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How to Spend Little to No Money

howtospend

How to Spend Little Money on Everything

“How do I do events when there’s no money in the club?” First, you have to think about how to keep costs low. The best way is to plan ahead of time (weeks to months in advance) and ask for help.

 

For meeting rooms

If you’re a school or library club, ask your advisors for help. They can tell you where to reserve free rooms on campus or they may offer their room for use. Recognized university clubs may get assigned rooms through Student Services or they can book rooms in the libraries and around campus.

If you’re a community club, you can ask local cafes or restaurants to hold meetings. This gives cafes and restaurants a chance to get more customers. Mom-and-pop shops and small cafes are more likely to allow your club to meet there.

 

For places to hold a big event

If you’re a university club, there are many places on campus to hold a big party or event. Usually your Student Union is the best place to start because they offer recognized clubs discounted rates for good rooms. However, if you want to keep your costs down, use a classroom or a member’s place.

 

For food

Your club can ask restaurants and businesses for food donations. Make a small solicitation packet (only two pages) that says what event you’re doing and what your club will do for the business if they donate food. It’s better to meet the manager of a restaurant than to email the packet. Sometimes, restaurants give club discounts or coupons instead of a food donation.

 

If the restaurant or business will donate food, you must go through your student government (middle schools and high schools) or on-campus Food Services (universities) to get permission to serve their food.

 

Another option is to do a potluck-style event (best for small events that are not open to the public). Make a sign-up sheet with food categories (appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts) and have members and officers write down food they can bring.

 

For decorations

Banners, signs, piñatas, and labels can be made by your club members with paper, cardboard, paint, and markers. You can also find free printables from event-planning blogs and websites. For food placements (warming trays, cake stands, table covers, and serving utensils), borrow them from a local caterer or ask members to bring them. Flowers, vases, corsages, and ribbons can also be donated by a local florist. For balloons, all you need is helium, so go to a party shop and ask if they can blow up your balloons for a discount.

 

For entertainment

Ask your members or friends to perform or DJ. If you decide to get a performer or DJ from outside of your club, try to find performers from schools in the music department or performers from other clubs (ex: traditional dance performers from the Pacific Islander Student Association). They usually do performances for free or at a very low cost. No matter what performer(s) you go with, always negotiate any prices or pay-rates (money per hour). Also, university clubs can apply to their Student Services or student government (usually Associated Students) for an event sponsorship or grant.

 

For marketing

Use social media. It’s free and fast. The number one free and most effective way to spread the word is by visiting other clubs’ meetings and events and telling their members about the event. The most costly way to market an event is by using fliers. Ask your advisor(s) if they can print some fliers for your club. Another alternative is if each member prints a small set of fliers. Of course, this saves the money bank account, but you don’t want to spend money right out of your pockets, right? Again, use that solicitation packet and go to any local printing shops and businesses for sponsorships or discounts. Usually printing shops at universities tend to give clubs more discounts than chain printing shops. Also, don’t be afraid to go online and find some deals. Just make sure that you have a lot of time to receive the materials.

 

For T-shirts

Getting custom T-shirts made are very expensive. It could be anywhere from $10 per T-shirt to $25 per T-shirt depending on the design, colors, and print style. The cheapest way to make custom T-shirts is making them yourself. You can buy a pack of iron-on transparencies (around $8), print the design on the transparencies, and iron it onto a plain T-shirt ($5 to $10). There are no hidden fees such as design fees (usually $20 per design), color fees (adds $5 per color in the design), T-shirt fabric ($3 to $5 for low-quality cotton, $20 for organic cotton shirts or polos), or print style fees ($10 for heat transfer, $15 or $20 for screen-printing).

I need more help!

If there isn’t an item here you’d like advice on, please comment or you can find Advisor Jd on Skype at handle jeridel.banks on Fridays (US) and Saturdays (Japan).

 

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Leave a comment

How to Spend Little Money on Everything

“How do I do events when there’s no money in the club?” First, you have to think about how to keep costs low. The best way is to plan ahead of time (weeks to months in advance) and ask for help.

 

For meeting rooms

If you’re a school or library club, ask your advisors for help. They can tell you where to reserve free rooms on campus or they may offer their room for use. Recognized university clubs may get assigned rooms through Student Services or they can book rooms in the libraries and around campus.

If you’re a community club, you can ask local cafes or restaurants to hold meetings. This gives cafes and restaurants a chance to get more customers. Mom-and-pop shops and small cafes are more likely to allow your club to meet there.

 

For places to hold a big event

If you’re a university club, there are many places on campus to hold a big party or event. Usually your Student Union is the best place to start because they offer recognized clubs discounted rates for good rooms. However, if you want to keep your costs down, use a classroom or a member’s place.

 

For food

Your club can ask restaurants and businesses for food donations. Make a small solicitation packet (only two pages) that says what event you’re doing and what your club will do for the business if they donate food. It’s better to meet the manager of a restaurant than to email the packet. Sometimes, restaurants give club discounts or coupons instead of a food donation.

 

If the restaurant or business will donate food, you must go through your student government (middle schools and high schools) or on-campus Food Services (universities) to get permission to serve their food.

 

Another option is to do a potluck-style event (best for small events that are not open to the public). Make a sign-up sheet with food categories (appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts) and have members and officers write down food they can bring.

 

For decorations

Banners, signs, piñatas, and labels can be made by your club members with paper, cardboard, paint, and markers. You can also find free printables from event-planning blogs and websites. For food placements (warming trays, cake stands, table covers, and serving utensils), borrow them from a local caterer or ask members to bring them. Flowers, vases, corsages, and ribbons can also be donated by a local florist. For balloons, all you need is helium, so go to a party shop and ask if they can blow up your balloons for a discount.

 

For entertainment

Ask your members or friends to perform or DJ. If you decide to get a performer or DJ from outside of your club, try to find performers from schools in the music department or performers from other clubs (ex: traditional dance performers from the Pacific Islander Student Association). They usually do performances for free or at a very low cost. No matter what performer(s) you go with, always negotiate any prices or pay-rates (money per hour). Also, university clubs can apply to their Student Services or student government (usually Associated Students) for an event sponsorship or grant.

 

For marketing

Use social media. It’s free and fast. The number one free and most effective way to spread the word is by visiting other clubs’ meetings and events and telling their members about the event. The most costly way to market an event is by using fliers. Ask your advisor(s) if they can print some fliers for your club. Another alternative is if each member prints a small set of fliers. Of course, this saves the money bank account, but you don’t want to spend money right out of your pockets, right? Again, use that solicitation packet and go to any local printing shops and businesses for sponsorships or discounts. Usually printing shops at universities tend to give clubs more discounts than chain printing shops. Also, don’t be afraid to go online and find some deals. Just make sure that you have a lot of time to receive the materials.

 

For T-shirts

Getting custom T-shirts made are very expensive. It could be anywhere from $10 per T-shirt to $25 per T-shirt depending on the design, colors, and print style. The cheapest way to make custom T-shirts is making them yourself. You can buy a pack of iron-on transparencies (around $8), print the design on the transparencies, and iron it onto a plain T-shirt ($5 to $10). There are no hidden fees such as design fees (usually $20 per design), color fees (adds $5 per color in the design), T-shirt fabric ($3 to $5 for low-quality cotton, $20 for organic cotton shirts or polos), or print style fees ($10 for heat transfer, $15 or $20 for screen-printing).


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Fundraising Ideas

Auction or Silent Auction

What is it? An auction is a sale, but everyone must bid on items. Only one person will win the item.

How do you do it?

Gather sellable things from members and donors. Set a place, date, and time, and market it. On the day of the auction, put the items in a safe place on or near the stage.

For a regular auction, give everyone paddles with numbers (a plastic fan with paper over it works). An item will be shown and the auctioneer will called out prices. When a person raises their paddle, they bid on the item at the price the auctioneer said. When time runs out, the last bidder will win the item.

For a silent auction, make papers where people can write down their bids and contact information. Write a starting bid for each item. When the time ends (maybe two hours later), announce the winners of the bids. Each winner will pay before receiving their items.

 

Suggestions

A silent auction can be part of any event. Just make sure the items are guarded well!

Interesting paintings, new shoes, clean statues, artistic ceramic, and jewelry usually sell at the highest price.

 

Bake Sale

What is it? A sale of food.

How do you do it?

Get volunteers to make or buy food (for school clubs, you must buy the food and get permission to sell the food). Set a place, date, and time, and market the event. On the day of the bake sale, put the food out and sell it.

 

Car Wash

What is it? A fundraiser washing people’s cars.

How do you do it?

Get a lot of volunteers (10 to 20 people). Find a place who will let you use their parking lot and water (usually a grocery store) and ask permission to use them. Set a date and time, and market the event. Get a hose, clean rags, car soap, tire cleaner, buckets, sponges, microfiber cloths, a table, and a cash box. On the day of the car wash, go to the parking lot with your volunteers and set up your buckets and things.

 

Suggestions

Make big signs and send a few volunteers to the intersections with a lot of traffic. Send a few volunteers to the parking lot and ask shoppers if they want a car wash.

 

Corporate Support

What is it? Any kind of donation from a corporation relating to Japanese culture.

How do you do it?

Make a solicitation packet, and send out copies to different corporations.

 

Dance or Party

What is it? An anime-themed or Japan-themed dance or party.

How do you do it?

Set a theme, place, date, and time for your dance or party. Put officers in charge of certain areas (ex: marketing, room rental or reservations, food, entertainment, decorations, tickets, set up, break down). Get the room reserved, do the marketing, buy the decorations, book the entertainment (DJ, band, performances, photography), decide on the food and get it approved, and sell tickets. Before the dance or party, the set up committee will put up decorations.

 

Suggestions

Make sure to confirm everything before the day of the dance. That means calling or visiting the entertainment, the food providers, and the room rental offices and getting verbal or written confirmation. Don’t sleep on getting that confirmation!

 

Grams

What is it? Grams are small packages or gifts sent from a customer to a receiver.

How do you do it?

Get your officers together and decide on the kind of grams you’d like to sell.

 

Suggestions

Deliver the grams on a holiday such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas time, or Halloween.

 

Raffle/Lottery

What is it? A raffle is a lottery fundraiser where members sell tickets. Usually the raffle tickets are two raffle tickets with the same number (one ticket for the buyer and one ticket for the seller).

How do you do it?

Club members will ask people if they would like to buy a raffle ticket. This will be done until the set date to pull one lucky ticket.

 

Suggestions

Make the prize something worthwhile.

 

Swap/Bazaar/Yardsale

What is it? A swap is similar to a bazaar or yardsale where someone sells used items.

How do you do it?

Collect used items from members. Set a date, time, and place and market the event. Get permits, tables, and price tags. On the day of the event, set up the tables and put price tags on all the items.

 

Suggestions

Send members out to recruit some potential customers.

 

Eating Contest

What is it? An eating contest is an event where five to seven contestants eat one kind of food as fast as they can.

How do you do it?

Get five to seven people to eat the food. Find a food vendor and location to do the event. Set a date and time and market the event. On the day of the event, charge attendees at the door and set up the food.

 

Suggestions

Get a very good announcer. It’ll make a world of difference!

 

Writing Contest

What is it? A writing contest is an event where writers can submit their best written works for a chance to win something.

How do you do it?

Create a low entrance fee (usually somewhere around $5 per submission). Pick a last day to enter the contest and a few members to judge the entries. Market the contest. When the contest closes, judge all the entries and announce the winner(s).

 

Suggestions

When charging an entry fee, make sure that the prize is big.

Market writing contests on Twitter, Facebook, and your club’s website.