How to Get Funding for #PowerOfYou
by Kalkidan Tewodros, Student at Boston University's Questrom School of Business
As students, it can be difficult to have the funds to participate in programming and conferences. Here are some tips/steps to find resources on your campus to get to #PowerOfYou!
Step 1: Introduction
Briefly introduce your event. Discuss your background, any organizations you may be a part of, and your interest in attending the conference.
Step 2: Create a proposal
Regardless of who you plan to solicit or ask for funds, having a proper proposal drafted will make the ask stronger as you have already done the work to show you’re serious. Listed below are samples of things to include:
Description of Event
Provide an overall scope of the event, including details to be discussed during your initial meeting, such as the goal of the event, possible dates, number of guests, etc.
Travel Logistics & Scheduling
For a conference like NWB, chances are you will need to make travel arrangements. Creating a breakdown of these arrangements including departure and arrival, stay accomodations, etc is crucial to your proposal.
Carefully articulate all the costs associated with the planning and execution of this event. Formatting this section as a series of steps will guide your proposal to being convincing. Be specific within a general category of costs. For example, if you have a line item for conference registration, break out the individual costs for the amount per person and so on. Instead of preparing a proposal with one big price tag at the bottom, write an itemized proposal so your benefactors can understand the individual costs.
Include any details concerning timing or next steps. If the event has a firm date, make sure you indicate that and provide concrete ways that you could use support for.
Be sure to include your contact information. List your email address and phone numbers and stay on top of all communications.
Other sponsorship opportunities outside of monetary contributions
Sometimes people may not be able to help, even if they believe in your cause. It’s okay to ask them to keep you in mind, pass on your proposals to other people in their networks, or support you in other ways. Don’t get discouraged because help isn’t in the form you sought.
Step 3: Find what opportunities/funds exist on campus for student use.
At my University, there are funds allocated to student groups that leaders can ask for with proper proposal. In addition, other sources include different major departments who fund related initiatives, Dean discretionary funds, and a whole host of things. Be sure to look into who has the resources to help you out, and then reach out to initiate a formal introduction.
Step 4: Tap into your networks
Share your proposal on all professional networks and really utilize the connections you have to reach your goals. You never know who may be able to help you. Talk to upperclassmen and campus leaders to understand the dynamics of how your school runs, reach out to student government and inquire about opportunities for funding. You are your own best advocate.