Fundraising is one of the most critical responsibilities of the planning team. It must begin early. If your group has not started the fundraising process, now is the time. Below you will find some general fundraising guidelines.
The host chapter should put together a fundraising committee, which should function separate from the planning committee because fundraising takes time, phone calls, follow-up visits if possible, etc. By separating the two, each committee is devoted to separate functions that are each equally important to the conference.
Fundraising CommitteeWhen recruiting volunteers to help in a fundraiser, consider these three principles:
Fundraising letter templates
These are sources closest to the student chapters:
Outside of the university structure are the senior chapters of IIE and industry and local businesses. A great selling point would be to trade project work or support time for a contribution from some of the external sources such as the senior IE chapters and the IE companies.
Tip: If your chapter has a good working relationship with your local professional IE chapter or has a representative on their board, attend one of their meetings to formally issue an invitation or make a presentation about your conference.
The key to seeking corporate sponsors is to show the benefits the companies would derive from their contributions; namely increased visibility. In seeking corporate sponsors, target large companies that employ industrial engineers in your region or area, companies that sell IE products, and mass marketers. Get companies in the last two categories to buy ad space in the program or bulletin to market their products. Encourage the local stores, restaurants, and other service oriented businesses to put a coupon in the program or announcements. Funds generated from ad space in the program can alleviate the printing and mailing expenses associated with the conference.
Also consider corporate sponsors for specific events such as the awards banquet, student icebreaker, or other activities. More importantly, the Technical Paper Competition by itself is an excellent opportunity for corporate sponsorship. Naming the competition and/or the awards for the sponsoring company is an excellent way for that company to gain reputation among the students in your region.
Sponsorship of events is more powerful because a company's name is associated with specific activities, especially fun events. Be sure to tie the sponsor's name to the event. Give specific recognition such as banners or an announcement at the opening/closing speech of an event. Specific sponsored events will save the host chapter time, money, and energy that can be spent on other things.
Don't forget in-kind donations. These are goods and services donated by companies ( printing costs, mailing/shipping, food and beverage, t-shirts,) that are as good as cash donations. Printing is a common in-kind donation. Often, large companies have their own print shops and can donate their services. Your university or department may be able to help cut costs with printing also.
Check out more sources for creative fundraisers on the Internet. And remember follow-up is important. Be sure to recognize all contributions and parties involved.
6-9 months before
3-6 months before
0-3 months before