At Auburn University, we try to have a few fundraisers each semester in order to add value to chapter membership and encourage active involvement. By fundraising often, we can offset costs for our chapter programs year-round as well as cover some of our members’ conference fees. In order of frequency, we have a small profit fundraiser once a week, a medium profit fundraiser once a month, and a large fundraiser once a semester. Keeping our social media presence alive and active helps get the word out to our entire school, and our Executive Board makes posters and flyers for every event.
Every Friday, we host “Dog Days”: a barbecue grill out in our architecture school’s courtyard! Since we do this fundraiser every week, we can keep prices pretty low which encourages more attendance. This kind of inclusive fundraiser also gives our Freedom By Design group great publicity and helps them fundraise by selling coffee or baked goods. Dog Days is generally handled by a small committee of grillers who purchase all the food each week, along with our chapter treasurer.
Once or twice a month, we’ll organize a restaurant rebate night or sell tickets to a workshop. Architecture school is already an expensive endeavor, so we try our best to raise money from people outside of our school. By putting up flyers all around campus that suggest eating at a specific restaurant or marketing a software/portfolio workshop to other majors and schools, the burden for fundraising doesn’t fall exclusively on our own students and members. Our workshops are run voluntarily by professors and upper-year students and are usually coordinated by our Executive Board.
Just recently, we had our big fall fundraiser, our 28th Annual Pumpkin Carve. Students from all over campus and families from all over town came out that day to carve pumpkins, buy a shirt or two, and participate in various competitions. On Pumpkin Carve Eve, our AIAS members volunteered their time to help make our courtyard a beautifully spooky venue complete with skeletons, lanterns, and, of course, a pumpkin patch of over 400 pumpkins. All visitors were encouraged to purchase a pumpkin, buy some raffle tickets, buy a shirt or sweatshirt, participate in the costume contest, and buy Halloween-themed snacks and food from us. We also asked our faculty and staff for napkin sketches and included them in a silent auction. All of the pumpkins, raffle items, and competition prizes were generously donated in exchange for publicity, and our shirt vendor allows us to pay him after the event. Pumpkin Carve is organized by two co-chairs and a committee of voluntary AIAS members.
The AIAS gives us the strength to shape our members into well-rounded architecture students! At Auburn University we attempt to provide opportunities for our students to grow through leadership, service, and design, both during the fundraising and when enjoying the fun!