Tips and tutorials

Student fundraising tips (art school)

School’s back and in the case of many classes and teams, fundraising for end of year activities is well underway. Let’s face it, setting aside numerous days to sit in the sun, wind & rain waiting for sales sucks. So how can you maximise your sales opportunities and make sure you get as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time possible?

I’ve had to do a fair bit of fundraising and brainstorming in my time including (but not limited to) when I worked for my high school radio station and needed to drum up support from the local community. Here’s some ideas for making all roads lead to your stall so you truly can sit back and let the sales come to you.


You can use these tips for your fundraising but you’re not permitted to republish on the web or anywhere else without my permission.

Italian "camper" Charm

Italian "camper" Charm © Matteo Cortese (Lightsaberman on Flickr)

In no particular order –

Some marketing ideas and strategies

  • Don’t just market to other students/team members. They’re pretty broke too and trying to save for their own courses. You need to think outside the campus, even if you can’t leave it.
  • Consider collaborating with other classes/student areas/teams to hold your events on the same day for a larger appeal, broader marketing and audience.
  • Utilise the talents of other team members and students. Don’t just handwrite a sign – get it designed. Your campus probably has access to really cheap printing so incorporate it into your expenses fund or ask a local printer to help out.
  • Set up a Twitter account for your event or team. It’s free! Then you can Tweet all your events and post pictures of your stalls. Make sure you use the # to tag your tweets with the city/suburb and genre. That way those people who search for events in your area will be aware of you.
  • Can you advertise your stall in a free ad paper such as Quokka or Gumtree?
  • Will any local papers or street press publicise your stall or event?
  • Consider setting up a Redbubble or Etsy store to sell your team’s work and let people buy your team t-shirts. You can have all funds go to a central account. Redbubble will handle all sales for you. With Etsy someone will have to be in charge.
  • At least a week before, visit or contact local businesses to let them know about your stall. They may appreciate not having to bring lunch that day.
  • Are there any construction sites nearby? Let the workers know there’s going to be cheap food and drinks available. The same goes for any backpacker hostels in the area.
  • Will the shops you buy your art and school supplies from put up a sign for you?
  • Put posters up in areas people have to walk through to get to your campus ie – The cultural centre, train station, bus stops, alleys etc.
  • When asking for sponsorship, it’s a good idea to have a slideshow or printed cards showing exactly what the sponsors are donating money towards and show off your work at the same time. Don’t be afraid to contact local businesses to see if they want new artwork for their boardrooms/ offices.
  • Consider marketing around your own home and shops too. you never know who works near your campus.
  • Make sure every building of your campus has signs with dates, times and prices of your wares. That way people have money on them on the day!

How to have a little fun with your stall & mix things up a bit

  • Can anyone in your team facepaint? If not can anyone else on campus? Charge a fee for it. You’re never too old for a bit of fun!
  • Make a really, really big sign or banner out of secondhand sheets or clothing.
  • Get a team member to drive around the neighbourhood with signs and streamers on their car to attract attention (legally).
  • Have a “Chalk Chase” with all arrows leading back to your stall.
  • Blutack enticing pictures of your goods to streetsigns (at traffic pedestrian crossings) to let people know you’re there. Do this for at least 2 blocks in every direction of your stall/event.
  • Try something different – have a fruit stall with frozen fruit, strawberries & cream etc. Arts & crafts or flowers. Sell thrifted umbrellas, jumpers and scarves in winter.
  • Organise a supplies stall with school books and art supplies students no longer want or need. To make pricing easier have everything on tables or boxes marked $2, 45, $10 etc.
  • Dress up for the event. Fancy dress or a theme that stands out.

Remember, the idea is to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time. Wouldn’t you rather have 1 or 2 really successful events by putting in lots of effort than having to fundraise through the year? Give it a go!

This piece was written by Kell Rowe of Blackcurrant Photography in March 2011. Publication on sites other than or is not permitted.


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