Let me start off by stating that this was my first fundraising initiative, so I am by no means an expert. I did, however, come across a few obstacles which have helped me gain the experience that I need for any fundraising endeavours I choose to embark on in the future. Of course like any other person, I had experience with participating in fundraisers growing up with school, but I had never been behind the scenes of such a task.
When our group had first met with Jane from Wellwood we had a huge list of ideas that we wanted to present to her, all ranging in size and cost. Our original plan was to partner with my employer, Scotiabank, and to host a one day event in the branch. This, as I've learned is quite common, did not go as planned. We had to modify our idea, and spread the original plan of hosting a "Superhero" themed day at the branch, to a two part plan which involved an on-Campus cookie sale.
A cookie sale may seem like a simple task, you or your family members bake some cookies, you set them up on some trays and you sell them to your fellow students. Wrong. This is all wrong. There are several protocols which had to be followed before we could have this "simple cookie sale." We had to secure a space within the campus first. This is the part where we found out home baked goods were not permitted on campus. We then had to hurry to come up with a solution, which was to purchase the cookies from a bakery. This presented the opportunity to have them customized with the message "My Hero" not only representing the heroes at Wellwood, but the fact that helping out someone else can make you an everyday hero as well.
Following the purchase of these delicious treats, we then realized we needed to gain approval from the student engagement office at Mohawk College. Another major step in hosting our first fundraising effort.
What I'm getting at here, is that something as simple as a cookie sale on campus, can turn out to be something more than it seems. Although all these steps seemed like a pain at the time, it all turned out to be something much bigger. An amazing learning experience, which also helped raise a bit of money for an outstanding organization like Wellwood.
Now, a few pointers for anyone looking to plan a fundraising event in the future:
1. Time is your best friend. Use it well.
2. Planning makes perfect.
3. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're unsure of something. You have the resources, use them.
Something as simple as a bake sale can make a big difference in your community. Raising awareness is just as important as raising funds.