(Posted by Elena Kuzmin, Co-Vice President of the University of Toronto ’s Golden Key Chapter)
This past spring, our Golden Key chapter collected 94 cartons of books to benefit Books for Africa , making it one of the most successful drives in the Northeast region. The strength of our book drive can be largely attributed to our extensive promotional campaign. Promoting our book drive helped us to do more than let people know where they could donate books. It also helped us connect the students and faculty memebers to the cause of African literacy and education. To get the word out around campus we used flyers, posters, mass emails and made class announcements. We also had an article about the book drive written in the campus newspaper.
Of all the promotional methods we utilized, class presentations were the most effective. We found that posters, flyers, emails and newspaper articles were all great ways to spread the word, but they often blended into a vast sea of campus postings and daily emails. However, when we were in front of a class making an announcement about the book drive, there was no way the students were going to miss us.
Hearing about the book drive from fellow students helped our classmates to understand the impact their donation would have on global literacy. It also helped them to understand how easy it would be for them to get involved and become part of the solution. After all, making a difference is as easy as dropping a book in a box.
The best part was that organizing such an extensive promotional campaign didn’t require too much time. Since we started promoting our book drive by the middle of the semester, we were able to exercise all our promotional options and have everything in place well before finals started. On average, getting everything set and ready to go only took one to two hours a week.
I wouldn’t recommend replacing posters, flyers, emails, and newspaper articles with class announcements, but I would definitely recommend using class announcements to compliment them. It worked for our organization and it will definitely work for yours!