It's not Fundraising unless it's fun

Fundraising Ideas for PBD Chapters
by Dr. Rick Nader, past Director of Development
(as reprinted from PBD Newsletter - June 06)

What is Fundraising anyway?

It's not FUNDRAISING unless it's first "FUN"

Fundraising is the process of reaching your chapter's goals by having people reach, not necessarily into their pockets, but into their hearts to give of their time and money for something they believe in -- like international education!!!

One of the keys to effective fundraising is to start thinking and talking with each other about the goals and identity of your PBD chapter. Who are we (as a chapter) and what exactly do we do? What do we stand for? What do we want to accomplish? And most importantly, where do we want to be next year?

The "VI$ION thing"

Big ideas drive and motivate action and can get your chapter off to a good start fundraising. The University of Houston (U of H) Chapter's story is featured below as an example of Visioning "From the field...

The U of H had already established an endowment, and had been fairly successful in fund raising efforts. But they had come to a bit of an impasse on where to go next as a Chapter. A Visioning exercise helped them understand and later to articulate the importance of the endowment to their members and to potential donors in the community.

As a result, they reached their $10,000 goal in less than a year and are now aiming towards a goal of $40,000! Thanks to the Visioning exercise, they gave their first scholarship to a student this semester. The Chapter realized they could also use funds for faculty and staff enhancement; equipment purchases; research material acquisition; office/clerical support; or other activities that enrich and enhance international education.

From the Field...

Anita Gaines-University of Houston

"One of the greatest boosts to our chapter regarding vision, including fund raising ideas took place in the Summer of 2003 through Fall 2003 when we invited our members to join us for a series of meetings in which we participated in a "visioning" exercise. The purpose was to help us create a roadmap to success as we focused on our vision, mission and goals.

Here's what you can do:

  • Invite your University's Director of Donor Relations to one of your board meetings to help give you ideas and guidance regarding your development plans.
  • Create your own chapter brochure. This brochure helps define who you are as a chapter to those you meet. It is shared broadly on campus and in the community.
  • Induct honorary members - include business people from the community, consular officials, and University officials. Let them know about your vision, mission and goals, which includes your endowment- as a result they frequently give generous donations.
  • Invite guests in to speak at your events throughout the year so that they can build your network.
  • Acknowledge ALL of your donors in your induction ceremonies and programs.

Thanks to Anita for sharing this story...

We will continue to feature examples from the Field in future editions of the newsletter. We want to hear about your chapter too. Please send your ideas to: