Funding is an obstacle that so many chapters struggle with! Although it seems difficult to plan low or no cost events, it is possible! Some examples of free events are documentary viewings, inviting professors or local leaders to speak, round table discussions, volunteer opportunities, and so much more! In the past, I have gone to events that charge $5 a person to cover the cost of food or other expenses. Based on my experience, most students have $5 to spare or you could suggest a small donation to cover the costs of your event. This may create greater opportunities for more prospective members to attend your chapter’s events!
One way that chapters can go about receiving funding is to apply for grants through GenUN, like the “Stand Up for Human Rights” grant! We offer many different grants per semester, so apply for any that we send your way. Another way to receive funding is through your school! This process tends to be different at each school, but most schools all require similar things. The first step is to create an event or program proposal with an itemized budget in advance. Generally, you should be meeting with your student government asking for funding at least a month before you intend to hold your program. At this meeting, you should come prepared to meet with your student government association with a few things: a list of materials that you may need (including a cost breakdown for every item), a list of reasons as to why this event/program will benefit your campus and the community, and a general idea of how the event/program will flow. Also, be prepared to answer any questions that the funding board may have for you. Although this seems daunting, it is totally doable and helps create a structure in advance for your program. In addition, this process can help your chapter grow its presence in your campus community!
If you are unable to secure as much funding as you would have liked, I would suggest co-sponsoring the event with another group on campus. Reach out to friends, professors, or your student organization list on your school’s website to see if any other organizations have similar interests. Not only can such partnership help you fund your chapter’s event, but you will also create new ties with organizations and individuals that you can partner with in the future. I strongly suggest creating these connections because it can also help with your membership and outreach
All in all, be creative and strategic about finding funding. Reach out to your student government association, local organizations, campus organizations, or build your own fundraiser to raise a small amount of funds that can help cover the costs of future programs. The process of getting funding can be rather time consuming, but try to remember that creating programs and events can help raise awareness for the Sustainable Development Goals, the importance of funding and supporting the United Nations, and helping those in need around the world!