One of the questions we get most often is “where do I get funding for this?” Here are a few ways we have seen that are effective. Please know that not all campuses are alike, and not all campus food banks are either – we realize that not all of these options will work for everyone.
1) If you have not reached out to your campus’ Foundation or Fund Raising organization, this can be immensely helpful. This facilitates exposure with major donors, can lead to a nonprofit sponsorship to gain access to grants, and could create a direct line for employees to donate to your food bank through payroll deduction.
2) Empty Bowls is a relatively easy fundraiser to host, and many campuses partner with their art departments to put it on. http://www.emptybowls.net/
3) If your school has a Greek system, know that many Greek letter organizations are required to do a certain amount of philanthropy. On some campuses they have gone as far as adopting the campus food bank for an annual event, or as the “pet philanthropy” of a particular house or organization.
4) Partnerships with local nonprofits can sometimes be beneficial when writing grants or doing events. Pooling “numbers served” within a community can demonstrate efficiency as well as bolsters your work so that grantors might pay greater attention.
5) While it can seem cliché, a good old fashioned bake sale can raise hundreds of dollars – particularly if you ask for people to donate and then pick from the baked goods…when people set their own prices they often give more.
6) Connect with the dining areas on your campus. Are there coffee shops that can put out change boxes? Here at OSU we bring in $300+ dollars by having 5 change boxes at our coffee locations on campus.
7) Use a crowd-funding platform like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. Some schools have these set up through their Foundations. HERE is a link to one such platform that funds projects for students. http://studentlauncher.org/
8) Look at grants through organizations like FEMA or the United Way. There are often funds in these places for food assistance programs.
9) Work with your athletics department – have a team sponsor you with a food or fund drive at a game or over a longer period of time.
10) Does your campus do an annual charitable fund drive? These usually happen around the winter break. If so, see if you can get your food bank listed as a potential charity.
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Originally published by Clare Cady January 6, 2015