Fundraising Guide for Your AAUW Student Organization

**All funds raised through CrowdRise go to empower women and girls through the AAUW Fund.**

Every year AAUW improves the lives of thousands of women and girls, but we can’t do it alone. That’s where you come in! Donations from your AAUW AAUW fighting the patriarchy on campus since 1881. Lead on your campus with AAUW. Visit AAUW Campus Leaderhip Programs.student organization help us do amazing things like fight for equal pay, get more women into the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, and close the gender leadership gap — to name a few!

Once a semester AAUW offers a challenge to see which student organization can raise the most funds. The winning group receives $100 to ShopAAUW and an AAUW Instagram takeover. Get a head start by setting up your organization’s official fundraising account today! Not only is fundraising a life skill and résumé builder, but it allows you to maximize your impact on the issues you care about most. Here’s how your student organization can take action.

Know AAUW’s Fundraising Guidelines

Make sure you’re an informed fundraiser. AAUW Fundraising Policy 501 helps us organize our 170,000 members and supporters. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Funds raised must go to AAUW national or to support your student organization’s campus programs. You can also raise money to support student organization members attending AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) or other AAUW campus leadership programs.
  2. Fundraising for other organizations is not allowed.
  3. Feel free to collaborate with other like-minded student organizations or work with local charities to provide in-kind donations like services or goods.

Make a Plan

Planning carefully will also help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Follow these steps to set the groundwork for your student organization:

  1. Follow university policies. Many fundraising activities require prior university approval. Become familiar with your school’s policies before you start.
  2. Establish financial goals. You should develop a budget before you establish your fundraising goals for the year. Your goals should be realistic but ambitious.
  3. Create an action plan. Successful fundraising requires careful planning and goal setting. Who has connections in your community? How will you utilize social media? Who is good at organizing? Who can send out numerous marketing e-mails?

Fundraising Online

  1.  Set Up Your Student Organization’s Crowdrise Account 
  2. Announce it early. Share your plan and encourage your network to support you at least two weeks before the goal finish date. This will give your potential donors time to respond and give.
  3. Use your networks. Widening your reach will increase your potential donations. Make an ask to your AAUW student organization members, your family, and even to faculty and staff!
  4. Get social.
    • Put your social media and communications skills to the test by tweeting, posting, and sharing your CrowdRise account! Use your existing student organization Twitter and/or Facebook pages as well as your personal social media accounts to increase your reach.
    • Tag AAUW on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter when promoting your fundraising efforts. AAUW will help retweet, share, and amplify your posts!
    • Update donors on your progress toward your goal in order to heat up the competition.
    • Show off your work and illustrate your impact! Engage donors and community members by sharing photos of some of the great events that your AAUW student org has held as well as any news articles or write-ups about your work.
  5. Expand your reach with AAUW’s sample e-mail.
    Use this e-mail template to ask family, friends, classmates, and other campus organizations to support your fundraising efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask; the worst that you’ll hear is no. Feel free to copy, paste, and customize this template for your audience.

Dear [name],
Since 1881 AAUW has been advocating for women’s rights, and I’m helping lead the way. My AAUW student organization is working every day to fight for social justice issues, build feminist communities, and demand equality for women and girls!

As an AAUW student organization leader, I have been able to help create programs that make a difference for women and girls. We’ve taken action on everything from fighting for fair pay to supporting women in leadership to helping stop campus sexual assault.

Now, we are taking our activism a step further and raising money for AAUW. We are competing with more than 100 other student organizations to see who can raise the most funds and have the biggest impact!

Please join me in the fight by making an online donation toward my goal of [your personal or organization’s goal] in honor of my AAUW student organization at [your school].

Your support will make it possible for us to continue our fight for gender equality and to empower women across our campus and beyond.

Thank you for your generous support,

[Your name]

6. Follow university policies. Many fundraising activities require prior university approval. Become familiar with your school’s policies before you start.

Fundraising on Campus

AAUW student organization members raise money on the University of Central Florida campus.

If your school allows it, fundraise early through creative campus programming! Here are a few favorite (and successful!) fundraisers from other AAUW student orgs:

  • Bake sale
    If they’re allowed on your campus, put together your own “unequal” bake sale on Equal Pay Day.
  • Car wash
    You can’t go wrong with this classic fundraiser! Make sure to create bold signs to attract drivers passing by.
  • Yard sale 
    When your community starts spring cleaning, ask for donations! Their trash can be your student organization’s treasure.
  • Used book sale 
    Work with your school’s library or a local AAUW branch that hosts annual book sales. E-mail so we can connect you with your local branch!
  • Walkathon or dance marathon 
    Believe it or not, people will sponsor you for the distance you walk or how long you dance when it’s for a good cause. Remember that with large events like these, it’s best to start planning early!

Remember to Collaborate

Don’t forget to collaborate with other student groups and departments when planning your campaign or event. Not only will you raise more money, you’ll also spread the word about your great work! Consider reaching out to

  • Student organizations with similar missions
  • Women and gender studies departments or political science departments
  • Diversity and inclusion or multicultural offices, including your campus women’s center
  • Fraternity/sorority lists
  • Student activities or student life offices
  • The athletics department
  • Dean of students’ office
  • Community members
  • Your local AAUW branches and Younger Women’s Task Force chapters. Depending on your program, branches and chapters may be the perfect collaborators. E-mail so we can help connect you.

Reaching out to diverse student organizations on campus is just one way to start making your AAUW student organization more inclusive. Check out AAUW’s Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit for more ideas!

Evaluate Your Results

Analyzing your efforts will help measure your success and direct future decisions. Ask for and write down feedback from members after your event, and share the highlights with AAUW on social media!Learn more about AAUW student fundraising efforts by joining the official Facebook group for AAUW student organization leaders!



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