$tart $mart Step-by-Step Guide to Recruiting Campuses

Gender pay gap

One year after graduation, women are paid just 82 percent of what their male counterparts are paid. If women don’t negotiate their first salary, that gap continues to widen for the rest of their working lives. We need your help bringing colleges and universities this message. With a $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop, schools can help women start off right in the working world.

Whether you’re an AAUW member or a workshop facilitator, you can use this guide to teach a school about the gender wage gap and recruit them to host a $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop on campus. It takes approximately four to six months to recruit for and plan a $tart $mart workshop, and AAUW depends on the energy and efforts of volunteers like you to identify locations. Thank you for helping bring this valuable resource to college women in your communities!

When to Start
Fall and spring are ideal times to host a $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop on a campus. To plan a fall workshop, make contact with the campus during the preceding spring term or over the summer. To plan a spring workshop, start working with the campus the preceding fall. The sooner you initiate this discussion, the more likely it is that the workshop will be included in the school’s budget and on the campus calendar.
The steps below will help you navigate the planning process.

7 Steps to Recruit a Campus

Step 1: Prepare Your List of Leads

Create a list of target campuses and build a list of potential contacts on each campus. Take a look at our list of $tart $mart sites to make sure a workshop hasn’t already occurred on your campus. AAUW college/university partner members are already invested in AAUW, and they are a good place to start when you’re looking for a venue. You can also use the $tart $mart program as an opportunity to invite colleges and universities that are not yet AAUW C/U partner members to join AAUW!

As you make a list of potential contacts, be sure to include the following:

  • Any personal contacts whom you know on the college campus, including staff or faculty
  • Any representatives from women’s resource centers, women’s leadership centers, student affairs departments, student life centers, and career centers
  • A contact list from AAUW of $tart $mart, C/U partner member representatives, and AAUW student organization contacts on your target campuses, which you’ll receive once you fill out the form below

I would like a list of AAUW contacts to help me recruit a school for $tart $mart.

Fill out this form and we’ll send you a list of our contacts on your target campus within three to five business days. Please keep an eye out for an e-mail from us in case we have additional questions.

Step 2: Become an Expert

Become conversant on the issue of pay equity so that you can articulate the significance of the $tart $mart workshop information to your contacts on campus. Review AAUW materials on the gender wage gap, including

Be prepared to answer questions such as

  • Why should the campus sponsor this program?
  • How will the workshop help students who attend?
  • What will participants learn?
  • How is $tart $mart different from what campuses already offer?
  • How is the program presented?
  • What are the costs of the workshop, and who may be able to help defray those costs?

(And review our $tart $mart FAQ to brush up on your answers!)

Step 3: Ask Your Leads for a Meeting

E-mail or call each of the contacts on your list to set up a meeting to discuss the benefits of having a $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop on campus. The key to securing sites for workshops is to fully understand and communicate the significance of the $tart $mart workshop. Be clear that this is a workshop and that it is about salary negotiation and not about résumé writing or job interviewing skills. Put your salient points in your own words.

Step 4: Prepare for Your Meeting

Before each scheduled meeting, send a copy of the information sheet to each attendee. Print out the information sheet and the list of $tart $mart campus workshop locations and bring them to the meeting. Review the $tart $mart page, the FAQ, and your talking points so you’re prepared to answer questions about the program.

Step 5: Meet with Your Potential Recruit

Answer any questions or concerns that the campus contact has, and be sure to refer to opportunities for co-sponsorship and collaboration that may help minimize the costs of the workshop. (See “Tips for Defraying Costs” below for more information.)

During the meeting, ask contacts if they can recommend any other departments on campus that should be involved in the $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop, and follow up with those departments.

If the campus contact would like to review materials from past $tart $mart workshops or needs more information, contact AAUW Program Manager Dorrie Sieburg to arrange a conference call with the team.

Note: You may need to coordinate with several departments that are interested in supporting this workshop. It’s usually best to select a “lead” contact, but your group will determine how best to move forward.

Step 6: Send a Thank-You Message

After the meeting, send a thank-you note to the campus contact, and request feedback by a specific date. Send a similarly worded post-meeting e-mail to all other contacts so that they can forward your information and engage others on campus. Follow up with a phone call if the contact has not responded by your deadline for feedback.

Step 7: Confirm and Get Ready!

Once the campus contact has committed to hosting the workshop, contact Dorrie Sieburg again. She will finalize the school’s commitment paperwork and schedule a planning call for the whole team.

Tips for Defraying Costs

If a college or university is concerned about the cost of the workshop, suggest that the cost might be divided among several campus organizations. They can also look for community businesses or organizations that might sponsor the event. Here are some past examples:

  • In Maine, one committed individual was so passionate about pay equity that she underwrote all the pilot workshops in the state that year.
  • In New York, an AAUW branch paid for several workshops.
  • In Rhode Island, a women’s center funded a workshop.
  • The Wyoming Women’s Foundation underwrote travel and other accommodations to bring the $tart $mart workshops to two Wyoming campuses.
  • The Maine Women’s Fund supported workshops and facilitator trainings on all public campuses statewide.
  • Organizers can also seek grants from local nonprofits to cover costs.

How to Talk to Funders

You’ll speak to individuals differently than you will to foundations and even corporations. That’s because everyone has a different reason for funding the program. A clothing store like J.C. Penney or Gap might be interested in offering funding so that students think about them when it’s time to get a work wardrobe. A local bank wants students to open accounts with them. A local Optimist Club might want to help the young graduates in the community start off on the right foot. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to approaching funders.

  • Keep their audience in mind, and consider what the funder would get out of their support.
  • If you’re uncertain, ask them. Try a simple, “So XYZ Bank, why is it important to you to reach young women graduates with your messaging?”
  • Tailor your responses to the funder. How can you help them reach their goals?
  • Show them how their name will be showcased and what additional role they might be able to play. For example, a clothing store could hold a fashion show to tell students how five pieces can make a great work wardrobe.


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