Wabash College Sees Success in Fundraising

Being the nature of trips abroad with FIMRC, many volunteers do some form of fund raising to supplement the cost of trips to make it a feasible investment. While the majority of these donations will be from family and friends, here are some projects one of our chapters has employed which has led to quick gains with little start up. The key when dealing with "big" donors is to be sure to include what they will gain from the investment or be able to show them how you will actually "invest" their money. For instance, the Wabash College chapter held a chili dinner before a basketball game. The start up cost was around $500 and fed close to 400 people. Being a college of only 850, having a 400 person turn out was huge. This was accomplished by encouraging fraternities on campus to give their cook an evening off and to pay for their brothers to come eat to support the cause. At $5 per person, the $500 investment in the project resulted in a $1,500 profit. In their case, the $500 was donated with the understanding that those students wishing to travel abroad would invest their time and energy into a chili dinner that would then cause the investment to grow. This is what they call, "pro-active fund raising."

It is hard to get an alumnus or friend to donate a big lump sum without any effort of those traveling other than asking for the donation. Instead of "passive fund raising," their chapter has seen continued success with potential donors via the ability to show the investors exactly how their money will be doubled or triple, a language all business people understand. Here is another example of a t-shirt drive, following a strong victory in a football game last fall against their rivals, the members decided to design a shirt to commemorate the victory. They recieved nearly 150 orders for shirts in about a weeks time at the cost of $10 a shirt. It cost about $5.70 per shirt to print them leaving the group with $4.30 in profit; however, by showing donors we had sold 150 shirts and "bought in" with our own personal time, we were able to convince 3-4 gracious donors to donate the printing costs of 50 shirts each, for a total of 400 shirts, and allow us to keep the profits. This took our profit margin from $4.30 per shirt to $10.00 per shirt.

In about a 4 week time frame, the chapter was able to raise nearly $4,000 for the ten people traveling to Nicaragua over spring break. The chapter is currently planning to partake in several projects such as an online auction held through the colleges website and those listed above throughout the year to take donors money and cause it to grow so future generations of Wabash students will be able to see the world with FIMRC.