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Campus Living Wage Manual
VII. Resourcing Your Coalition
To launch a full fledged living wage campaign on your campus, your group will need to acquire funding and resources. There are several ways to do so. First off, your group should become an official campus organization if it isn't already. Go to your campus activities office and find out what you need to do to become an official group. It usually involves finding a faculty sponsor and assigning official contacts for your organization. This will qualify you to tap into the funds available for campus groups. It is important that you do this as soon as possible, as the process for campus organizations to draw funds from the student activities office may take a while (years even).
Becoming a registered student group may also allow you to raise funds from your membership in the form of dues or other voluntary contributions. It is important to raise the idea of fundraising and resourcing the group through means such as dues. Labor unions and community organizations operate in this manner, as do other campus clubs. Having a dues system encourages the feeling of ownership and investment in the organization and increases the accountability of the members of the group to each other. If dues create a barrier for low-income students, you can set up a sliding scale or scholarship fund to ensure maximum participation and accessibility. (Some schools do not allow dues. Check out your school's policy.)
You can also approach progressive faculty and staff for donations. If you have access to an alumni listserv or mailing list, use it to solicit contributions.
Also consider fundraising events. Ask for materials for the event as in-kind donations from pro-living wage organizations and businesses. In-kind support in the form of donated flyers and other materials can be invaluable in both resourcing your organization and in building a relationship with those providing you with the support. Be sure that planning the event doesn't use up all of the group's energy. Fundraising events should always serve the political purposes of the group.
Another possibility, one which requires a bit more sophistication and organization, is a grant from a foundation or other large source of funding to help along your campaign. With fundraising in general, but particularly when applying for grants, it is important that professional systems of financial accountability be established before your group begins to draw in large amounts of funds.
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