Club Fundraising
October 8, 2009 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to think of ideas for creative-writing-related fundraisers

I'm involved in a college club dedicated to promoting and cultivating creative writing among members. We get together and have free-writes and brainstorming sessions, etc. I'm trying to think of some fundraising ideas for our club that will both a) be effective and b) incorporate creative writing.

I'm not great at this sort of thing. Any ideas?

(I'm trying to find a way to incorporate the upcoming NaNoWriMo too but, again, I'm not great at this sort of thing).
posted by Holygrail2 to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe a donation per word written during November?

My Fiction department student board fundraises by a bake sale and selling donated books and CDs.
posted by sugarfish at 1:13 PM on October 8, 2009

The NH Writers' Project did a fantastic one this past year. It was called "Literary Idol" - you get the idea.

They recruited about five writers in advance (to be sure it would fly no matter how much audience participation happened), and then invited the audience to jump in, too. The event was in a private room at a local bar. It started at about 7:00, and the moderator welcomed everyone, invited them to get a beer, and introduced the panel of judges, and then set out the challenge: over the next 15 minutes, the contestants would write a piece of flash fiction. Then everyone hung out for a few minutes getting settled while the writing happened.

When time was called, the moderator invited one writer after another to come up and read their short piece. After each piece the audience applauded and then the judges commented - just like American Idol. The judges were carefully selected, funny people well known in the community who write themselves - I think we had a food writer, a playwright, and a novelist. The moderator was also a popular, well-known name, which helped a ton. People knew the event would be cool when they saw the names, so choose wisely.

They judged, laughter ensued, and when everyone had read they picked a winner and two runners-up, who got prizes.

The fundraising aspect of this was the door fees plus a membership appeal. But you could consider passing the hat; having the audience vote with a buck for best story; selling food & beverage and keeping the proceeds, etc.

It was one of the more fun writing-related programs I've ever seen.
posted by Miko at 1:17 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

• For NaNoWriMo: Students could get other students to "sponsor" them, so that (for example) every ten thousand words equals ten dollars per sponsor. You might also want to appeal to non-students, as they'll have more cash.
• Later, for Valentine's Day, you could do personalized sonnets. The members could also write (and sell, perhaps along with a campus art organization) greeting cards for other holidays.
• If there are published authors living in your area, you might be able to organize a meet and greet/ silent auction/alumni benefit type thing. Talk to your office of student affairs and maybe your alumni association -- they're good with this sort of thing.

What is your objective with the fundraising? Do you want to raise money for, say, an endowed chair position for a creative writing professor on the faculty? Do you want the money for student trips to various conventions? If your objective is well-worded and ... umm ... worthy, you may able to get folks really excited about donating to your cause.

PS. The best times for fundraising on a college campus: homecoming and graduation. Lots of alumni, lots of proud parents willing to part with a few bucks, etc.
posted by brina at 1:20 PM on October 8, 2009

Poetry slams!

You could park yourselves at a market or festival and offer to write stories in a minute.
posted by divabat at 2:15 PM on October 8, 2009

Best answer: What about a trivia night with all literary trivia?

You could raise $ a couple of ways at a trivia event
- entrance fee
- bake sale
- "half and half" raffle (sell tickets for $1 - the winner gets half the money and the organization gets the other half)
posted by radioamy at 4:32 PM on October 8, 2009

You could copy Significant Objects.
posted by glibhamdreck at 4:36 PM on October 8, 2009

Find a cafe or bookstore with a display window, find the most famous-est writer you can get, and sponsor that person to write in the window while you throw a charity dinner and donation auction. The more sponsorship money, the longer the manuscript gets.

Then auction off their original manuscript.

Following that, you can print up and sell a chapbook of their story.
posted by Sallyfur at 7:46 PM on October 8, 2009

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