Getting Funding?

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Getting Funding?

Postby TheDoctor » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:34 pm

I'm starting at team at NIU, and I'm not sure how best to defend my organization's request for funding. We'd like to start attending tournaments as quickly as possible, and I'd rather not ask team members to pay out of pocket. Does anyone have any experience in requesting funding? What makes a student senate feel that a club is worth spending money on?
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Crimson Rosella » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:45 pm

Here are a few things, based on the limited experience I've had with the Univ. of South Carolina team.

First of all, really make an effort to communicate with your student government and learn how it works, in terms of funding student organizations (and yours in particular). The protocol for this is often overly bureaucratic and exasperating, but having people who understand and can interact with the people at student government has been strongly correlated with higher tournament attendance for us (and more success in quizbowl, and more happiness, etc.). You might consider scheduling a meeting to discuss this with an official in your student government.

When you actually do have to make a pitch for your team in order to convince student government to fund your activities, just tell the truth. Quizbowl is awesome and if your student government is going to help out Omicron Kappa flavored-honey-of-the-month Rugby club for Australian-American Journalists* with their yearly exotic animal expo, they should be willing to consider helping a club participate in academic competitions. Mention that schools with strong quiz bowl programs often attract good high school players (who, oddly enough, are like good students or something sometimes). Really pushing the notion that quizbowl is academic seems to have worked well for our interactions with student government.

Secondly, don't assume you have to limit yourselves to student government funds. Consider asking academic departments and other institutions who might have an interest in seeing a successful academic team at your university for funds. We've gotten generous donations from working events with an honors fraternity and, in the past, have been partially sponsored by the Honors College here at South Carolina. I'm not sure whether you're required to have a faculty advisor like we are, but you could consider asking them for help with this as well.

Thirdly, you can generate revenue by hosting tournaments, for both high schools and colleges. Some clubs are supported entirely by the revenue they receive from regularly doing this, and hosting tournaments is a great way to get your new members involved and interested in quizbowl without having to travel or potentially pay out of pocket. Even if you can't completely absorb your team's costs with this, you typically can manage to make the financial burden on individual members more manageable this way.

*No offense to any of you OKFHMRCAAJers out there. I loved the Hyacinth Macaws last year.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Joe Romersa » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:58 am

(I know we arent really a new team, and we arent really collegiate, but this question fits best here.)
Does anyone have any fundraising ideas for a high school?

We can't sell candy, and I doubt we can get enough people to come to carwashes *edited out something here*
Our school is really low on funds, and we REALLY don't want to pay out of our pocket to go to tournaments.
Last edited by Joe Romersa on Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby BGSO » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:17 am

al3xWal3x wrote:(I know we arent really a new team, and we arent really collegiate, but this question fits best here.)
Does anyone have any fundraising ideas for a high school?

We can't sell candy, and I doubt we can get enough people to come to carwashes with just 1 decentlooking girl.
Our school is really low on funds, and we REALLY don't want to pay out of our pocket to go to tournaments.


Host a tournament, there are a plethora of housewrites that are always looking to be mirrored in addition to the sets HSAPQ and NAQT puts out.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby cwRsync » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:55 am

When I was in high school, on one of the afternoons when most people would skip school (like right before Thanksgiving or something like that), the A team would play some faculty members, and the B team would play against a selection of students who had bought raffle tickets. In addition to selling raffle tickets, other people would buy tickets to watch the A team-faculty and B team-student matches as those last few periods of the day were boring and they wanted to get out of class.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Camelopardalis » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:02 am

al3xWal3x wrote:(I know we arent really a new team, and we arent really collegiate, but this question fits best here.)
Does anyone have any fundraising ideas for a high school?

We can't sell candy, and I doubt we can get enough people to come to carwashes with just 1 decentlooking girl.
Our school is really low on funds, and we REALLY don't want to pay out of our pocket to go to tournaments.


In addition to hosting tournaments, which is probably the best route, our team had success by finding corporate sponsorship. Businesses tend to like the idea of funding a) students, and better yet, b) teams of students, and even better still, c) teams of students who are going to academic competition, and best of all, d) teams students who are traveling great distances to attend academic competitions.

By writing up a letter that described quizbowl and its merits, as well as the team and the school, and then sending it to several dozen businesses that we felt were likely to offer financial support, we managed to raise over $1500 in one month.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby New York Undercover » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:38 am

out of curiosity, which businesses, or at least, what kind of businesses were willing to sponsor you?
I'm interested in getting moderate funding for our school, as the following year will be our first in NAQT in a while, and the heads of our school still seem to only like 4 Quarters style quizbowl, and NTAE...
Hosting housewritten tournaments doesn't work that well in circuits like Texas where there are only a few teams that have really switched to good quizbowl (though a good number go to NAQT IS and IS-A tournaments).
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Joe Romersa » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:48 am

Sorry, I forgot to mention that our first plan was hosting tournaments. We run one annually, and I am trying to get at least 2 more this school year. However, SouthernCal has the same problem as Texas (except everyone loves NAQT, not :chip: , which isnt terrible, but seeing what could have been good mACF tournaments die is kind of sad)

The raffle idea sounds like it would fail at our school. I doubt people would buy tickets for that, unless we forced them to (and our team is a bit passive.

How does corporate sponsorship work, because I can't see a company in this crappy economy just giving us money to play quizbowl.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby ValenciaQBowl » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:17 pm

Local grocery stores/chains or auto places and such (the types that often sponsor little league teams, for example) are often willing to kick in small amounts to nearby high schools for various activities, including quiz bowl. Of course you should tell them you'd be happy to make a big poster/banner noting their generous sponsorship (or perhaps they'd pay for one to be made) at events you play in or host. And emphasize the academic/high-achiever aspects of the game, something such businesses are usually happy to be associated with. It's worth a shot, anyway.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Camelopardalis » Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:42 pm

al3xWal3x wrote: How does corporate sponsorship work, because I can't see a company in this crappy economy just giving us money to play quizbowl.


From my experience, companies are pretty fond of the idea of supporting a high school quiz team, because they like supporting the community and/or being associated with sending smart kids to academic competitions. Plus, each individual company doesn't give that much money.

We primarily targeted finance/tech companies or community-oriented large businesses (groceries, etc.), since both of those have relatively large amounts of money and would benefit the most from a sponsorship of this nature. Community businesses often support things like this anyway (small sports teams, charity barbecues, etc.) and finance/tech companies are mostly tied to "corporate social responsibility", so they benefit from being philanthropic in that way. Small businesses, from my experience, tend not give away money, since a) they don't have much of it, and b) they're not getting too much exposure from a donation like this. Also, chains are things to avoid, since they mostly have to check with their head office, which will take too long and more often than not, result in no money.

Since there's not much in the way of exposure that we can offer them, in return for their donation, they received framed, signed letters of thanks (on school letterhead) that they could display in their office (which, having followed up, they all did). We also dropped their names whenever we could in the school newsletter, assemblies, at the competition itself, and, most notably, in some of the newspaper articles that went out about our team.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby Charbroil » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:53 am

klebian wrote:I'm interested in getting moderate funding for our school, as the following year will be our first in NAQT in a while, and the heads of our school still seem to only like 4 Quarters style quizbowl, and NTAE...


When you say that the "heads" of your school prefer 4 quarters and NTAE, does that mean that they've officially come out against NAQT/mACF, or is it simply that they're used to supporting 4 quarters? I was wondering, since usually school administrations (as far as I've experienced them) don't care that much about Quiz Bowl formats and other minutae like that, and thus if you directly talk to you principal (superintendent, whatever), he/she might be willing to support you even if your activities director turned you down. All you have to do is keep dropping the word "national"--"nationally recognized format," "most prestigious national tournament,"* etc.--and usually principals will bite, if only to make themselves look good. I mean, what kind of funding are you thinking of? Going to HSNCT or just going to tournaments? If the latter, your coach should be able to make that decision, since he/she, I imagine, is responsible for filling out the funding requisitions for that kind of thing, and the activities director just rubber-stamps them. If the former, of course, what I just mentioned might work.

*No slam against PACE NSC intended, of course--I'm just saying that NAQT is better known.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby New York Undercover » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:57 am

Well, surprisingly, my school seems willing to pay for some of the stuff we do. My coach has been doing this for a while but it's been many years since he last did NAQT, he stuck with chip for a while, until his behavior totally repulsed my coach, and eventually with this "state" tournament that runs 4 quarters format. This is the tournament that qualifies Texas schools to NTAE, and probably just through the many years of my coach's doing this, the principal or whomever has recognized this tournament (and the fall tournament that is also run at that university- these are the only two tournaments we attended this last year before NTAE) and NTAE as "good" tournaments, for lack of a better word. An administrator accompanied our team to NTAE (required in our district) and when I openly mentioned not wanting to return because of the format, she saw me as being rude/complaining because we lost early.
My coach is willing to listen to ideas though. He was receptive of trying to attend NAQT tournaments this year, but he wasn't sure if the school would recognize them. I am interested in attending HSNCT and this is, probably, a bigger concern than a few local tournaments (the cost of going to 5 or 6 of these tournaments is probably about equal to the cost of attending the two tournaments we attended last year). Though it is clear to me that HSNCT is more widely recognized and tons cheaper than NTAE (my school paid everything for NTAE, which was quite surprising to me), I don't know I would be able to convey either of these points to my school.
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Re: Getting Funding?

Postby at your pleasure » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:41 pm

Though it is clear to me that HSNCT is more widely recognized and tons cheaper than NTAE (my school paid everything for NTAE, which was quite surprising to me), I don't know I would be able to convey either of these points to my school.

The principal may bite if you drop "prestigious", "national" and "cheaper" enough. Otherwise, prehaps a letter signed by various quizbowl luminaries(with credentials, of course) explaining the benefits of NAQT and PACE might be worth a try.
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