Successful Football Fundraisers
Football tailgate parties and post-game receptions generate goodwill and dollars for various student groups at Texas A&M University.
Jane Bailey, Development Coordinator of the Memorial Student Center at A&M, teaches students to fundraise. Part of their ‘class’ is involvement with these longtime, successful football events.
Students play an important role in that success according to Bailey. At postgame receptions, they help greet former students at the door (of the Memorial Student Center) and interact with guests while all enjoy food, tea, water and punch.
“There is no formal agenda unless we know of a former student who is celebrating a birthday or an anniversary,” says Bailey. “Then we have a special cake made for the occasion and call the room to attention to celebrate with them.
“A formal agenda does not work well because people are not in the frame of mind to listen to someone talk to them. Their mindset is to have fun and be social. If their conversations are interrupted by a formal agenda, they will be less likely to come and join in the fellowship.
“The specific aspects that work well are the mixing of students and former students in a relaxed, casual atmosphere where all are welcomed, introduced to others and made to feel comfortable.”
Current student and former student bonding at these events create additional fundraising dollars. Several former students have increased their gifts and designated A&M in wills and formed endowments says Bailey. Many give to an unrestricted Memorial Student Center endowment in the university foundation or some support a particular student committee. Others provide for different funds in the university foundation.
However, Bailey says former students may attend the events without contribution pressure. Plus, they may bring other guests.