As we approach NEHS’ first Chapter Fundraising Week (February 26 – March 1, 2024), NEHS would like to share some ideas to support chapter fundraising efforts. We hope your chapter will join us for Chapter Fundraising Week and will work to raise funds to support its community service projects.
Partner with a Fundraising Organization
A sure-fire way to raise funds is by partnering with a fundraising organization. Many NEHS chapters raise funds in this way and lots of chapters, and schools that host chapters, work with organizations like Double Good. Fundraising organizations are usually good to work with because they take the stress out of organizing a fundraising event. In the case of Double Good, the NEHS Chapter Advisor registers and sets up a fundraiser of no more than 4 days, before students create online pop-up stores selling Double Good popcorn. All sales are made online through a secure platform and via credit/debit card, so no cash exchanges hands and NEHS chapters receive 50% of the total sale value either by bank transfer or check. Such a process allows multiple students to sell a product out of school hours and to family and friends who may live outside the local community.
Learn more about NEHS’s partnership with Double Good in the “NEHS Chapter Fundraising Week 2024” blog.
Partner with a Local Business
Partnering with local businesses is a good way to reach out into your community and let local people know what your NEHS chapter is working on, and also a good way to raise some funds! Many NEHS chapters partner with local restaurants and bakeries and receive a percentage (usually 10-20%) of each sale made to people who provide an NEHS flyer or mention the NEHS chapter when purchasing. In some cases, chapters organize a special “pizza night” or “Taco Tuesday” allowing this process to be condensed into a single evening. This means greater sales for the business on a, potentially, “slow” day and an opportunity for lots of NEHS student members and their families and friends to get together at the same time.
Bake Sales and Book Sales
The traditional bake sale works well if your chapter includes student members with a panache for culinary creation. Everyone always wants a cupcake! Selling these is easy within the school community and the outlay on ingredients is minimal. However, it does take time to bake the goods, and they have to taste good (which is key). Requesting book donations that can then be sold to students at the school is also a good option. The sale of used English class texts or summer reads is a good way to raise money and reduce costs for students needing specific texts. Again, this requires very little energy other than publicizing the initial book drive and the sale.
In-School Theme Days
Many school principals have allowed NEHS chapters to organize in-school theme days to raise funds. Examples of this have included selling roses and romantic poetry on Valentine’s Day or selling slices of cake on Shakespeare’s Birthday (which is also World Book Day). If your school has a uniform, a literary-themed non-uniform day might also be a good option. The key with using in-school theme days to raise funds for your chapter is to plan ahead and ensure that everything you buy can be sold—you don’t want to have things left over or make a loss!
The tried and true raffle is usually a good way of raising funds. However, you need to have a prize that sparks interest (we seen examples of NEHS chapters raffling iPads and Apple Watches in the past), and you need to be able to sell at least enough tickets to cover the cost of your prize. The thing to watch out for here is what I’m going to call “raffle fatigue”: getting students to reach out to their friends, family, and neighbors to sell tickets and collect money is difficult. Many students simply can’t do it or don’t have time to do it, and this results in less ticket sales than predicted. The other issue that, in many cases, cash has to exchange hands during the sale of the ticket. This cash then has to be accounted for. Many NEHS chapters use raffles as fundraisers with great success but you should be aware of the pitfalls.
Other In-School Opportunities
Reach out to your principal and ask them what you can do to raise funds for your chapter. In most cases principals welcome to students raising money for community service projects (under the guidance of the NEHS Chapter Advisor) and can share innovative and creative ideas that may help both the school and the chapter at the same time.
Join us for Chapter Fundraising Week between February 26 and March 1, 2024, share your fundraising event with us on Instagram, using the handle @englishmatters, and find out more about the importance of community service to NEHS.
National English Honor Society
The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.
America’s first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn’t have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.
As Joyce Carol Oates writes, “This is the time for which we have been waiting.” Or perhaps it was Shakespeare: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer . . .” we celebrate English studies through NEHS.
National English Honor Society accepts submissions to our blog, NEHS Museletter, from all membership categories (students, Advisors, and alumni). If you are interested in submitting a blog, please read the Suggested Guidelines on our website. Email any questions and all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.