We’ve all found ourselves in this position, a club full of excited members itching to go out fishing, but you run into the classic college problem, you guys don’t have enough bills in the cash box to go on trips. Sadly the nature of fishing is that its typically not cheap to get started, especially on a college budget, but I’m here to help you solve that issue and start stacking club bills so you never have to worry about budget issues again.
First off, check to see if your school offers financial help to clubs. I know at Pitt we can apply to receive help from the school and usually they drop a lot on clubs that are fledgling and on clubs that give back to the community.
Local TU Chapter
Ask your local TU chapter if you can have one of their meetings set aside to help you raise funds. Show up with the club and bring club swag, some boxes of flies members have tied, ask Andrew Loffredo for some 5Rivers swag and other goodies. Our club was able to raise $400 in one evening just by doing this, that cash helped pay for our gas to the Rally and terminal tackle for our fingerling members. Your local TU chapter is full of members who want to see your club continue to thrive on campus.
Fly Fishing Film Tour Screening
On of the cool perks of being in the 5Rivers program is that we can get free/discounted copies of the latest F3T release. Several clubs have had great success putting on a screening in their college towns engaging the public and the membership. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales and whatever other swag you put on sale will go to your club coffers and you get to watch some sweet fish porn while doing it.
Engage Club Member’s Parents
Parents love being or pretending to be involved with their kids clubs. Make sure you don’t lose out on this valuable source of support. Have your club secretary send out a quarterly newsletter out to parents so that they can be informed about what the club is getting into. At the end of each of these newsletters, make sure to include a call to action about helping out the club financially or with extra gear.
Try to have raffles every so often at your club meetings. Gather some flies or some 5Rivers swag and raffle it off for a couple of bucks a ticket. You’ll slowly gather funding and people will get cool gear at the same time. Another option is running a raffle where a member would get an entry for every event they attend or they can buy extra entries, and at the end of the semester, draw for a larger prize, like a rod or a cool pack or something. This will both raise funds and encourage engagement by members, both new and old.