Oberlin Blogs

Raising the Roof (and the funds)

December 15, 2009

Alice Ollstein ’10

My job as coordinator of the Nicaragua Sister Partnership consists of many different tasks -- everything from running committee meetings to publicity to event planning -- but a major part of the position is fundraising. We have to fundraise not only for the Winter Term trip, in order to make it possible for any student to be able to afford to go, but also for our on-campus activities. This past week, on top of writing final papers and studying, I and my other committee members raised $700 towards our trip! This is on top of raising a great deal of money over the rest of the semester.

Here was our plan of attack: First, hit up every coop and dorm on campus. They all get budgets from the college and the students who live there can vote on what to donate that money to. You just have to show up at their weekly "money night," argue your case, and wait for the results. Sometimes you get a couple hundred bucks, sometimes you get nothing. It's always worth a shot.

We also went knocking on the doors of the College itself, getting generous grants from the Winter Term office, the Study Away office, the Hispanic Studies department, the Student Finance Committee, and the Bonner Center of Service and Learning.

This week we had a three-pronged attack. We sold framed photos taken on the last delegation at the Alternative Gift Fair, a weeklong event in the Science Center where organizations ranging from a stray cat rescue group to the Oberlin Heritage Center to the Nicaragua Sister Partnership hawked their wares to raise money for various good causes. We sold almost all the photos and made some good connections for the future!

We also held a fundraiser at the 'Sco, the student dance club, last Saturday night. We contracted two bands to play for us: Who, What, Werewolf and Son de Oberlin, the campus' very own live salsa band. In between these bands, my housemate and I DJ'd to get people on the dance floor (Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" rounded off the night, of course). We had a great turnout, especially considering it was during finals and there were several competing parties.

Another money-maker was a raffle we held. We brainstormed for a while to come up with a gift good enough to get students to buy tickets and it finally came to us: a goody basket of treats that we'd bring the winner back from Nicaragua, including rum, coffee, and chocolate. We sold over $100 tickets and drew the winner at the 'Sco.

Whew! So much work! But now my fellow delegates and I get to go to Nicaragua and reap the fruits of our labor. Check out my other blog to track our doings and whereabouts.

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