Despite the world of opportunities Model United Nations offers, a part most people leave out when selling the glamorous gospel is how cost-intensive it is. I mean, the good things in life do not cheap right? Hence, I know it is far too common for Model UN club leaders to get worked up few months before conferences because they are cash-strapped and frantically searching for sponsors. The good news is that money does not have to seal the fate of your Model United Nations career or deter you from having lofty ambitions in this sphere of extracurricular activities. When it comes to raising money to pay for club expenses, there are quite literally endless possibilities. Here are a few places to start:
1. Bake Sales
Ah, the classic bake sale: the tried and true fundraising event, a timeless, highly dependable way to raise money. The best part is that there is little or no capital needed. A week ahead of time, ask club members to volunteer to bring in some home-baked or store-bought treats. By having volunteers bring in treats for free, club leadership can avert the obligation to pay for anything. Remember that the whole essence of the bake sale is to raise funds at zero or no costs, hence the net funds raised will be much higher than any event which requires purchasing the goods which will be sold.
Further, a good venue and proper timing are equally critical in yielding big crowds to bolster sales and heighten community awareness. Make sure to promote the bake sale ahead of time as to remind students to bring cash. Another way to boost sales is to use a club leader’s Venmo account in order to make it easier for students without cash to contribute donations; just make sure to track transactions carefully for the sake of transparency. Lastly, what you sell matters but its appeal is more important. Thus, be sure to make your confectionery appealing and well decorated.
2. Karaoke Night
A karaoke night kills two birds with one stone: you get team bonding as well as fundraising. Set up is pretty simple: rent out your school’s gymnasium and a karaoke machine from a local bar or event space. Promote the event in order to boost attendance, and then have each attendee pay an entrance fee. Beyond the entrance fee, you can sell snacks with a big profit margin and have a donation box present at the event. Just give a small announcement at the beginning of the night as to where the money will be going in order to heighten the chances of people contributing additional donations or purchasing snacks.
3. Movie Night
Another option is to host a movie screening or weekend-long movie marathon with just a projector on school campus. When selecting a movie to screen, opt for classics or popular blockbuster films in order to attract students from various demographics. The best part of hosting a movie night is that there is no setup or cleanup required, so it is a totally stress-free opportunity for your club to raise funds in a safe, social environment with friends and family. Again, have attendees pay an entrance fee, sell popcorn, soda, and other snacks for a wide profit margin, and be sure to have a donation box present at the event.
Crowdfunding is an option that requires no work at all. There are thousands of crowdfunding tools online, but the most popular is GoFundMe. Create an account, and have club leaders cooperate in writing a small description of the club and what the money will go towards. Next, communicate with all club members that the account should be shared on social media accounts to raise awareness. The interesting part is that the club could begin withdrawal as soon as the fundraiser starts receiving donations and there are no penalties for failure to meet the target.
5. Pursuing Corporate Sponsorship as a Group
Perhaps the most mainstream and highly effective means of pursuing funding is by writing to corporate firms whose interests align with that of your club in to request a sponsorship. The request could be sent via emails or delivered physically to the addresses of these firms. It is absolutely essential that sponsorship requests or proposals are properly written, well-articulated, and perfectly delineating a breakdown of the budget needed. These proposals must be grammatical error-free as to prevent creating an impression of tardiness or unprofessionalism. In a group setting, this could look like providing snacks for club members and spending a few hours together listening to music and researching potential sponsors. Pursuing corporate sponsorship as a group will allow the club to cast a wider net rather than relying solely on club leaders; more proposals can be sent out as a group as opposed to one individual.
These are some of the most effective ways to fundraise for your Model UN club. Ultimately, the best way to fundraise is to think big: host multiple events of different genres in order to attract as many donors as possible. Working as a club will accelerate team bonding while also securing the funding necessary to attend multiple conferences and foster a wildly successful Model UN season.