Fraternity Fundraising Ideas
How a T-Shirt Fundraiser Can Help Your Fraternity Efforts
If you’re looking for easy fundraising ideas for your fraternity, t-shirt fundraising is a great idea. It’s low-cost, requires minimal effort, and it can be a great way to raise awareness and publicize your fraternity.
To give you some idea of just how powerful t-shirt fundraising can be, this: In the Southeastern U.S., a branded shirt generates nearly 4,000 impressions each. If you have 25 brothers wear a fundraising t-shirt—that’s a whopping 100,000 impressions total – meaning 100,000 people have seen that shirt, read what it says and learned about your organization.
People tend to actually remember what they saw on a t-shirt, too. It’s not just out of sight, out of mind. According to stats, recall from t-shirts is more than 80 percent in all areas of the U.S. In the Midwest, recall is at its highest, with 95 percent of people recalling a brand on a shirt after the fact.
In order to take advantage of this powerful fraternity fundraising medium, you first have to design a great shirt. Something your participants and donors want to wear, as well as something easy to see and read from afar. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to include your Fraternity letters on your shirt design as well.
You can use TStacker to design and sell your shirts, because this cuts out a lot of cost and hassle from the process. You aren’t required to pay any up-front fees, and your fraternity brothers and donors can easily purchase the shirts online at their convenience. You don’t even need to worry about shipping! We handle it all for you. You just sit back, and wait for that check to hit your mailbox.
Popular Fraternity Fundraiser Ideas
If you want to bring in as many donations as possible, you can supplement your t-shirt fundraising with other fraternity fundraising efforts as well. Here are just a few of our favorite creative ideas for fraternity fundraisers:
A Bachelor Auction is always a great idea and is usually a popular one. A fraternity bachelor auction can gain lots of local media attention and is a great way to be noticed by those outside of your fraternity or college.
The first place to look is within your organization’s ranks. Are there any single members who would like to participate? Don’t force anyone, or guilt them into it, though. If they don’t want to be part of the auction itself, they can always help out in some other way. Don’t just limit the bachelors to your brothers. Ask them if they’re willing to participate to help out a good cause. Do you know any other single guys who might want to help out a cause and have a fun evening out in return? Ask them if they’re willing to participate to help out a good cause. One way to really ramp up community involvement is to include single local celebrities like news anchors or radio hosts.
Arrange a local venue that has seating, tables and a PA systems. Your college campus should have plenty of locations to pick from. If it is big enough or has the space, use the fraternity house.
Next, get the word out about your event. Set a date and time, and hang posters around your campus or student center. Send out emails, post it to your website and share it on your favorite social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. Have your brothers share the details with their friends, family, classmates and teammates. One of the brothers can be the emcee for the night—or see if you can get a local DJ or Newscaster to volunteer their time?
Raise even more money beforehand by hosting an exclusive VIP package with a reception that allows bidders to mingle with fraternity brothers 30 minutes before the auction starts. Sell advance tickets for $35 or charge $45 at the door.
Before the bidding is scheduled to begin, hand out lists of bachelors along with photos, brief bios and potential date ideas before the event starts. Include some fun facts or humorous quote. Give the lucky auction winners and the bachelors the responsibility of arranging the date itself.
Go the traditional route, with bidders shouting out their bids while the auctioneer/emcee, bachelors and bachelorettes encourage bidding. It can get a bit rowdy, but that’s the point—have fun with it!
The more people you have, the better this event will be. Why not challenge other fraternities or sororities on your campus? This competition is a lot of fun, but it does take some preparation. You’ll need referees to officiate, volunteer announcers, and most importantly help setting up.
- Whistles. One for each referee.
- Dodgeballs. 10 Dodgeballs per court—you play with 8 at a time but dodgeballs can pop or deflate.
- Rules. Dodgeball rules. Decide how formal or loose you want to be with these. However, “No shots to the head” is usually a good minimum rule to have!
- Colorful but Removable Tape. For outlining the dodgeball courts in your gym.
Find a venue, preferably a gym. This should be a problem on a larger campus, but you can also contact a school or church and ask to use their facility.
Next, get the word out about your event. Set a date and time, and hang posters around your campus or student center. Have your brothers share the details with their classmates and friends. Promote it on the Fraternity’s Facebook page or Twitter feed.
Charge a participation fee for teams as well as an entrance fee for the audience. The entrance fee can be split between the groups holding the event.
Set up a table near the entrance of the gym for t-shirt or refreshment sales and to take donations to individual fraternities. Have a volunteer running this table selling t-shirts and receiving donations throughout the event. Don’t forget water coolers for all the competing teams to use!
This is one of our favorite ideas because your fraternity house already has everything you need, it just takes a bit of effort to get it all together in one place.
- Aluminum cans, glass or plastic bottles, cardboard containers—pop cans, energy drinks, beer, or milk cartons.
- Several leak-proof bins or boxes
- A car, truck or SUV
If they aren’t already, separate your recyclables into categories: aluminum, glass, plastic and paper. Make sure the containers are empty. Poor any extra liquid down the sink.
Make a separate box or container for each type of recyclable and label it. Crush any cans, plastic or paper containers to get as many items in the box as possible.
Go online, find the nearest recycling facility. Pay attention to what kinds of recyclables they accept. You don’t want to do all that work for nothing!
Once everything is all separated and put in their individual boxes, have some of your brothers put them in their cars and drive them to the nearest recycling facility. Turn them in and collect your money!
Whiskey or beer tasting
- Plastic shot glasses for tasting
- Tables and chairs
Looking for adult-themed ideas to raise money? Partner up with a local craft beer brewery, alcohol distillery or alcohol merchant, offer an on-site tasting even for your 21-and-up members, and charge an entry or tasting fee. The merchant or distillery offers tasting to participants and also has products on hand for people to buy. You take the entry fee and a small portion of the sales for your fundraising goals, and the distillery or merchant takes the rest. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Talk with local distillers, suppliers and merchants about participating in your event. Make sure there are plenty of options, so you can meet different taste levels and budgets. Make sure to negotiate your percentage of sales with the merchant, as well as what level of promotion and signage they can have at the event.
Next, set a date for your event, and get the word out to through friends, classmates, flyers and social media. Be sure to include the purpose of the event, as well as the house you’re raising funds for.
Finally, host your event. Set up a table for each merchant in your largest room, and provide tasting or shot glasses set up at each one. Each guest should get at least a handful of small servings from each merchant and can then stop back by their favorites to purchase a full bottle. Be sure to charge an entry or tasting fee at the door, since this will go straight into your fraternity funds.
You can even ask participants to rate each type of beer or whiskey they taste on a simple form printed up on your computer. At the end of the night announce the best-selling or highest rated wines and beers. It’s a blast for everyone involved!
Your fraternity already has what it needs for this fundraiser--a fraternity house with a lot of rooms! This is a great fundraising idea for an established fraternity chapter to hit up its alumni for donations. Hospitals, universities and libraries do this all the time, naming rooms or even parts of buildings after donors or organizations that contribute money. Alumni are sure to have great memories about their time at the fraternity house, and everyone loves to see their name in print.
- Paper and printer
- Drawing or sketch of the fraternity house layout
- Engraved plaques
Mail--or if you are able to, contact alumni brothers in person--and explain to them the reason why the fraternity is trying to collect funds and what the money will be used for. Photocopy a layout drawing of the house showing the naming right costs for each one of the rooms. If a brother decides to purchase the naming rights for a room, let them know that there will be a plaque hung in the room as part of the naming rights package.
Don’t just offer to name the various bedrooms, have rooms like the kitchen, storage area, meeting rooms, etc up for sale as well. Room prices can vary from fraternity house to fraternity, but a good guideline is that rooms that are more popular gathering places for the fraternity brothers should be more expensive. If a room in the fraternity house is particularly popular, you may be able to get several of the alumni into a bidding war over who gets the room named after them!
iPad/Apple Watch Raffle
A raffle is a tried and true idea to raise money, but you’ll want to raffle something that will stand out from the other fundraising raffles that every other fraternity on campus is doing.
- Raffle tickets
- Cheapest version of a “hot” technology like the Apple iPad or Watch
People get excited over the latest technology. Purchase the newest but cheapest model ipad or Apple watch. Keep the box and the receipts. Sell raffle tickets for $10 or $15 each using the iPad or Apple watch as the prize. You may have raffle tickets left over from a previous fundraiser, but if not, they can easily be purchased at a party supply store or online. You can even make them yourself.
Each brother should try to sell a minimum of ten tickets. In a fraternity of 30 each brother who sells his quota of ten tickets will generate $3000 for the chapter fundraiser. Keep in mind that is a minimum, several brothers will probably sell enough raffle tickets by themselves to easily cover the cost of the ipad or Apple watch.
The raffle tickets can be sold to anyone on campus. Advertise the fraternity raffle through flyers around campus and on social media. Include the dates of the raffle as well as the day of the drawing. Hold the raffle for a short period of time, less than two weeks.
Don’t forget alumni! Contact alumni brothers and offer to send them tickets in the mail. Most will gladly contribute $10 or $20.
King (or Queen) of the Couch
This is another fundraiser that won’t take much effort. You already have most of the stuff you need right there in the fraternity house!
- Comfortable sofa
- Big screen TV
- Televised sporting event
Even if your college doesn’t have sports teams--or if they have one that isn’t very good--there will always be sports fans on campus. Sell raffle tickets to “the best seat in the house.” The prize is a seat for the winner and two friends of his/her choice to have a seat on the comfortable couch--set up for the best viewing angle of the big screen television in your fraternity house. This couch is theirs the entire time of the game. No one else is allowed to “steal” the seat if someone gets up for food or to go to the bathroom. You can even up the stakes and throw in free food--like unlimited popcorn and potato chips for the winner and his/her friends refilled at their request, so they don’t miss a second of the action on screen.
Remember, If you make sure the game is centred around a classic rivalry, this should help raise even more funds!
Fraternity Fundraising Letter
When fundraising for fraternities, you often need to go old school in the form of a fundraising letter – something that describes your mission, your organization and your plans for the collected funds. You’ll then send this off to alumni, local businesses and others throughout the community once your fundraising activities get off the ground.
While these letters should typically be customized to your exact needs, organization and audience, they should look similar to the sample fraternity fundraising letter below:
The [NAME OF FRATERNITY] at [UNIVERITY/COLLEGE], is growing at a rapid pace. Sadly, due to budget problems, we have been unable to afford [EVENT/CAUSE YOU NEED FUNDS FOR], a movement we feel would benefit the brothers immensely. As such, we are seeking help from our alumni, family and others in supporting this worthwhile cause.
The estimated costs for [EVENT/CAUSE] are [$XX]. Though we have currently raised [$XX] from prior fundraising engagements, we are still in need of [$XX] to meet our goals. We hope to raise these funds by [DEADLINE.]
A donation on your behalf could greatly help us in our goals. Though we will certainly accept cash or check donations, the [NAME OF FRATERNITY] will also host a number of fundraising events and activities to help us reach these goals. These events include [LIST FUNDRAISING EVENTS, DATES AND TIMES.] Information can also be found on our website, [INSERT FRATERNITY WEB ADDRESS AND/OR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES.]
If a financial donation is not possible, we would gladly appreciate volunteers to help us in these fundraising efforts. Simply contact [FRATERNITY MEMBER] at [PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL] to inquire about these opportunities. We need the support of community members like you to keep our organization strong. To learn more about our fundraising efforts, please contact [FRATERNITY BROTHER] at [PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL]. He would be glad to answer any and all questions.
Thank you for your time and continued support.
Be sure to customize the letter to reflect your exact activities and fundraising efforts, and send them to any potential donors you can think of. This should include prominent community members, friends and family members of those in your fraternity and more.