Check out these awesome fundraising ideas generated by last year’s Finance Committee! Many of these ideas have come straight from chapters across the country. We hope you find the right scale of an event to host at your chapter.
Each of these dollar amounts are loosely based on what chapters have been able to garner. The revenue generated cannot be promised as sizes of events will vary. New or recurring events may have a lot of flux in member and non-member turn out.
Thank you letters are mandatory for any funds that are donated to the chapter. Contact Nick Surface for the national tax ID number to include in the letter, or check out last Tuesday’s blog here!
Cost: Member $2, non-member $5. Chapters can offer workshops and charge a certain amount for members and higher amount for non-members
- T-shirt design competition
$5 to enter. Almost every chapter offers t-shirts for purchase. The winning design gets a prize and chapters can make charge a fee for entering
- Pumpkin Carving
$5 to enter. To celebrate Halloween, a chapter can hold a pumpkin carving competition and charge a small fee for entering similar to the t-shirt design competition. Get a gift card donated as the prize for the best-carved pumpkin
- Bake Sale
Chapters can hold bake sales by having members donate baked goods and then sell those to passer-bys. Food that is sold can be holiday or season themed. In addition to baked goods, chapters can sell coffee, hot chocolate, tea, freshly squeezed orange juice and other beverages. In certain cases, a food handling license will be necessary.
- Pie-in-the-Face/Dunk a Professor
$10. Always a fun event that students like to participate in!
- Letter of Request for Donations
Chapters can send out letters asking for funding from individuals and businesses. The beginning of the year (January to March) are times when businesses are more likely to donate. Later in the year, they have probably completed their tax returns. Contact Nick Serfass for Tax-ID to be included in the letters. Thank you letters are mandatory.
- Black Spectacles
Black Spectacles offers several workshops a year where a live instructor virtually teaches a relevant computer program at a basic level (Revit/Rhino/Grasshopper/etc). In the past, these sessions have cost $100 to enter as a chapter and chapters are encouraged to charge around $10 for student admittance. Perhaps AIAS members receive a discount. The chapter could have a second event that is student taught with more advanced pieces of the program at a later date.
- Auction: Dinner with an Architect
$150 minimum bid. Four or so students go in together to bid on dinner with a local architect. The firm could donate 50% of the meal cost, or the starting bid could cover the estimated meal price (ex: $20 per person – be sure to look into the cost of taxes on top of plate prices).
- Car Wash
Have a beginning or end of the year carwash! Suggested donations of $20 per car. Play some loud music and round up the gang for a fun Saturday event!
- Tamale sales
Regional food sales. Making food on a regular basis or perhaps an annual event where local food is served food truck or BBQ style.
- T-shirt/Merchandise sales
Selling merchandise to the local school population, alumni, and local architects is a great way to supplement funding. This item comes with a high initial cost, but if the items are cleverly designed can make money at regional and national events at the store! Any items not sold that year can be recycled for future years. Make sure the designs can cater to the general student population of your school. Sell them at pep rallies, tailgating, and more!
- Events Sponsorship
Prior to holding a big event, chapters can send out letters to local businesses offering different levels of sponsorship (ie. bronze-$50, silver-$75, gold-$150, platinum-$200). Chapters are encouraged to reach out to any local business but should likely focus on architecture firms and allied fields. AIA Chapters keep a list of Allied Members and will often be willing to send that to AIAS chapters. Firms and businesses that are active with AIA are more likely to be receptive to AIAS. Thank you letters are mandatory.
- Store ($300 + per month)
Certain chapters operate a store where they sell supplies that architecture students would need as well as t-shirts and other miscellaneous merchandise. The successful starting and operating a store does require significant funds as well as commitment, but it can definitely pay for itself. Chapters looking to start one should contact professors prior to the beginning of a semester to get an idea of what materials are going to be in high demand during what period.
- AIA Relationships
Letters can be written, and presentations given, at regional meetings or to the local AIA from chapter leadership. Reach out to them and ask them for funding to head to conferences. Many of them are willing to allocate at least a small portion of their dues to student outreach, which is the AIAS membership!
- Student and Alumni Auction
Students gather together or create works of art from watercolor paintings, artistic photography prints, artful construction drawings, to furniture creations to auction off at an alumni event. The faculty is encouraged to get involved in the creation of items to auction. Local businesses are typically more than willing to donate items for a “themed basket” as the donation is tax deductible. These requests should be made in person with a clear script of what the end funds are going to. For example, school scholarships and scholarships to attend leadership conferences, community engagement activities etc.
- In school grants, rolling funds, mass funding
Most schools have the opportunity to apply for funding through a student club funding program on campus. These typically offer $100-$2000.
Additionally, there may be College of Architecture specific funding available. Students should talk to their advisors about such opportunities. This could be funding to head to conferences or pay for a local engagement event.