by Chapter Consultant Ellyce Loveless
Have you ever wondered how to enhance your Alpha Phi Omega experience? One of the best ways to do this is by celebrating Leadership, Friendship and Service with brothers from all over the country at the biennial National Convention! Lucky for us, the 2016 National Convention in Pittsburgh is fast approaching. December 27 - 30, many chapters across the nation will gather together to attend leadership workshops and APO LEADS courses, participate in fellowship games and banquets, and provide service to a variety of causes.
This opportunity is an exciting and rewarding one, and many chapters are able to fund-raise significantly to help send brothers to Convention. Here are some ideas that your chapter can implement to fund-raise for National Convention - several of these require advanced planning and need to be approved by your college or university.
1) Puppy Playtime: Collaborate with a humane society or service dog training organization to bring dogs to campus during a midterms or finals week. Take donations or charge $5 per 10 minutes of de-stress time with the puppies. Give half of the money raised during the event to the humane society or service dog organization and keep the other half for the chapter. Make sure to advertise ahead of time so that people will attend!
2) Lincoln for Lincoln: Mail out letters to friends and family. State what you are hoping to learn from Alpha Phi Omega National Convention and how excited you are for this great opportunity. Include a penny in the letter and ask for a return of a $5 bill - thus trading a Lincoln for a Lincoln! It's much easier and often more successful to ask for a specific, small donation than to ask for a donation of any size.
3) Flamingo Wars: Place plastic flamingos (or other recognizable object) in or outside of professors' offices or student organization offices. Attach a letter and envelope stating fundraising objectives, brief information about Alpha Phi Omega, and the rules for the flamingo war. For $5, APO will remove the plastic flamingos, for $10 APO will place the flamingos in someone else's office. For this activity, make sure to have campus approval.
4) Host an open mic night, trivia night, or benefit show and invite members of campus and community to attend. Reach out to vendors and restaurants for food or prize donations. Split the proceeds between APO and a charity of choice to encourage more people to participate.
5) Lastly, check with your administration or Student Government Association to see if they have a budget for conference attendance. Often, your campus will already have student organization funds set aside for this purpose!
When thinking about creating new fundraisers, be creative! The more unique and memorable a fundraiser is, the more likely people are to participate and have fun with it. It's also great to set up an ongoing fund for all APO conferences - Sectional, Regional, National, Membership Academy and University, Serve, etc. That way members are able to make use of all the resources available to them through Alpha Phi Omega.
National Convention is a valuable experience, so don't wait to fund-raise so that your chapter can attend! We can't wait to see you in Pittsburgh!