Funding Challenges for Campus Safe Rides Group

Dear Kim,

I am a student leader for a non-profit group on my campus called Project Saferide. We are a free shuttle for women to help prevent sexual assault. We get some money from the university for things like gas and van repairs. However, we have four vans that operate on a daily basis and sometimes the budget covering van repairs is not enough. This is when we have to go into our own miniscule budget (approximately $150) to fund things like engine problems, new brakes, etc. We do small fundraisers here and there (i.e. bake sales and car washes), but I’m looking for something else to do. Only women can use our services and only women can drive the vans. Some men do volunteer in the office, but for the most part, Project Saferide is a strong women’s organization. I believe that women’s safety is something that everyone should be concerned with and I would hate to see us being unable to operate because we couldn’t afford the cost of van repairs. Do you have any suggestions of fundraisers that a group like Project Saferide could do?
—Keeping Women Safe

Dear Keeping,

I used to work for the Women’s Center at my college and walking women home was something we organized. I think your work is very important and makes a big difference in the lives of many women students. I would try one or more of the following:

1) Go to the university and tell them you need more money. They do not want to see any of their students sexually assaulted and the cost of van repairs is a fairly minor way to help insure that this doesn’t happen.

Most universities have student activity fees– each student pays $5-$25 per year on top of their tuition to help pay for campus ministries, clubs and other student activities. Find out the process for becoming one of the groups that is included in the student fees.

2) Go to the students directly. Put a flier and return envelope in everyone’s mail box and ask each student to contribute $5-10. Even though most students will not do this, you will get a small response and that could add up to a few thousand dollars.

3) Get one of the sororities to sponsor an event and make you the recipient of the income. They often do events anyway, and sometimes look for things that have community value. They are probably helped by this service.

Good luck and keep up the good work.