Raise Money and Help Students with The Princeton Review
Want to bring mission-based programming to your community and raise funds for your work? AAUW collaborator The Princeton Review has dozens of valuable turnkey programs that help students prepare for college or graduate school applications. They’ll provide the content and the speaker, and you provide the location.
So, how do you get started?
1. Choose your program.
The programs that The Princeton Review offers center around the company’s in-demand products and services. You can host
- Practice tests for the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT
Offering a practice test is an ideal way to work with your local college, high school, or PTA. If you hold the event on campus, you’ll get the space you need for free, and you can charge students a nominal fee (usually $10, but certain areas can charge as much as $25 per person).
- How to Ace the LSAT (or the grad school test of your choice)
Is there a prestigious medical school or law school in your area? Students want to know how to score well on these tests to overcome that first entrance hurdle. This workshop covers strategies and techniques and is perfect for reaching college students or recent graduates.
- Getting into the Grad School of Your Choice
This workshop discusses the pros and cons of various programs, which tests you have to take for which program, when should you take the test, and more. This is great for college students, recent graduates, or those making a midcareer adjustment.
- Design your own!
AAUW created a Women and the MBA panel event that includes a Princeton Review representative, the dean of an MBA program, and a local professional woman with an MBA. What’s the niche need in your area? This is an outstanding opportunity to reach young professionals in your community who are interested in taking that next career step.
Which program is of greatest interest in your community, and which will help attract new members to your branch? Remember, The Princeton Review will supply the test moderator or a speaker. All you have to do is decide what you want to do and how much you want to charge.
2. Connect with your local Princeton Review office.
3. Location, location, location
4. Choose the date.
5. Decide what you’ll charge and how you’ll handle registration.
You want to charge an admission fee for two reasons:
- First, this was supposed to be a fundraiser, right?
- Second, if you don’t charge a nominal fee, your attendance rate actually drops. People do not value a product if it’s free. In other words, if you’re giving it away, something must be wrong with it.
We recommend charging $10 for anything other than a practice test. You can typically charge $20 or more for a practice test where students receive their scores back from The Princeton Review.
Eventbrite is a good registration tool: It will allow you to collect information about attendees (important if you want to follow up and engage them in your branch activities after your event). You will still need a payment collection vehicle, though.
Here are some easy ways to handle transactions:
- If AAUW Site Resources is maintaining your branch or state site, we can create an event registration form for you. Contact the Site Resources staff at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- PayPal will allow you to collect fees with a 2.5 percent transaction fee.
- Collect cash and checks at the door. Not ideal in an increasingly electronic economy but still an option. Just make sure you collect all the registration data before the event so you know who was at your event and can follow up.
7. Recruit volunteers to help run your event.
8. Make connections.
The point of hosting an event with The Princeton Review is to raise funds and recruit, but that does not mean waving a join brochure in someone’s face. Let attendees get to know you, and then make the ask. This is why it’s so critical that you get attendees’ contact information for follow-up.If anyone asks what your branch does, try and tailor your responses to the areas that would be of greatest interest to her or him. For example, if you are hosting a Women and the MBA workshop, you could discuss AAUW’s fellowships and grants and perhaps our equal pay efforts.
But making connections doesn’t end when you stack the chairs after your event. Follow up via e-mail, and remember to invite attendees to other branch events.
9. And keep these things in mind.
Once the first event is under your belt, schedule more. Try and have at least two per year. Everything becomes more rote with subsequent events, and attendance usually increases as well when you have regular sessions. Consistency also means that you’ll get more efficient at running your event, and you’ll yield greater financial results.Remember, everyone in this transaction stands to gain. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and you should remind people of that. Using our Women and the MBA example,
- The Princeton Review will gain exposure to a group that might purchase test prep products or services.
- The host college or university will gain exposure to potential applicants.
- Your branch will gain exposure to potential members, and you’ll raise funds.
It’s a win-win-win!