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New and Established Ways to Fundraise

October 01, 2013

Section News

See below for some new ideas on raising money for your section (and a scholarship, if you offer one), via a golf tournament, or other new ideas like hosting a trivia or casino night, a live or silent auction, raffles, an expo or mini-conference. You can raise money via an event, or you can raise money by asking individuals or companies to donate to a specific project or goal (i.e. your scholarship program). If you don’t ask them, they won’t donate! So, give it a try – ask them for some money, and/or invite them to an enjoyable evening or educational event. And don’t forget to find sponsors!

Golf Tournament

  • Create golf shirts with the STLE logo, or other apparel items (hats, golf balls, etc.). Contact other sections to see if you can create a bulk order, and share among your events. These can be raffle items, attendees can purchase them, or sponsors can pay for them for each attendee (with their logo added on).
  • You can also ask sponsors to donate items (around a specific dollar amount and/or theme - i.e. a golf club, other golf equipment, etc.) as door prizes - so you give companies the option to create their own package/gift.
  • Fundraising Raffle: get a variety of prizes donated (by sponsors/companies), and show these off before the tournament begins. Sell raffle tickets before they hit the course and after, during the awards ceremony at the end (if you provide awards for lowest net score, etc.). Companies get recognition for donating the prize, you make money on each prize, and the attendees could win something extra.
  • Cash bar golf cart: you could go around the course selling adult beverages, or other cold drinks, snacks, etc. for those on the course who need some refreshment (and it's a good time to hit them up for raffle tickets too!)
  • Golf tournament contests: host these at different holes throughout the day - could include closest to the pin, straightest drive, beat the pro, longest drive, etc. Sponsors can donate the prize associated with it, or people can pay an extra fee to be part of these extras.
  • Putting contest: held either before, during or after the tournament, you can charge golfers for each attempt to qualify for the grand prize. Contest for ½ the total pot for either “close to the pin” or perhaps that the golfers has to make the putt? Suggested: tricky 50-60 foot putt to challenge them!
  • Selling mulligan cards: a “mulligan” is a do-over, and if a player has purchased a card, can use it anytime during play. You can sell them at a set price for 1-3 mulligans in a package. You’ll have to determine when the player can use them throughout the course – i.e. on all 9/18 holes, or on certain holes.
  • Beat the pro: special contest held on a par 3 hole, and run by the course pro. The pro is stationed at the same hole for the entire event and individual players can wager an amount, say between $10-50 that they can hit closer to the hole than the pro on their drive off the tee box. If the player doesn’t do this, he loses his wagered money. If he does, he gets his money plus the same amount back (i.e. if wagering $10, get $20 back). You may need to pay your pro for this, so ask ahead of time.
  • Pro for hire: pro is stationed at the hardest hole on the course, and should be able to hit very long drives. Individual players can decide if they want the pro to take their shot for them, costs anywhere from $10-40 per swing.
  • Others include “string it out” and “lob a grenade” allowing you to improve your lie.

Other Sports/Game Tournaments: If you have members who are not interested or don't play golf, you may consider hosting some kind of tournament that centers around another sport/game – for instance, croquet or any outdoor game (horseshoes, washer toss, etc.). This way, you can still hold an event that raises money (either for scholarships or the section), and please your members.

March Madness Bracket Challenge – have your members turn in a bracket for a 50/50 pot, and then host a watch party (where you can raise money and have sponsors) for your membership. Or, the winner only gets a fixed amount, say $50 or $100, and the section keeps the rest. It’s more about bragging rights!

Host a live or silent auction. Ask local companies to donate services and/or products and host this to raise money for your section. You can even incorporate it into other events, such as your golf tournament (local stores can donate golf shirts/other golf gifts) or casino night. Alternatively, you can have sponsors go purchase various gifts that people can bid on and/or receive for their participation in the event. If doing a live auction, you can hire an auctioneer to jazz up the night. If you’re doing a silent auction, you just need to plan how you’ll incorporate it into the overall event.

Conduct a raffle. At each regular meeting, you can host a raffle – where their card gets entered into the raffle for that meeting, or you can collect them throughout the year and have a drawing at the end of the year (i.e. the person who attends every meeting that year will have multiple entries, and more chance to win!). You could have a local company donate the funds to create a raffle prize, or you could put the raffle prize together with a designated amount of money from that meeting, or from that year’s meetings.

Hold a regional expo – i.e. a “Solution Day” where vendors can display their wares. You can incorporate presentations that inform your audience before they go meet with vendors and/or see vendor presentations. The expo would focus on one particular market segment – i.e. bearings, filters, etc. Attendees would come to find a new filter and/or learn about new filter technology, and vendors could provide educational presentations, commercial presentations, or just have a tabletop – the format is up to you. You can incorporate educational sessions organized by the section as well – similar to your education workshop, but on a smaller scale (i.e. ½ day, or broken into a few hour-long presentations).

Mini-Conference: This looks very similar to your education day/workshop, but you can incorporate table tops/exhibitors/sponsors into the program, and invite a keynote speaker. The conference could last 1-3 days, and provide people with new industry standards, products, as well as providing a good knowledge base. Essentially, you’re creating “tracks” and bringing a certain segment together (i.e. formulators/chemists, or bearing engineers, etc.).

Career Day: for both local students/colleges and those in the local job market. Depending on how you structure it, you can have companies pay to be part of the session (they get access to local talent, but you have to guarantee a good number of qualified attendees looking for jobs) or, companies can come for free, and you charge locals to attend (you can charge students a nominal fee, or no fee; while you charge those already in industry a fee to attend). You can also incorporate career planning/mentoring sessions, and those can be paid and/or free (if free, you attract job seekers, and if for a fee, you could make some money).

Casino Night could be popular, and doesn't involve going outside! This could focus on poker, or a number of games. You can make money from any of the following: ticket sales, table sponsorships, drink/food sales, auctions, etc. For any fundraising event, you want to make sure that you spread out the responsibility to sell tickets among your members/executive committee. That way, one person doesn’t have to sell 100 tickets, they can aim to sell 10.  Sponsoring the table, each company could give away one of their booth items – i.e. for dentists, they give away toothbrushes for each hand that’s dealt. Check locally on whether you need to obtain a permit to host this kind of event.

Trivia Night. Lots of bars/restaurants host a Trivia Night (already set up, no work for you!) – just assemble some teams and head on over to a local place, or you could rent it out exclusively, depending on the size of your group. If you want to set up your own, the trivia questions could be focused around tribology/lubrication topics, so it also serves as a refresher for attendees. You can charge to attend (ticket/entrance fee), you could charge for the food/beverages, or find other, innovative ways to fundraise (i.e. table sponsorships). With the entrance fee, you could hold a 50/50 raffle, where everyone who comes pays a fee at the door, and the winner of the trivia night gets half of the raffle takings, while the section keeps the other half. You could also make the raffle random by passing out tickets with their entry.

Tie fundraising to a specific purpose, accomplishment, important event or group of people. If you have an upcoming birthday as a section, or you want to plan a fundraising campaign for STLE’s 70th birthday (March 4, 2014); 75th birthday (March 4, 2019), or our upcoming 75th Annual Meeting (May 2020), now’s the time to start. For example, you can ask people to donate $75 for our 75th anniversary. Or, tie it to our founding members – their birthdays, accomplishments, etc. Make sure you have a specific purpose in mind, and goal you want to reach with your campaign. 

What other things have you done (at your golf tournament, or in general) to fundraise?

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