Written by Julia Tofan
[b]Starting a Chapter[/b]
Givology chapters bring together members from cities, schools, and universities to take action and support Givology's students and projects, furthering Givology's mission of making education accessible to children all over the world. Givology currently has about 30 chapters across the United States and internationally in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, and we hope to keep on growing with your help! You may be wondering what Givology chapters have done in the past and how you can start a chapter too, so we talked to the presidents of some of our most active chapters to see how they have supported Givology students and projects and how others can get involved too. Among many ways of giving back, Givology chapters fundraise, educate, and increase awareness of education in developing countries.
Chapters are responsible for raising awareness about challenges in access to education, fundraising to support Givology students and projects, and working together toward reaching common goals. [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/start-chapter/]Givology's Chapter Guide[/url] offers more information on the logistics of starting a chapter, as well as ideas and opportunities for chapters to fundraise, educate, make a difference, and have fun doing it!
[b]Recruiting Chapter Members[/b]
One of the first steps in starting a chapter is recruiting members and appointing officers. Binghamton Givology Chapter president Alyssa knows that it may be difficult to increase the amount of members a chapter has, but she assures individuals hoping to start a chapter not to let that slow them down. "For clubs, a small amount of active members might be scary because they will feel as if they cannot make an impact, but I can assure you that is not the case." Chapters of all different sizes have achieved amazing things and have contributed greatly to Givology.
Most chapters start with only a few members, but often grow quickly through recruiting events. Emailing friends, posting flyers, using social media, and reaching out to local organizations that promote education and giving are great ways to get started in building a chapter. Our Binghamton chapter shares that their email list grew to 300 students, enabling the chapter to engage a large part of the local community in their awareness and fundraising events. Our Vietnam chapter also shares that their recruiting events had great success, gathering 70 applications and leading them to accept 15 new members to their team.
[b]Fundraising and Supporting Givology[/b]
After chapters form, they begin to fundraise for students and projects that Givology sponsors, holding events at least twice a year. Be it through dance-a-thons, international food nights, silent auctions, or penny drives, there are many ways that a chapter can fundraise. More ideas can be found in the Chapter Guidebook, and all new ideas are welcome!
Vietnam Chapter President Thanh gives us some insight into her chapter's fundraising. One of the chapter's most successful fundraising events was a flower sale to celebrate Vietnamese Teacher Appreciation Day with a wide variety of flower baskets, gaining 33 orders to benefit Givology.
Our Binghampton Chapter also participates in fundraising and in just 3 months, they raised $2,000 for Givology students and projects. Chapter President Alyssa shares her experience in fundraising and partnering with local businesses like Krispy Kreme:
"Our club does not have a lot of active members, but in just three months, we have raised over $2,000 to donate to Givology. Naturally, we are wondering how much more we could have raised if we had more members, but I think that’s a pretty impressive amount we raised! You are probably wondering how in the world we raised so much money in so little time. Well, that can be answered in just two words – Krispy Kreme. Yes, I am talking about the place that sells doughnuts. Once a month, our club partners with Krispy Kreme and has a fundraiser. You would be surprised at how much students love and adore doughnuts. If I had a dollar for every single time I saw someone’s face light up because they saw a box of glazed doughnuts, we would be able to sponsor every student in Givology. Each fundraiser costs us about $140, but we always end up making almost $400. On top of raising a lot of money, we can promote our club, and have fun trying to be salespeople."
The Binghamton chapter partners with other businesses such as Sweet Frog, Coldstone, and Five Below to raise money. If customers mention the fundraiser, a percentage of their purchase is donated to Givology, making this an easy way to get the word out about Givology and raise money.
The Binghamton Chapter also fundraises by hosting concerts and talent shows on campus. Featuring local students and bringing together the community, these concerts and talent shows are a lot of fun and offer everyone a chance to help Givology, whether they perform, attend the event, or make a donation!
Alyssa tells us that her chapter does much more than fundraise. "Besides fundraising money, we have found other ways to give back to Givology. Members of the Binghamton community have recently donated six boxes of school supplies to our club to donate to the students sponsored by Givology! Binghamton Givology members also actively participate in Letter Writing Campaigns to the same students they donated school supplies to at least twice a semester."
[b]Education Advocacy and Awareness[/b]
Chapters help us bring awareness to the issue of education in the developing world through a variety of initiatives. They host educational speakers, start social media campaigns, blog, film informational youtube videos, and hold other events to educate people about Givology's mission.
Our University of Pennsylvania chapter has held speeches to teach university students about Givology, microfinancing, and social entrepreneurship, offering them insight into how Givology works as an online giving market.
The University of Pennsylvania Chapter also started a campaign asking people to share what they would give up in order to make a donation that would give children the opportunity to get an education. Be it Netflix, coffee, or movie tickets, people were able to put into perspective the daily amenities many of us enjoy.
[b]Promote Education Locally[/b]
Our Givology chapters make very important contributions to making sure students across the world have access to education, but sometimes, that means the best place to start is in their own communities!
Our Vietnam Chapter has led local projects to teach students in Vietnam's fishing villages. In an educational project called "A Better Summer" they conducted a remedial and life skills class for 20 children in May Chai Fishing Village. The project helped ensure that students had the life skills that they needed to succeed and that they were caught up with their lessons. As part of the initiative, the chapter started an associated campaign, "Happiness for you," and collected donations of 18 textbook sets, 100 notebooks, 50 books, 5 pencil boxes, and clothing for the children in the school. In underprivileged communities, many students lack the resources that they need to go to school, and they're often too busy working to learn important life skills that they need to take care of themselves. "A Better Summer" addressed these needs and gave students access to resources and education.
[b]Why should you start a chapter?[/b]
Fundraising, raising awareness, and engaging local communities to promote education gives chapters the opportunity to change the world through every student that they give to as well as educate people on the reality that many people face without an education. Not only that, but starting a chapter is a great chance to make friends and work together with people that have a common desire to spread education. Our chapters accomplish many amazing things, but they have a lot of fun along the way.
Binghamton Givology Chapter President Alyssa tells us that their chapter loves to goof off at meetings and just have fun once in a while. "We have had meetings where we just pig out on pizza and cookies, build a gingerbread house, and design our own tie-dye Givology t-shirts. These are my favorite moments because everyone is simply enjoying himself or herself."
[b]Advice to Future Chapters[/b]
Binghamton Givology Chapter president Alyssa tells us what made everything worth it and what made her chapter so successful.
"It is admiring to know that there are still people in this world who want to give back to those who are less fortunate. I could not be more grateful for the members in the Binghamton Chapter. If it were not for them, our club would be nowhere today. If I could give any club one piece of advice, it would be to listen to your club and to make sure they are happy as members. You would be surprised at how creative and intelligent their ideas are! They are the foundation for your club and the reason why you will all make a huge difference to the students of Givology!"
To learn more about starting a chapter and get started, individuals can look through [url=http://givology.com/get-involved/start-chapter/]chapter material[/url] and email Givology at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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