Bye, bye, bake sale

    Northwestern’s extracurricular offerings are doubtlessly diverse, but there’s one characteristic that unites them: insufficient funding. Chances are your organization needs more money—and in your desperate scramble for dinero, you’ve inevitably resorted to that diet-killing classic, the bake sale.

    You weren’t wrong to try this. The business model for bake sales is sound. Volunteers drop a little time and money, and the benefit organization rakes in raw profit. Better yet, since the desire for doughy, fattening carbs is a basic American instinct, baked goods never go out of style. But if your student group finds itself disenchanted with the constant cookie flow, here are some new ideas for fundraisers that are sure to surprise and excite both your team and your student benefactors.

    1. Sheridan Grand Prix

    Draw two lanes in chalk down the Sheridan sidewalk starting by the Arch and ending near Tech. Keep it on the west side of the street, mind you—it’s far less populated, though it is fairly narrow. Set up two shopping carts side by side and grease the wheels. Friends walking to class together can now pay $5 for a morning race. Members of your organization—preferably those who’ve visited SPAC before—will push the participants down this endless stretch of concrete at breakneck speeds, simultaneously quickening patrons’ commutes and providing them with jolts of adrenaline. Winner gets a lollipop and a Xanax. OPTIONAL: Race strangers. Nothing bonds two jaded Wildcats quite like a near-death experience.

    2. Waa-Mu ticket scalping

    Given our theatre department’s stellar reputation, it may come as a shock that Northwestern has yet to make the shift to StubHub. Your group could pioneer this transition. Buy tickets in bulk—20 or so should do—and jack up the prices three to fourfold. If the parents of ensemble members don’t buy them, nostalgic Chicagoans will. OPTIONAL: Sell tickets to Fundraiser 1. Nothing says community like co-sponsored events.

    3. Pear-squeezing station

    Hear me out. Pears are bulbous toward the bottom, so if you hold one upside down, it fills up the space in your palm. At the top, it thins out, thus keeping stress off the weak outer portion of your hand. Ripe pears are the perfect consistency for stress squeezing. Considering there’s something inherently fulfilling about turning a solid object into obliterated mush, set up a station that allows students to pay $4 in exchange for a pear that they can squeeze right there. Provide water, paper towels and a trashcan, and remind them that they can eat the mashed fruit if they so please. OPTIONAL: Sacrifice one of your group members as a target. The only thing more satisfying than squeezing fruit is nailing someone with it—so charge an extra $5 and warm up your arm.


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