Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My First Real Experience in Fundraising

I chose to attend the Mohawk Public Relations program because it is a one year course with an strong emphasis on writing. As a confused university graduate, I knew I wanted to add to my psychology degree and I knew I could write decently. Did I know what "public relations" means? To be honest, not really. I just decided to take a chance. Needless to say, I didn't expect that I would be involved in holding a successful fundraiser.

As a person with a very introverted personality, I have never enjoyed group work in school and the idea of asking people for money, to me, is painful. When I heard that we would have to plan and execute a fundraiser for our Organizational Application class, I wasn't thrilled.

Surprisingly, the fundraiser was a great experience. My group partnered with the on-campus branch of the United Way and held a raffle. We based our theme on the United Way's "Everyday Hero" campaign, which illustrates how easy it is to be a hero in the lives of those in need. For example, for only $1 a day, individuals can provide a woman in jeopardy with a safe place to live for six months or provide a family with a box of fresh produce twice a month for an entire year.

After dressing up as superheros and convincing people to donate for two hours, we were able to raise $551, which was an exciting feeling. As much as I hate asking people for money, it was surprising to see how generous people can be as many individuals bought $20 worth of raffle tickets. I also felt good knowing that my group and I were able to make a difference in our community by supporting the United Way.


What I really enjoy about this program is that we do hands-on experience and each of our classes are related to one another. To prepare our fundraiser plan, we were able to call upon lessons we had learned in other classes about strategies, tactics and how to get our message out. We were also able to use the skills we had gained from our design class to create posters to advertise our event.

Fundraising is difficult, and I definitely do not aspire to make a career of it, but being in the Public Relations program here at Mohawk, I feel as if I am learning valuable skills that will significantly aid me in finding employment after I graduate. It's an exciting feeling.

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