from distributing flyers, sending college or university wide emails, utilizing social media, strategically placing the event in a high traffic area, and planning an appropriate date and time.
While new fundraising ideas are challenging, the potential for success is significant and should be pursued. Frequently used fundraisers should still be considered, but the best success often lies with new and innovative fundraisers. Increasing fundraising success allows the chapter to host more events, which increases member participation, engagement, and retention.