BOONE—Appalachian State University students enrolled in Principles of Fund Raising, an upper-level class within the school’s nonprofit management minor, raised over $12,000 for High Country nonprofits during the spring semester.
Six teams, each made up of four or five students, partnered with the following organizations: Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM), Mountain Alliance, Hospitality House, High Country Caregiver Foundation, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and the High Country Chapter of Purple Heart Homes.
The teams were responsible for conducting a fund raising campaign for their community partners, from start to finish. This involved research and analysis of the organization’s fund raising history, constituency, strengths and weaknesses, media usage and case for support. The majority of teams determined that a special event was the appropriate campaign to undertake. For instance, the Mountain Alliance team hosted Boone’s first-ever yogathon, sponsored by High Country Yoga. The team working with High Country Caregiver Foundation conducted a direct mail campaign, and students working with Hospitality House designed and implemented a sustaining campaign for the organization’s gardens.
Dr. Christina May, who taught the course, said she is thankful for community leaders who are eager to partner with her classes. “This assignment gives the students a taste of real-word nonprofit operations,” May said. “They are able to put what they are learning in the classroom into practice under the mentorship of seasoned practitioners. They gain a lot of awareness. For example, they see that truly engaged board and staff members make a big difference in a campaign, which is an insight they can apply if they one day work or volunteer in the nonprofit sector.”
Senior arts management major Brenna McCallum said she values the experience she gained from the project. “It allowed us to go through trial and error to learn firsthand what is entailed in planning and executing a successful fund raising campaign,” she said. McCallum was the leader of the team that raised money for BRAHM by coordinating a share night at Mellow Mushroom. Businesses that hosted other teams’ campaign events were Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Café Portofino, TAPP Room, Town Tavern, The Local, Pedalin’ Pig and Klondike Café.
Brenda Reece, executive director of High Country Caregiver Foundation, conveyed her appreciation for the chance to collaborate with the class. “These young women were a joy to work with. Their efforts far exceeded their fundraising goal and our expectations and will allow our organization to serve several additional family and kinship caregivers in the High Country,” she said.
President of the High Country Chapter of Purple Heart Homes, Whitney Burns, said, “The students did an incredible job. They took initiative and did everything for the fundraiser on their own with little assistance from me or anyone in my organization. We were blessed to have been involved with this group and can’t thank them enough for their hard work and goodwill.”
The Principles of Fund Raising course is taught every fall and spring. Different nonprofit organizations are asked to partner with the class each semester. To inquire about the possibility of serving as a community partner, contact Dr. Christina May at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
Dr. Christina May, Adjunct Professor