I have often attended sessions at NACDA, the NAIA convention, or the Business of Small College Athletics and heard stories of success. Fundraising events that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars, booster clubs that have grown to thousands of members, venues that are sold out of tickets, or sponsorship campaigns that generously boost the budget.
Sometimes these presentations are a bit daunting in the fact that the goals seem unrealistic in comparison to your current position. The key in my opinion is to understand that your goal is not to beat or match the “amount raised” by the presenter…merely to meet or exceed the goal for your project at your institution. Similarly, understand and follow these simple keys to success. Have a plan, get started, and do it well.
Nobody gets 2000 booster club members in their first year. Set a realistic goal of say 100 or 200 members(the goal can always be increased if you’re more successful), treat those members well and build from there. Make sure that “sustainability” is the central theme in your plan. Where will you be in year 5 of the plan?
Setting goals and developing a plan is important but don’t let it stop you from getting started! You can’t host that great event, or sell that new sponsorship idea if you’re not willing to get out and get it done. Allocate time daily/weekly to make progress toward your goal. Solicit the help of others in working toward your vision.
Do it Well
If you hope to develop a program that can significantly impact your department you have to be committed to doing it the right way. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver…and always deliver what you promise. It’s not critical in the early days of any project that you set records…it is critical that those people that are involved in the program see the value of it and enjoy their involvement. If they do, they will be more inclined to participate again and will invite and encourage others.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Commit yourself to a plan of action and build a program that will pay dividends for years to come.