Fundraising is an integral part of building a strong, unified state. Nearly half of our convention attendees require some level of financial support in order to participate in the JSA experience. Thus, fundraising is something that I hold very dear to my heart, because I know how important it is that each and every student have an equal opportunity to make their voice heard at JSA conventions. As Director of Fundraising this year, I worked very hard to ensure that students would not have to worry about financial barriers. At fall state, we raised more money than any other state in JSA. However, there is still work to be done, and I believe we can break even more records in the future. Let’s put the “fun” back in fundraising, Texas JSA!!! :)
-Encourage every chapter president to create a Stay Classy fundraising page: This would help establish a unified state, as each chapter would be collectively contributing to the state scholarship fundraising campaign. This can help establish a connection within between chapters, as well as prevent chapter fallout and apathy towards state initiatives.
-Require cabinet members to raise a set amount: Requiring cabinet members to reach quotas is one of the simplest ways to increase our fundraising accomplishments. As state cabinet members, it is our responsibility to lift other JSAers up and promote community outreach; fundraising is a basic and direct way to make a difference and help fellow JSAers attend conventions.
-Sell dinner/concessions at fall state and spring state (at a markup): Often, people (especially the convention department and large chapters) cannot leave the hotel because they are busy, tired, or simply not allowed to exit the premises. If people are too busy or too tired to leave, we can sell dinner and make a profit. All of the proceeds from the sales would go towards the state scholarship fund, and JSAers would not have to burden themselves with leaving the hotel and searching for a location to eat (if they did not want to). Selling meals or concessions at conventions provides a solution to both the fundraising department and chapter members.
-Increase communication between the department and chapter presidents: Increasing communication between the fundraising department and chapter presidents can improve accessibility and prevent chapters from falling apart or disbanding (especially if they could not reach fundraising goals). Thus, I propose that the department distributes the chapter fundraising guide to CPs at the beginning of the year. Further, I propose that the department send monthly emails out to CPs to ensure that fundraising resources are made available to every single chapter. Chapter fundraising initiatives can strengthen chapter membership, provide means for transportation, and help chapter bonding. Further, they can prevent apathy or disinterest in chapters, especially in the springtime, as hosting a fundraiser can boost excitement around JSA at schools.
-Introduce a new position, graphic designer: One idea that will improve fundraising efforts is appointing a specific person to handle the design aspects of fundraising. This position would be different/separate from the publicity department, but it would still work closely with both departments. This person would design the convention t-shirts, as well as any other merchandise that the fundraising and publicity department would need. Having a delegated position for merchandise design would make the department more efficient and create more excitement over merchandise, increasing profits and helping convention hype.
-Grant Writing Projects/Elevator Pitches at CabCon and throughout the year: Encouraging grant writing and guiding JSAers through elevator pitches/communication situations can improve our outreach initiatives and establish JSA’s image in the community around us. The more people feel comfortable asking non-JSAers to invest in our organization, the more JSA progresses its fundraising cause and returns to its original ideals of community involvement. Effective communication is the first step to an “ask” for fundraisers, so increasing the amount of guides/tutorials we host as a state can create an engaging and interactive forum for JSAers.
-Introduce a variety of JSA merchandise: Expanding the types of JSA merchandise we sell at conventions can help increase hype around fundraising and provide JSAers with more opportunities to showcase their JSA pride. This merchandise would include pins, lanyards, t-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies, and much more. Introducing more merchandise would also allow for more spread profit.
-Fundraising “benchmarks” need to be publicized: Benchmarks that incentivize JSAers to continue fundraising are how we reward our state for its tremendous efforts in raising money for scholarship funds. Benchmarks such as Ajay dying his hair or Tekle dancing to Juju on that Beat at conventions can both increase amusement and enthusiasm and provide a reason to keep pushing to break fundraising goals. The more we publicize fundraising rewards (that often involve the embarrassment of our elected officials), the more success we see as a state.