Looking for a fundraiser for a college town? This idea really takes the cake… or Ramen noodles! Sell exam care packages for college students, which will be delivered to the student during exam week! What a great gift from parents or friends!
Exam care packages are a wonderful way to send good thoughts and sustenance at a crucial time of year for any student. A few snacks, some quick meals and pick-me-up treats can make final exam time a little more enjoyable. Here’s how to get started:
Get permission from the school
First and foremost, get permission from the local school. You’ll need to make sure another group is not already doing this same fundraiser. While it is likely that a service group (like a club, sorority or fraternity) from the school may do this fundraiser, keep in mind that their students will also be the ones who are overwhelmed at exam time! By having an outside, non-student organization (especially a non-profit group!) take on this fundraiser, the need will be met, and no student will suffer from lack of study time.
Create Samples and Research Prices
Create a sample kit for a demo. Research prices for various items at warehouse or bulk grocery stores. Try to keep your exam kits priced reasonably, such as $15 for one kit and $20 for a slightly better kit. Ask the store manager if items can be purchased at a discount, or if you could receive a donation of some of the items to offset the costs of your fundraiser.
Advertise and Collect Orders!
Next, you’ll need to advertise in advance through mailings to the students’ parents. You’ll need to put a notice and order form in the school paper, which many parents receive. If the school is encouraging your fundraiser, the administration may be willing to allow the order form to be sent to parents as a flier through their regular mailings. Fliers can also be sent to the students’ personal mailboxes, or through an e-mail distro. Be sure to advertise heavily from mid-October through Thanksgiving weekend so the students and their parents have ample time to sign up and pay for their exam care packages! You can also send a gift certificate note via mail (or e-mail!) to announce the upcoming delivery of their special care package!
Be sure you have a webpage set up to highlight your packages, with photos of the contents. You may want to have a separate mailbox address to receive orders via mail, or assign a special e-mail address to receive e-orders from your website, or payments from Paypal or another online payment company.
Be sure to price your kits reasonably, but with a decent profit for your group! On your order form, you may also need to ask for the dorm building and room number, instead of the regular mailing address. This will ensure you have options for delivery, instead of just dropping items off at the mail room. Be sure to get the students’ phone numbers so you can call to arrange a drop off if you are unsuccessful at delivering.
Buy only what you need
By the Monday after Thanksgiving, the majority of your orders will be received. Tally up your totals for each item you need to package together. Purchase only the number of items necessary to complete your kits. You may have a few random orders come in later that you will need to fill. You may still have a few items leftover if you purchase the bulk items in cases. These items can be used for your volunteers at a later date, or to pass out at future events.
Package kits together
Get together with your volunteers shortly after Thanksgiving to put kits together. Set up mini-stations where volunteers can move around filling their kits with necessary items. Make this a party atmosphere with upbeat music, and serve pizza! Use this time to decompress before the holidays, and spend time chatting with your fellow volunteers! Store the completed kits in a safe place away from children, pets, and freezing temperatures.
Be sure to time your deliveries so that they arrive at least a full day before the first cram sessions for final exams. You may need to deliver the items directly to the students’ dorm rooms, and not through the mailbox system. Group deliveries together by dorms, and by local apartment areas so volunteers only need to cover a small area.
Ideas for the care packages:
Granola mix (or bars)
Rice Crispy Treats
Bags of Nuts, Raisins or Dried Fruit
Bag of Pretzels
Coffee or Hot Cocoa samples
Ramen noodle or Cup O Soup
#2 pencils, pre-sharpened
2 Black ink pens
Check with your local Health Department to see if your group would be allowed to sell home baked goodies as a part of the exam kit. This can be tricky in some areas, but would be a really nice gesture for the students receiving the exam kits!