Fundraising frenzy

Laura Maginley
Assoc. News Editor

Speech communication students at Millersville University are learning the “ins” and “outs” of extensive nonprofit fundraising in a “COMM 452: Public Relations Campaigns” course.
Five senior-level students have been assigned to work with a client, which is Church World Service (CWS) of Lancaster, for the duration of the semester. Blossom Public Relations, which is the name of this student- run public relations agency, will assess their client’s needs through the production of research and campaign proposals.

Blossom PR’s student-run public relations agency logo, which was created as part of “Public Relations: Campaigns” capstone course.

In the case of CWS of Lancaster, this student-run public relations agency will be implementing various fundraising efforts on Millersville University’s campus and in the Lancaster community to benefit CWS Lancaster.
They will also be conducting extensive primary and secondary research on fundraising in the nonprofit sector at the national and local levels.
CWS Lancaster is a branch of the CWS national organization, but Lancaster’s branch specifically helps to resettle refugees and immigrant families in the Central Pennsylvania region. They are looking to receive between $1,000 and $2,000 at the conclusion of this campaign, which will end in December.
The proceeds from the student’s fundraising campaign will go toward the Resettlement Program at CWS of Lancaster.
“The biggest challenge is spreading the word about our fundraising campaign and receiving the most traffic at our events. We know that it’s a great cause to donate, but the trick is to get the campus community to see this and do a double take at our project,” explained Kristen Bergmaier, account executive of Blossom Public Relations.
Currently the team has restaurant donation nights scheduled, bake sales in collaboration with University events and is marketing their campaign message, which is “Give a little, change a life,” through social media.
Instead of holding one massive event on campus at the end of the semester, the team decided it would be more strategic to hold several smaller fundraisers to benefit CWS of Lancaster.
“While buying a cupcake or donating $5 to our online donation page may not seem like a lot, every little bit counts. All of our smaller fundraisers will add up in December, which will help to change lives at CWS of Lancaster,” shared Bergmaier.
The team continuously posts messages via their fundraising Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/PRcampCWSL in the hopes of gaining more “likes” and having a broader audience donate to the cause.
In the upcoming weeks, the team will continue to distribute creative pieces across campus to widen the awareness of their fundraising campaign.
At the conclusion of the semester, Blossom Public Relations will present their research findings and campaign information in a formal presentation during finals week.
For more information on events and progress, visit their Facebook page.