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Discovery Program 2020

Tips on How to Fundraise for Your School

Learn how Michelle Jung at the Mesa Community College (MCC) raises funds to allow its students to attend the IDEA World Convention practically for free.

View her PowerPoint presentation here.


  • School Requirements and Limitations. Find out the requirements and limitations at your school for student organizations. The process we have at MCC is vastly different from what we had at Arizona State University (ASU). There was quite a learning curve when I did the same thing at MCC.
  • Establish Non-profit Status. Some of the factors to establish non-profit status include tax-exempt documentation, tax ID numbers (you need to have this for donations from places), and banking requirements. At ASU, we were able to have an account for whenever we needed to draw money. At MCC we have to do everything through Student Life because we have no direct access to our funds. Club By-laws and Faculty Advisors. Find a faculty advisor, and whether it could be a current faculty member or someone else on staff. At ASU, we were not allowed to choose someone on staff (e.g., rec director).
  • Funding Deadlines. At both ASU and MCC we are able to supplement our fundraising by requesting funds from student government. However, they usually have very strict deadlines that fall much earlier than the IDEA World Convention, which happens in June or July. So it's good to get planning started in Fall to request funds in Spring. Last year we missed the deadline and lost out on about $1500 as a result. So we vowed to never make that mistake again!
  • Fundraising Options. Once you have non-profit status, you have a LOT of options for raising funds, including dine-outs (restaurants that give % back of proceeds) and donation drives, etc. We've had a powerlifting contest and fitness contest to raise funds (entry fee donation). Student Life also does canned food drives with cash prizes for first place, etc. We have done best with the Ironman organization as well as other road races (Lifetime, etc.). If you are in a city where they have Ironman, I highly recommend contacting them. You can become a volunteer captain and allocate donation funds to any non-profit of your choice, which can be your club. We make $4000-5000/year volunteering at various races. It takes time and work on the part of the advisor and club officers, but well worth it.