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Monday, Apr 15, 2024

Join the Club initiative offers new fundraising opportunity for student organizations

The Office of Advancement and the Student Activities Office (SAO) are collaborating with student organizations this spring to launch the inaugural Join the Club fundraising campaign. Club leaders had the opportunity to opt into the campaign between Dec. 5 and Feb. 21, and the actual fundraiser will run for one week during the month of April. 

Thirty-six student organizations signed up for the Join the Club initiative. 

“We rolled out information sessions in December, sent out information throughout J-Term and the start of the semester to get student organizations informed and excited as well as collect information so that the Office of Advancement has time to build the campaign for the kick off in April,” wrote Annie Delehanty, assistant director for student organizations and club sports, in an email to The Campus. 

Planning for the fundraising campaign has been in the works since last spring in order to roll out the program to organizations in December, according to Delehanty. Donations will be collected on an online platform specifically for Join the Club during the week-long campaign. Donors will be able to designate which organization(s) they wish to direct their contribution towards.

The Office of Advancement, SAO and the student organizations that opted into the fundraiser will share the responsibility for spreading the word. 

“All three entities will be promoting the campaign to help student organizations share the amazing work they do and raise money for continuing their mission,” Delehanty wrote. 

The SAO in particular plans to promote the initiative on their social media and urge student organizations to get excited and tell their peers about it, according to Delehanty. 

“The organizations are encouraged to reach out to their alumni networks and anyone they know who might be interested in contributing,” she added.

Funds raised in the Join the Club campaign will be added to organizations’ gift accounts. Gift accounts are the discretionary funds that student organizations can use to pay for any expenses not covered by the funding allocated to their operating budget from the Student Government Association Finance Committee.

Middlebury College Musical Theatre (MCMT) is one student organization participating in the Join the Club fundraiser. They put on musical theater performances each semester. Jonathan Mount ’25.5, president of MCMT, shared his excitement about the initiative and its potential to benefit the organization. 

“Our goal as an organization is to connect the community through the wonderful world of musical theatre,” Mount wrote in a message to The Campus. “However, with recent budget changes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fund our events, specifically our musical productions.”

Mount hopes that the fundraiser will help make up for these recent budget cuts. He explained that a new policy has been implemented by the SAO for performing arts organizations that prevents them from using club funds for ticketed performances. This means that MCMT cannot use the club’s SAO allocated budget for anything related to the musicals they put on. This includes paying for things like rights to scripts, costumes and sets, according to Mount.

“According to the policy, if we want to put on a ticketed musical performance, we must take out a loan from the SAO, and if we don’t make a profit, we as students are in debt to the SAO,” Mount said. 

He explained this new policy is challenging and pushes MCMT to be in opposition of its goals as an organization by prioritizing money over experience. 

“Fundraising would help us immensely in realizing our goal of community connection,” Mount said.

Funds in organizations’ gift accounts are available for use in more ways than SGA allocated funds are, so any funding MCMT receives from the Join the Club initiative may be put toward facilitating their performances.

The SAO helps run the Proud to be a Panther fundraiser each fall, which provides varsity and club sports teams with a fundraising opportunity. They also support student organizations putting on their own fundraising events throughout the year, according to Delehanty. The Join the Club initiative is the first fundraiser of its kind, however, in that it was open for any student organization to participate.

“The key piece we are looking for from the organizations is their passion for their organization, show off what they have done and what they want to do and share it with as many people as possible,” Delehanty wrote.

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Susanna Schatz

Susanna Schatz ‘24 (she/her) is the Senior News Editor. 

She previously served as Local Editor, Staff Writer, and Visuals Artist for The Campus. She is an English major and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies minor.   

Susanna is the social media and marketing intern for a small business started by Midd Alums, Treeline Terrains. In her free time you’ll find her taking in the Vermont outdoors hiking, swimming, skiing, reading in an Adirondack chair, or painting the scenery.