This is one of the more brilliant fundraising ideas I have ever heard. Every spring, college students are moving out of the dorms and apartments to head back home for summer. Most of the time, a ton of great stuff gets thrown away in the process. This situation can become a great fraternity fundraiser.
Essentially, your fraternity needs to set up a consignment sale for a weekend. However, this is going to be a really, really big sale. Your chapter will take a cut of the profits, and return the rest to the owners of the stuff. This is how it would work:
First, the fraternity needs to find a venue for the event. Find a cheap location near campus. Don’t forget you are going to need a large space to hold all the stuff you are selling.
The event also needs to be held one weekend towards the end of school to maximize the potential of people trying to get rid of stuff.
Next, you need to advertise like crazy for people to give you their stuff to sell. To do this, you need to tap into all your resources on campus. Be sure to send an invite to all the Greek chapters on campus. Advertise in the school paper and in the dorms. Write an article about the event for the school paper. The more places you can advertise the better.
Designate a drop-off day for people to drop their stuff off. Be sure to make the drop off point convenient. Also be sure to give people stickers to price all their stuff. Be sure they put a number or some other type of designation on their price sticker so you can tell whose stuff you are selling.
Then, place all the stuff on tables in the room you reserved. Have brothers scheduled to roam the floor to help anyone that needs it. Obviously have brothers working the checkout line. Be sure to place the checkout near the door so nothing disappears.
On the days of the event, charge $1 or $2 for admission. Give 75% of the profit from the sales to the people who brought the stuff in, and keep 25% for the fraternity. Sell drinks at the event also. Some people are going to be there a while, and it is going to be warm this time of year.
After the event, separate all the stuff by owner to make pickup easy. To save the fraternity some headache, try to get as many people as possible to agree that you will donate all the stuff that doesn’t sell to goodwill. It is going to be tough to keep track of all the stuff, and some things are going to go missing. Let the people who bring their stuff by know that the fraternity isn’t responsible for replacing anything that goes missing.
When the people pick up their things that don’t sell, give them the proceeds of their sales. It really is that simple.
All in all, this is a fair amount of work, but can produce huge profits. And even better, this is the type of event that can get more popular every year which makes advertising easier. This event will carry a fraternity through the summer and give the chapter a head start on the next academic year.