Institutions of higher learning, such as universities and colleges, are important pillars of the communities in which they reside.
Local businesses, community leaders, faculty and staff, and students all have a vested interest in the success of a university or college. But this interest extends beyond immediate community members. Alumni of institutions all around the country, no matter the proximity to his or her beloved alma mater, tend to maintain a deep-rooted pride well beyond graduation, and one of the easiest (yet most impactful) ways for them to showcase this pride is contributing to an institution’s fundraising arm.
And schools need this pride to tap into opportunities to maintain or gain a competitive edge, which includes retaining the best faculty, recruiting the finest students, improving campus infrastructure, constructing fancier buildings, and generally supplementing annual budget.
Schools are seldom at a loss for fundraising ideas, but the key is finding those that allow a donor to feel like he or she is a tangible part of something greater — instead of an ATM from which an institution can withdraw cash whenever it wants.
So, then, what type of fundraiser best creates this type of reciprocity while also allowing a school to raise money in significant amounts?
Fundraising efforts run the gamut — sporting events, specialty alumni programs, ticket raffles, and silent auctions are just a few — but one that has stood the test of time is commemorative bricks and tiles. These items have been used in successful fundraising efforts dating back to when the names of donors had to be etched by hand. Nowadays, modern technology, like laser engraving, does all of the heavy lifting, but the long-lasting effects that these fundraising bricks and tiles can have in regards to potential donors are no less personal.
Why Brick Fundraising For Your College?
Engraved brick and tile fundraising has become increasingly popular because of its profitability. The cost of securing the materials and etching a donor’s name and custom message is low compared to the amount of the donation a brick or tile typically garners. An institution can then scale this profitability in accordance with current and future funding needs.
Other benefits of using bricks and tiles as a fundraising idea include:
- Broad donor participation across race, age, education background, etc.
- Seamless implementation into an institution’s existing brick campus
- Variety of applications (walkways, pavers, memorials, etc.)
- Versatile enough to be sold at array of events (bake sales, scavenger hunts, charity auctions, trivia nights, etc.)
- Opportunities for recurring donations
Fundraising Brick has experience assisting in the execution of a wide variety of fundraising efforts. This includes institutions that have needed to raise a few thousand dollars for one project to some who have needed to raise funds in excess of hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars for larger-scale investments.
Additionally, for situations in which recurring annual donations are desired, we can coordinate the reordering of engraved brick or tile to ensure opportunities are consistently available for an institution’s donor base.
What Types of Fundraising Ideas Are Ideal For Bricks & Tiles?
The alumni of your university comprise the ideal fundraising base because of the great pride they feel for graduating from the institution, which in turn breeds a very strong obligation to give back. No matter the department or school group for which funds are being raised, tapping into an expansive and/or generous alumni base is a great way to bring in the additional funds you need to initiate a project, bolster a program, or even generate extra money for an entire college within a university.
The sense of pride felt by alumni is not necessarily something that takes years to build. University graduates are rightly proud of their accomplishments, so why not allow them to give back to the school they love on the day upon which their many great accomplishments culminate in a degree?
Holding a fundraiser that offers graduates and their families an opportunity to permanently etch their legacy — figuratively and literally — into the fabric of a school is a unique and exciting way to celebrate the event of graduation with a timeless twist that benefits all.
Memorial or Tributary
Just as graduation can mark the end of an academic journey, offering bricks or tiles to memorialize the greatness of someone’s life can be a powerful way to create an eternal connection with your institution. In fact, many spouses, mothers, fathers, relatives, and friends choose to recognize a loved one through memorial and tributary gifts.
Consider orchestrating a fundraiser that features paver bricks and tiles to honor and remember the passing of loved ones, friends, or co-workers. These commemorative bricks provide an ongoing celebration of a person’s life and that person’s connection with your institution.
Student Groups & Fraternity/Sorority Functions
Both fraternities and sororities are highly encouraged — some would say almost mandated — to maintain a high degree of interaction with surrounding communities. This interaction can be leveraged to produce a wide range of highly engaging fundraising ideas, including but not limited to: car washes, social media contests, walk-a-thons, talent shows, and more.
Fraternities and sororities, as well as any groups consisting of college students, tend to be very close-knit. This type of connectivity tends to serve as a microcosm for the overall student body, making any type of fundraiser held by a student group — Greek in nature or no — an excellent example of the power of peer-to-peer fundraising, in which people from a large group interact with each other to serve a good cause.
Fundraising efforts such as these can be highly successful and executed at different times during an academic year.
Sports Programs & Teams
You could argue that no school-related activity galvanizes both a student and alumni base more than sports teams. Some of the country’s largest university donors give away money just to see sports programs succeed.
In fact, attend a game sometime. You’ll see fundraising activities taking place all around you. Athletic departments at universities around the country spend a lot of money to operate, but that’s because they need a lot of money to produce a winning product that will sell tickets. This reciprocal relationship creates a vortex affect that generates a number of opportunities for fundraising ideas that allow fans to give back to their favorite sports programs.
And this excludes ticket sales, sales of apparel such as t-shirts, jerseys, etc., fees collected from parking lots surrounding athletic fields, and any other fees that may pertain to attendees of games.
Faculty and staff are often overlooked as potential contributors to a fundraising campaign, but they are typically the most accessible members of a donor base. To show your appreciation for their hard work and award their loyalty to the university, think about creating specialty donation programs that are specific to university employees.
Businesses in the local community owe a lot to the institutions that keep them thriving and profitable. Campus events, such guest lectures, concerts, sporting events and more, mean foot traffic for local businesses, and foot traffic typically means sales. Create outreach initiatives to businesses in the local community, both large and small, as part of your fundraising efforts.
Most business owners will be very open to at least listening about the possibility of having their company name permanently etched into a brick or tile, especially if they know it will be placed in a prominent area.
Make Your Fundraising Campaign Ongoing
Brick Fundraising has long been an accessible means of raising money. But a brick fundraising drive need not be limited to a single fundraiser and should be looked at as an ongoing opportunity to raise money for the school.
The key to successful fundraising using dedicated bricks is a mix of strategies and tactics to drive donations and provide ways to give.
A Beautiful Way to Raise Funds
Start creating lasting memories and show your university’s alumni and extended community how valuable they are to the success of your school. Call one of our fundraising experts at 1-855-BRICKS4U and get started on your brick or tile fundraising event today!