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  • Student Speaks at CPAC About Campus Fundraising

    2/26/2010 4:12:02 PM Posted by Roger Custer

    By Chad Ciocci, Fordham University

    Collegiate conservatives face myriad issues when it comes to activism: entrenched liberal bias on campus, organizational problems as well as funding.  But it is this last issue that activists can do the most to change.  Some groups utilize direct mail campaigns, others campus fundraisers but many overlook and underutilize on-campus funding resources.  I spoke at CPAC 2010 on this topic:   

    Most colleges and universities have some sort of funding mechanism for student groups, typically financed by a student activities fee and the resulting budget is divvied up amongst student groups who usually have to submit a budget and appeal for funding.  This is the process activists must master on campus to get their liberal college to fund their conservative activities, and below are three principles that will help you do so: 

    1. Don’t assume roadblocks and impediments towards funding are necessarily liberal bias on your campus.  Indeed liberal bias is prevalent on all but a few of America’s college campuses, but it may not be what’s holding you up from getting funding for your events.  Liberals are fond of bureaucracy, and they create plenty of it.  Learn the ins and outs of your system, meet and befriend people in the right positions and master all of the hoops and hurdles you must go through to get funding.  The price of ignorance can be tens of thousands of dollars and the success of your activism. 
    2.  Network with other student groups and people who can help you.  Pro-life groups, libertarians and others are natural allies who will cosponsor activities with you and help you acquire more funding, but do not ignore non-traditional allies as well.  Reach out to your business school, student business groups, lecture series, deans, faculty departments and others who may not agree with your philosophy, but nonetheless have an interest in sponsoring and aiding a successful event that will get them publicity as well.  When I hosted Newt Gingrich through Young America's Foundation at Fordham University I had created a network of fifteen plus groups and individuals which included deans, faculty departments and even a liberal groups!  Not everyone will necessarily contribute funding, but they will help market your events and spread the good word because it will do good for their reputations as well. 
    3. Do not passively accept the system as it is.  That is, although effective campus activists master the system that exists, they must also change the system to benefit their cause.  Many schools have a student-run budget committee which allocates funding for student groups.  Be pro-active in filling vacancies and openings with students who are either out-right in favor of your cause and will help you, or at a minimum with students who will give you a fair hearing.  There is no reason to allow liberals to dominate the budget process and fund their own causes when conservative activists have the organization and manpower to change the system in their favor. 

    There are many more principles and tools that can benefit collegiate activists, but the three mentioned above are the most important.  Practice and ingrain these in your activism and you will almost surely have a bigger budget, better events and more success.

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