When I first came to Brisbane to study, I spent one and a half years living in International House, a UQ-owned residential college (dorms to all you Americans) geared towards international students. (Aside: as I went to look at the link, I found that they’ve opened a position for part-time cross cultural programme director. HELLO POTENTIAL JOB.)
They would be a GREAT source of help for fundraising (or at least getting some attention). They are connected to Rotary, which is already promising (Mark’s gotten the Denmark Rotary clubs interested!). There’s the vast network of students, and many years worth of alumni (it would be funny if any of them ended up being a KaosPilot!). And of course, with people comes money.
Here are some ideas I would like to try with the IH crowd:
- Parties. IHers love parties. They’d pay for a party that didn’t even go to a good cause. Of course, my party has to be a good draw, and Phil & Harry have to be enthused enough to promote it on my behalf.
- Selling candy, chocolate, or flowers. I’m a bit burnt out after fundraising for Bandfest – I never want to look at another Cadbury bar again! (Tip for all aspiring Cadbury fundraisers: get the cheap $1 stuff. They sell and taste better. Don’t bother with the $2 bars, they aren’t even that nice. Only $2 thing worth selling are the Chupa Chups because you can sell them individually.)
That said, candy/lollies go over REALLY well with uni students. I could buy some in bulk, package them, and sell them in small packets for like $1.50 or $2. If I get a big pack of Haribo, that’d be great because that’s actually Danish. Small chocs work too.
My secondary school used to have “Dedications”, where you’d buy a flower/chocolate/etc for someone else and the club in charge would deliver the dedications for you. They were a HIT and every organized club & society in the school’s history had at least one dedication drive. I could do similar with IH – just give me the name & room, and I’ll package and deliver.
- Mi goreng. For some reason, Australian uni students have an OBSESSION with mi goreng. Not even the freshly-made noodles with veges and eggs. No, they go for the instant ones – Indomee, Maggi, 2-min noodles, whatever’s your poison. Boil the noodles, mash the seasonings in a plate, mix and serve. Mi goreng is the IH Shop’s star seller.
I could do Hot Mi Goreng Deliveries – cook them (properly!!!), pack them in Tupperware, and deliver. I could make this a late-night-snack thing (for when IH dinner isn’t substantial enough). Of course, this would mean having to cook a LOT of mi goreng, which means I could only do this one night a week (Tuesdays and weekends are my best bet). And I would either have to cook this in IH (there are a lot of kitchens so this isn’t a problem – I can bring my equipment) or find someone with a car. The smell of Mi Goreng wafting out of a common room might spur on more sales though!
- Coffee, tea, hot chocolate! I was addicted to the hot choc from the machines in the IH kitchen – I actually protested when the rest of the Food Committee (of which I was a member) proposed bringing the amount of hot choc down. I NEED MY MORNING FIX. That said, the quality isn’t all that great. The coffee’s cheap, which means it’s blah.
If I had any barista skills (or if I can ninja my barista friends) I could make hot drinks to sell in the evenings/weekends, or maybe cold drinks (hehe, the childhood image of lemonade stands!) during the summer. I can make decent hot chocolate and tea, and I can practice my teh tarik skills. A drink for a gold coin, perhaps! The only problem I see with this (besides logistics) is that the Red Frogs Crew do late-night free coffee & chocolate during SwotVac as a signature thing, so I might be overstepping on their territory – but by the time SwotVac rolls around I’d be done 😉
- Naked Lady Party. The idea is that all the attendees (usually women) bring their unwanted clothes & accessories, and everyone swaps stuff. It’s a great way to get new clothes for free, get rid of your old stuff in an eco-friendly way, and make new friends. This doesn’t need International House to survive, but it would give me access to about 120 women to start with, as well as access to the Ivor Cribb Hall, which can make a great venue. Any clothes left unclaimed would be sold off to raise funds. That last bit may discourage people from going (after all, if the clothes can still make money, why let someone else make it?) but it’s a good way to ask for donations without any money actually exchanging hands.
Speaking of selling things online – I hear eBay’s putting in harsh new guidelines for sellers, which may be an issue if I plan to sell there. Is Oztions good? Any other suggestions for auction/ecommerce sites? This would largely be clothes, accessories, books, and random miscellania.