Fundraising - the Basics
Money makes the world go round, or so they say. Probably hard work (or gravity) makes the world go round, but nonetheless, if you want to run a range of activities - money helps. Adequate funding will pay for your Jewish student union to produce a newsletter, run an event, or even subsidise a trip to the theatre. So good fundraising is important for any ambitious Jewish student union.
WHO TO TARGET
There are a number of different groups to approach for donations. Each Jewish student union needs to design a fundraising strategy based upon its own circumstances and needs.
Members of the Jewish student union
Obviously some money can come in from members of the Jewish student union. This can just be in the form of charging for certain events. Don't try and get large amounts of money from your members, but also remember that people value things they have paid for, so you might want to charge at least a symbolic amount for all events. Jewish student union members can be enlisted to raise money from other groups.
School or College
Some institutions have a small amount of money available to help clubs and societies. If this is the case, then why not ask for some of it? Ask around. You can also benefit by making use of facilities such as photocopying, internet, and computer access if you are an 'official' club or society.
Some schools and colleges - and indeed some Jewish student union members - won't be happy about approaches to parents for money, so make sure you know what you are doing first. If it is okay to ask parents for money, then you can phone, write - anything. Some won't be interested, others might give more money than you would even know what to do with.
Relatives and Family Friends
Remember that your Jewish student union is an educational society, and that a lot of Jewish people will give money for this good cause.
Jewish Organisations and Funds
If you know where to go, there is a lot of money out there. On the whole however, it is very difficult to get money from funds that don't deal directly with Jewish student union activities.
On the whole companies rarely give to small Jewish projects, unless there is some kind of Jewish connection. A good place to start is to ask if anyone in your union committee has any connections, or knows of companies that give to Jewish causes.
HOW TO RAISE MONEY
Consider the motivations of those you are trying to raise money from. Then once you have understood what they might want from helping you (for example, public acknowledgement) - try to provide it. Remember that money shouldn't dictate everything. Don't agree to do something just because somebody will pay for it.
There are a huge number of ways of actually trying to raise money, including:
Use personal contacts. People react much better if they know who you are.
Givers often prefer to donate money for specific projects or items rather than just into your general running costs.
Remember, consider carefully the amount of work that you have to put into a fundraising scheme, and measure it against what you are likely to get out. If you spend all of your time raising money, there will be little time left to actually run the Jewish student union.