Honors Capstone Project
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Won Capstone Funding
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The following thesis is a fundraising manual written for high school and college students. As a student myself, I know sometimes things are easier understood when described by a peer and I think that fundraising is a perfect example of this. While many students participate in fundraisers in their schools, there are very few who reach the magnitude of the “professionals,” raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. With my experience in the field, as explained in the introduction, I hope to steer fellow students in the right direction toward these lucrative fundraisers in hopes that they too can raise a large amount of money for whatever cause it is that they believe in.
The manual is broken down into six chapters that describe different parts of the fundraising world. Each chapter represents an equally significant step that, if ignored, could result in the failure of the fundraiser. There is also a chapter at the end full of “Quick Hits,” as I call them, which are a few random ideas that I believe will help a fundraiser along his/her way.
The information in the manual came from a number of sources. Because there are no other writings that are specifically about student-based fundraising, a lot of what is written comes from my own experience. This, along with interviews with a few members of the charity organization I run, makes up a large portion of the manual. As a result of this, I am sure to start every chapter off with my “Filosophy,” giving my input on the information that I am about to present.
I do not ignore the professionals, though, as some of what they have written can apply to students as well. Even though many write for adults who want to make a living fundraising, the principles that they mention can be useful. This is especially evident in the chapter on leadership, as well as the chapter where I examine tips from fundraising guru Kim Klein about what a fundraiser should not do.
Other chapters in the book include planning, budgeting and side projects. These all deal with the actual organization and implementation of the fundraising event. They include suggestions about what students can do in each area as well as examples from my own fundraiser. The hope here is that students can read them, see what I have done and find a way to apply it to their own cause.
The manual concludes with a few words of advice. I remind the reader to use the fact that he/she is a student to his/her advantage. I also point out that the most important tool that he/she is going to have is passion. One of the main ideas that I try to get across throughout the entire thesis is that if students are willing to put in the time and the effort, they will be able to accomplish great things and even surprise themselves. If they have enough passion, they’ll be able to meet and even surpass their expectations, raising a lot of money for their cause and making a huge difference in the world.
Foster, Jonathan, "A Student Guide to Fundraising" (2009). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 469.
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