Your GSA club probably has a lot of wonderful ideas and projects in mind, but does not have enough money to support them. In order to be an effective leader of a strong GSA club, it is very important to understand how fundraising works. Many students elect a treasurer to be in charge of all financial responsibilities, but fundraising is work that everyone needs to know how to do! This resource sheet will help get your club on the path to raising dollars to spend on queer-fabulous events!
It is important that every GSA member understands fundraising and thinks about ways to help the club members raise money.
Once your GSA has decided on a possible fundraiser, use GSA Network's “How to Plan an Event” Resource Guide to help you with the logistics of the event. Follow the numbers with the Event/Project Planning Worksheet
If your GSA has a very successful fundraiser event,
let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org—we’d like to hear about it!
If you are unsure of how to ask for donations here are a few examples:
Hi, May I speak with _____? Do you have a minute to discuss (school name)? I am a student there and we have (a problem, an opportunity. Explain what it is in 1 sentence). This is what we want to do (explain your project in one sentence); and we need your support. This is how you can help (ask for something specific like donate $20, buy 2 tickets, donate food to feed 10 people, etc.) Do you have any questions? Your donation will (be specific: make our school safer, help 10 students, buy 2 books for our library, etc.) Will you support us?
Hi, may I speak with __________? Hi, this is _______ calling, I wanted to talk to you about an organization I’m involved with at school, do you have a few minutes?
I’m a member of a student-run club at school called the __________. We work to fight homophobia and transphobia and anti-LGBT harassment in our school by educating our peers about sexual orientation and gender identity issues as well as providing a safe space for queer youth and their allies.
Some of the projects and event we’ve sponsored in the past include: _________. This year we’d like to _____________ [mention a particular project your GSA is working on]. We also have weekly meetings at school, where folks come to hang out, have a snack, plan events and talk about what we can do for social justice.
I’m calling to ask if you’d like to become a supporter of the ________ by making a donation to our club. [Give them time to think before you say anything else.]
Great! Do you have a pen? You should make your checks payable to: _________. You can send the check to: ____________.
[In a few days, call them to see if they’ve had a chance to mail the check yet.]
[Don’t give up right away! Ask them to donate any amount they can]
[If they want to know more about the GSA, try to answer any questions they have and offer to send them GSA-related materials if you have any]
[Thank them for their time and move on to the next person. You can’t win them all. You should expect as many as half of the people you ask to say no, that’s normal. People have many reasons for saying no, don’t assume it’s personal.]
For the past ___ months, I have been involved with a student-run club at my school called the ___________ Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). We work to fight homophobia and transphobia and anti-LGBT harassment in our school by educating our peers about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and providing a safe space for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) youth and their allies. I am writing to ask you for you to donate any amount possible to this organization to help make some of our upcoming projects possible.
Harassment towards LGBTQ youth is a very real problem in our school. In ______ [your town] harassment and bullying against queer youth in our remains a serious problem. In many schools, students hear words or phrases such as “fag” and “that’s so gay” multiple times a day. For instance, [Give specific examples from your school]. Our GSA club was started to help make our school safer for LGBTQ students, teachers, and staff by educating the school community about sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
I joined the GSA because [explain why and how it has helped you].
Some of the projects and events we’ve sponsored in the past include: ______ [list previous projects]. This year, we’d like to work on _______ [name a specific project. Make it clear what their money will go towards]. We also have weekly meetings at school, where folks come to hang out, plan events, and talk about issues in their lives and social justice.
We can’t continue this important work without the support of individuals who really believe in what we’re doing to fight homophobia and transphobia in our school and make it easier.
[sign the letter]
P.S If you have other questions about the GSA please call me at _______. I hope you will support our GSA and its efforts to make our school safer for LGBT youth.
[If you send a letter, it is very important to do follow-up phone calls about a week later. This will increase your success in getting donations.]
Community grant-making programs give money to organizations or student clubs that submit an application that explain why they need the money. Usually, the grants are given to organizations/clubs that have specific detailed projects they would like to work on, but need money in order to accomplish it.
Here is some advice from Julie Dean of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley:
The following organizations/foundations have funding available for youth-initiated projects. Sign up for GSA Network News at www.gsanetwork.org to stay updated on various grant opportunities.
Also check out these organizations that have funded GSA clubs before:
Don't forget to check with your local community’s foundation to see what kind of opportunities they can offer to your GSA! To see what’s in your area, just do a search online for the name of your community and “community foundation.”
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