Lab Manuals, Safety Goggles, Lab Notebooks: One Chapter’s Fundraising Story

In 2010, our chapter, like many around the country, had a problem with finances.  We wanted to send our members to meetings, but we lacked the funds to make it happen.  We came together, and, after much brainstorming, came up with an idea that not only helped us send some members to the National Meeting in Anahiem but also benefited our fellow chemistry students!

Our fundraiser began by creating faculty-developed lab manuals for four chemistry courses, ordering safety glasses, and compiling past exams for three courses. These were sold at a fair price to students taking chemistry classes, and we even expanded our distribution network by asking the graduate students to help out!  The department fully supports our fundraising activities, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them.

Illinois State University local section poster session

Illinois State students presenting at a poster session

Once we accumulated the funds, we distributed them to chapter members in the form of travel and research grants.  The majority of the funds were awarded to six chapter members, who used the money to attend the ACS National Meeting in Anaheim to present their research. The awarding of these travel and research grants is based on students’ involvement in ACS Student Chapter activities (rather than their academic performance) as an incentive to invest their time with our chapter.

Our initial fundraiser was so successful that we decided to add more inventory items in Fall 2011, including lab manuals for 10 courses, two styles of safety glasses, past exams for one course, and laboratory notebooks. The funds collected from the sale of more than 1,500 lab manuals during the 2011 – 2012 academic year allowed for the distribution of $8,050 to chapter members in the form of travel or research grants. Nine students were awarded travel grants that allowed them to attend the Spring 2012 ACS National Meeting, and two students were awarded research grants. The funds collected from the lab manual sales in fall 2012 will be used to help even more students to attend upcoming meetings and conferences as well as for research grants.

Undergraduate Students at the Anahiem Meeting

The sale of lab manuals is currently our largest fundraising event and is supported by more and more motivated chapter students.  It not only serves the students enrolled in chemistry courses by providing them with laboratory materials, but also benefits chapter members by awarding them travel and research grants to allow them to grow as scientists. Our chapter continues to promote this event to attract new chapter members, benefit current chapter members, and encourage students to participate in chemistry activities.

Is your chapter interested in this type of fundraising event to support student travel to ACS local, regional, and national meetings?  If you have other fundraising ideas, please feel free to share!


One thought on “Lab Manuals, Safety Goggles, Lab Notebooks: One Chapter’s Fundraising Story

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