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Alternative Fundraising Could Replace Canning As Main Source For THON’s Solicitation Efforts

As the Penn State community already knows, canning weekends have always contributed to the bulk of THON’s final total. Unfortunately, we no longer can rely on the fundraising outreach weekends for the main source of incoming solicitations this year. This fact poses a lot of questions on how THON’s volunteers are going to compensate for the huge loss of funds come February, and therefore created a conversation within the THON community on what methods will efficiently replace canning for the time being.

The topic of that conversation veered promptly in the direction of alternative fundraising, as it is one of the most prolific ways of raising money aside from funds allocated during fundraising outreach weekends or corporate donors. Affectionately known as “alt. funds”, and stated in the official THON 2016 Rulebook, alternative fundraisers are defined as any type of fundraising event other than canister, corporate, mail, or online solicitation. Basically, alt. funds act as a “catch-all” for fundraisers that don’t fit into another category of fundraising.

It’s assumed that THON is effortlessly trying to push the creation of more alt. funds because of its awareness on how successful they can really be. Alternative fundraisers have specific guidelines outlined in the THON rulebook that must be met, but there isn’t a limit on how creative (or weird) an idea pitch can be.

In fact, the Alternative Fundraising Captains within the Rules and Regulations committee encourage THON volunteers to pitch the most unique ideas to induce heavy attention from potential donors. The less common and conventional the idea, the higher the level of awareness and participation. If an alt. fund is boring, people passing by won’t think twice about joining in on the fun. The hope is that if it’s crazy and bizarre, tons of people will flock to it.

There are endless examples of alternative fundraisers, but a few of the most popular ones are:

  • Bake Sales and Food Sales
  • Merchandise Sales
  • Dress Down Days
  • Coin Collection
  • Yankee Candle Sales
  • Restaurant Fundraisers
  • Pie in the Face
  • Raffles, 50/50s…etc.

However, examples ranging from taping captains to walls, to putting together your own festive photo booth, to mimicking popular carnival games have proven to show huge success rates.

The Alternative Fundraising Captains within R&R have even slotted new office hour times to reflect how serious THON is about building a buzz around alt. funds. The office hours were formed all in hopes of enriching the THON community about how alt. funds work, as well as providing information about them that may be unknown. All hours are held in the THON Office (room 227D in the HUB) and vary throughout the week. The schedule is as follows:

  • Mondays: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Fridays: 12 p.m.-2 p.m.

Alternative fundraisers could really be the answer THON is looking for, even though they’ve always been around. THON Directors and Captains alike seemingly want to see them utilized more than ever before, so polish up your imagination and use your inventiveness to hopefully alleviate the pressure of the cancellation of canning.

About the Author

Kaitlyn Dividock

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Onward State who is entirely too enthusiastic about Pittsburgh sports, music festivals, and crude humor. She is a senior English major who concentrates in Professional and Media Writing and minors in Sociology. She is really fun and very cool, and her favorite color is red. If for some reason you can't find her, she's probably at Primanti's with an ice cold IC Light in her hand. You can follow her on Twitter (@kaitdivi) if you want quality #content, or contact her via email at [email protected]

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