By Justin Dille
The Charter Editorial
High school Prom is a large social event typically set for juniors and seniors as the last school dance and major event of the school year. But like all large social events, prom prints out to be a large bill at the end of the day.
It is probably no surprise to hear that the more time spent fundraising, the more money that will be earned, and that the more money earned, the better prom you can put on. ACA is not really known to be a school with lots of money to throw around. And the more money kept in the school’s pocket, the easier we can all breathe next year. So the question is, why does prom’s fundraising begin as the school year starts winding down? This year, the class of 2017 held their prom in the school gym, our entry tickets were all purpose plain raffle tickets. Although the prom of 2017 still stands as a satisfying event, and the school gym proved as a spacious venue for the event and its participants. In comparison to the common public image of prom, and our past few events, the funding and venue quality has taken a notable step back when held next to the officiality of last year’s prom location at Dance with Joy dance studio, or the Ainsworth Estate the year prior to that. Both of these past events were off-campus events complete with printed posters, and unique tickets.
Although these past events played out to be a more traditional prom night than this school year’s event, they did not come without their greater price tags. To cover these costs, fundraising demanded a sooner starting date and a more intensive effort. But what if there was no starting date for fundraising prom? What if funding could happen all year round with very minimal effort from anyone?
To first begin consider this level of funding, we must first acknowledge that any inward cash flow is a success. With this mindset, we are presented with our first and simplest form of passive fundraising.
A money jar is a solid base for all sorts of fundraising opportunities. Unlike active, manned fundraisers, a jar does not require volunteers, lasts indefinitely and the only materials required to begin the fundraiser are a jar labeled “ Prom donations ” and a visible location to set said jar until the funds are needed. The amount of fundraising that a donations jar can bring may seem small, however, it is important to remember that a donation jar fundraiser takes essentially $0 to create, which means that 100 percent of income generated by the jar will go toward prom.
Another way to generate decent funds for prom over the entire school year is to set up an open market of unclaimed items. Anyone who has spent time in the ACA cafeteria has undoubtedly noticed the lost and found table, piled high with unclaimed items. When these items sit for too long, they are either thrown out, or sent to Goodwill, where they are sold for cheap. This is where the opportunity for fundraising comes in. Before these items are shipped off to the Goodwill to be sold as their own merchandise, it could be possible to sell these unclaimed items at a very low, flat price right next to the lost and found. Many items that the lost and found gives to the goodwill are of decent value. So having the ability to purchase those items at a clearly underpriced rate from the convenience of school is a steal in anyone’s eyes. The unclaimed baggage fundraiser method would be a perpetual revenue generator so long as new, long term lost and found items come in. This form of fundraising may also prove to be effective by offering something in return, (this being the purchased item). The fundraiser would take very little effort to run as well, being that the only required tasks would be to re-stock the store and collect revenue. This form of fundraising also requires no materials to be purchased, so all revenue received would become 100% profit for the fundraising efforts.
In the past, other fun and creative fundraisers have been done, often bringing ACA students closer together in the spirit of teamwork and effort toward a common goal. These fundraisers include, craft bazaars to sell things such as hand crafted jewelry, artwork, and blankets in an open market within the gym. At the same time as the craft bazaar, seniors can sell refreshments and hold a car wash, this type of fund raising effort capitalizes in a multitude of ways.
When discussing the topic of fundraising with Oregon City High School’s senior event fundraising organizer Rhonda Tuthill, she encouraged me to write about one of OCHS most effective fundraising efforts.“It’s extremely effective to have the seniors and staff volunteers of the school go door to door asking for pop cans or even straight donations to fund events such as prom,” Rhonda said in an interview with The Charter “In my opinion, that is one of our most effective types of fundraisers that we do”.
Another successful and active fundraiser is Boy Scout troop 139 from Beavercreek who have recently taken up a new form of fundraising than their regular plant sale routine. Recently the troop has begun fundraising by being hired by major events throughout Oregon, such as the Portland Marathon, and the Tigard Balloon Festival. In these events, the troop does small jobs such as putting up signs, handing out water bottles, and shuttling people to the event. Each of these events pays Troop 139 about $1,000 for their service over the weekend. With this level of payout, some of our past off site proms could have been paid for in a mere two weekend fundraising endeavors.
To successfully raise the appropriate amount of funds needed for any event, some effort must be given all year round until the event arrives. As soon as the effort to fundraise stops, the event’s potential halts, along with investment in the event overall. Because of this, it is imperative that the ACA community puts forth a constant, year round effort to fund its future prom events. Even the smallest bit of effort from each of us can turn our prom into a real special night to remember.
Website Title: GuideStar Blog
Article Title: Eight Ways to Use Giving Psychology to Raise More Money, Part 1
Date Accessed: May 1, 2017
- Rhonda Tuthill – Participated in fundraising for the OCHS Senior Events
Date Accessed: May 3, 2017
- Boy Scout Troop 139
Date Accessed: May 3, 2017