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Autism Speaks U February Q&A Transcript!

 

On Wednesday, February 27 Autism Speaks U hosted Facebook Q&A for college students, faculty and staff members. Participants from over 70 campuses across the country tuned in and shared event ideas for April, planning tips, fundraising strategies and ways to get the entire campus involved with Autism Awareness Month. Read the full transcript below! 

 

Have additional ideas, tips or questions? Leave a comment! Connect with Autism Speaks U via its websiteFacebook and/or Twitter.

     

  Let’s do a roll call!
 
5:00 
  Submit the following:
• Name of college/university 
• Your name and position in chapter

o Example: Autism Speaks U Miami University, Jessica, President
 
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
Taylor Levicki, Autism Speaks U Marquette, President
 
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
West Chester University, Jen, President
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Miami University, Byron, President
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U UCONN, Marisa, Recruitment Chair
5:01 
 
Comment From Amanda Ravenstein
Pittsburg State University, Amanda, President
5:01 
 
Comment From Eric Smith
Autism Speaks U University of Michigan, Eric Smith, President
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U CWRU, Sean, Recruitment Chair
5:01 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Towson University, Julianna Mootz, President
5:01 
 
Comment From Elinor Chambers
Autism Speaks U Tulane University, Elinor, Awareness Chair
5:02 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Binghamton University, Agnes, Secretary
5:02 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Appalachian State University, Ali, President
5:02 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Fordham University, Antoneta, Fundraising Chair
5:02 
 
Comment From Mark
Mark Tapia Autism Speaks U St Louis University President - in the process of starting chapter
5:02 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Northwestern University, Christina Hua, Recruitment Chair
5:02 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U at The Ohio State University, Lindsay, President
5:03 
 
Comment From Marcus Cole
University of South Carolina, Theta Delta Chi, Marcus, President
5:03 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
Autism Speaks U DePaul University, Kelly Sherman, VP
5:03 
 
Comment From Natalie Fernandez
Autism Speaks U @ Florida Gulf Coast University, Natalie, Treasurer
5:03 
 
Comment From Blake Hartgraves
Autism Speaks U, Texas A&M University. Blake Hartgraves. Membership Chair
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U - California State University, Fullerton, Chester, Vice President
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Northwestern University, Yair, Marketing and PR Chair
5:03 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle
John Carroll University, Timothy, President
5:03 
 
Comment From Devin M
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Devin, Secretary
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Indiana State University, Co-Chair
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U University of Toledo, President, Ashley, Secretary Sean
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U University of Northern Colorado, President, Kelley
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Slippery Rock University Justin Grossman VP of Fundraising
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Whitewater, Alycia, Vice President
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Danielle Kerrigan, Secretary
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Ashley McLaughlin, Autism Speaks U Stonehill, President
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Alyssa, Fundraising
5:03 
 
Comment From Ciara
SUNY New Paltz, Marketing Chair
5:03 
 
Comment From Emily Zeller
Emily Zeller, Autism Speaks U Gettysburg College, Co-President
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
West Virginia Wesleyan College, Shannon, Alumni Relations
5:03 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Albany, Ashley, Community Outreach Chair
5:03 
 
Comment From Cadi
Autism Speaks U SUNY Brockport, Cadi Baldwin, Sponsorship Chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Jaclyn Sessel
Autism Speak U Boston University, Jaclyn Sessel, Vice President
5:04 
 
Comment From Megan Pruitt
Autism Speaks U Texas Christian University, Megan, President
5:04 
 
Comment From Jen Schwartz
Autism Speaks U Binghamton University, Jen, Vice President
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U, University fo Michigan-Dearborn, Shuyu Long Recruitment chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Virginia, Ian, Recruitment Chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Doris
Autism Speaks U UT Austin, Doris, President
5:04 
 
Comment From Ryan
Ryan Keeney, Head or Recruitment, Autism Speaks U, West Virginia University
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U University of Central Florida, David, President
5:04 
 
Comment From Kelley Burr
University of northern Colorado, Kelley Burr, Awareness/volunteer chair & recruitment chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Manhattan College, Darissa Martinez Treasurer
5:04 
 
Comment From Thomas Gansel
Autism Speaks U Marywood University, Thomas Gansel, Website Coordinatoir
5:04 
 
Comment From Blake Hartgraves
Autism Speaks U. Texas A&M University. Blake Hartgraves Membership Chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Ashley
Autism Speaks U SUNY Albany, Ashley, Community Outreach Chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle
Autism Speaks U John Carroll University, Tim, President
5:04 
 
Comment From Chester
Autism Speaks U - California State University, Fullerton, Chester Casabar, Vice President
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U - Kaplan University, John-Paul Blix, Secretary
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Danielle, Secretary
5:04 
 
Comment From Alycia
Autism Speaks Whitewater, Alycia, VP
5:04 
 
Comment From Ian
Autism Speaks U University of Virginia, Ian, Recruitment
5:04 
 
Comment From Cadi
Autism Speaks U SUNY Brockport, Cadi Baldwin, Sponsorhsip Chair
5:04 
 
Comment From Guest
Autism Speaks U Manhattan College, Darissa, Treasurer
5:04 
 
Comment From David Eisenberg
Autism Speaks U University of Central Florida - David, President
5:04 
 
Comment From Ciara
State University of New York at New Paltz, Marketing Chair
5:05 
  This month’s Facebook Q&A will cover event ideas for April, fundraising tips, and ways to get the campus and community involved during Autism Awareness Month.
5:05 
  This Q&A is text only – when submitting a question/comment there will be a delay from when it appears on the chat client.
5:05 
  When entering in a response or question, include your name and college/university, so chapters can reach out to you directly if they have questions.
5:06 
  This is an interactive discussion with polls and questions asked throughout. 

Follow along for the ENTIRE HOUR and offer as much feedback as possible.
5:06 
  Tomorrow, a link to the Q&A transcript will be posted on the Autism Speaks U Facebook page (facebook.com/AutismSpeaksU). 

Print off a copy to share with your chapter’s officers and members.
5:06 
  These 5 topics will be covered:
5:06 
  1. What events to host in April 
2. How to fundraise off campus
3. How to fundraise on campus
4. Ways to promote events on & off campus
5. How to receive materials for Light It Up Blue
5:06 
  Remember, your question might be another chapter’s question and your best idea might work on another campus, so offer as much feedback as possible!
5:07 
  Let’s begin!
5:07 
  Topic #1: WHAT EVENTS TO HOST IN APRIL
5:07 
  With Autism Awareness Month less than 6 weeks away, it is EXTREMELY important to plan a fundraiser that can be successfully planned given the amount of time the chapter has and the number of students able to help.
5:07 
  Remember, BLUE is the color for Autism Speaks and in honor of Light It Up Blue we are asking students to incorporate BLUE into all of your events.
5:07 
  We have broken up a few event ideas in 2 LEVELS which reflect time commitment and fundraising potential.
5:07 
  LEVEL 1 EVENTS: Requires 1-2 weeks of planning and have the potential to raise $250-$500.
5:08 
  Blue bake sale
Blue candy-gram sale
Blue restaurant nights (ex: blue food/drink specials, decorate restaurant blue, etc.)
Blue puzzle piece campaign
Blue wristband sales
Blue flower sale
Blue glow stick sale
Blue hair extension booth
Blue face painting station
Blue ice cream night
Blue tie-dying station
Blue t-shirt sale
Blue water balloon toss
Blue-cheeseburger barbecue
5:08 
Expand
Members of Autism Speaks U USC Hosted a blue bake sale!
5:08 
  The events just listed are perfect to host if the chapter does not receive funding from the school or has limited budget, as the event costs can be kept low.
5:08 
  Examples of this includes:
5:08 
  -Autism Speaks provides the chapter with puzzle piece cards to sell
 
5:09 
  -Chapter asks each member to bake 20 blue cookies/cupcakes
5:09 
  -Chapter gets local grocery store to donate blue ice cream to sell on campus
5:09 
  -Chapter contacts local party supply store to get blue glow sticks, face paint, water balloons, etc. donated
5:09 
Expand
Members of Autism Speaks U SUNY Albany host a blue puzzle piece campaign!
5:09 
  REMEMBER: event expenses need to be kept under 8-10% of what the event is raising.
5:09 
  For example, if the chapter hosts an event that raises $500 the expenses should not exceed $40-$50. 

This is to ensure all of the funds the chapter is raising is going back to support Autism Speaks’ mission and the families we work so hard to support.
5:10 
  Now for LEVEL 2 EVENTS. These require around 3-5 weeks of planning and have the potential to raise $750-$1,500.
5:10 
  Blue bar crawl 
Blue dodgeball /volleyball tournament
Blue basket raffle
Blue bingo night
Blue M&M eating contest
Blue bingo night
Blue fashion show
Blue karaoke contest
Blue sports night
Blue cupcake eating contest
Blue pie toss
Blue scavenger hunt
Blue karaoke contest
Blue trivia night
Blue pancake eating contest
Blue zumbathon
Blues music themed concert
Blueberry bagel eating contest
5:10 
Expand
Members of Autism Speaks U Virginia Tech partner with their campus' Theta Delta Chi Charge to host Autism Speaks U DodgeBrawl!
5:11 
  As we know, planning is KEY! 

The weeks fly by and students get busy. Utilize the chapter’s time to get the best results, and advise the chapter how to work smarter together as a team.
5:11 
  QUESTION: 

What successful fundraisers has your chapter hosted in April or throughout the year that would be ideal to plan during Autism Awareness Month? 
5:12 
  Include your school name, type of event, how much was raised and how much time it took to plan.
5:12 
 
Comment From Blake Hartgraves
Texas A&M. Blake. We made blue puzzle piece pins out of a dollar store puzzle. we took the puzzle pieces and spray painted them blue and hot glued safety pins to them. they were awesome and cheap!
5:12 
 
Comment From Guest
take over Centennial Mall & bake sales, University of Toledo chapter
5:13 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle
3 on 3 Basketball Tournement, John Carroll, we were able to raise $650 in three hours. we planned for about two weeks
5:14 
 
Comment From Guest
Ohio State- Lindsay .. We took a 300 piece puzzle, spray painted it blue, and sold the pieces for a $1 each then the buyer could write what autism meant to them and put it on our board we created. Our goal was the fill in the entire puzzle by selling all of the pieces. Ended up looking very cool!
5:14 
 
Comment From Sean - CWRU
My chapter did what we call Puzzle Palooza, where several small teams competed in austim awareness activities such as puzzles, trivia, etc. We raised aroudn $300 from that. This was last fall. Sean- CWRU
5:14 
 
Comment From Emily Zeller
Gettysburg College. We did a bake sale along with selling wrist bands. Light blue cupcakes with white puzzle pieces! Very cute and sold really well.
5:14 
 
Comment From Elinor Chambers
Tulane University. Elinor. We are still a fairly new chapter and don't have a very large budget, but we had a bake sale during Parent's Weekend last fall and raised over $300.
5:14 
 
Comment From Ryan Keeney
West Virginia University We have done numerous bake sales, dinners, and are planning to do a walk in the coming months
5:14 
 
Comment From Guest
color some Autism Ribbons printed offline and write our names, Autism Speaks U: Saint Louis University Chapter, a fact about Autism, or basically anything autism related we want. We could hang these on our doors and show that we are advocates for autism awareness in our dorms! (Maybe even gain some membership or let some ASD kids know that we are there for them!)
5:15 
 
Comment From Ashley McLaughlin
Ashley McLaughlin, Stonehill College - sporting events have proved to be very affective in raising both money and awareness, have the team support the cause and have bake sales during the events
5:15 
 
Comment From Sean - CWRU
We also hosted a small bake sale. I do not know how much money was raised from that, but it was a very small event. Sean - CWRU
5:15 
 
Comment From Thomas Gansel
basketball blueout games and zumbathons, puzzle piece ribbons sold for a dollar,
5:15 
 
Comment From Ashley
SUNY Albany, Bar Event. A local bar collaborated with us and allowed the $5 cover charge to be donated to AutismSpeaksU. We brought in a large crowd and they also offered deals on drinks. Raised $250 in one night. Took 2 weeks total to plan.
5:15 
 
Comment From Marisa Ragonesi, UCONN
UCONN, spray painted puzzles blue and had each member take a board and have people donate $1 for every puzzle piece and had the people who donated sign the piece!
5:15 
 
Comment From Guest
We have been looking into either a "color run" with blue paint, or a dodgeball tournament as a back up
5:15 
 
Comment From Kelley Burr
University of Northern Colorado: Restaurant week where a different restaurant each day donated a portion of each customer's bill
5:15 
 
Comment From Olivia Singleton
Armstrong Atlantic State University- Our chapter recently had a blue and white party on campus.We sold tickets for $3 presale and $5 at the door. We did it for Valentine's Day but it would also be a great way to wrap up Autism Awareness Month and end on a fun note! We raised just under $200.
5:16 
 
Comment From Sean - CWRU
On the night of Puzzle Palooza, we got the restaurant we hosted it in to donate a portion of the night's proceeds to Autism Speaks.
5:16 
 
Comment From Antoneta Preldakaj
Fordham University, Antoneta. We delivered nutella filled cookies on Valentine's Day with Puzzle pieces attached for people who wanted to write little messages. We also sold the cookies with facts about autism. Raised over $200 and spread awareness around campus.
5:16 
 
Comment From West Virginia Wesleyan College- Shannon
We will have a Basketball FrenXI, Sprint for the Spectrum 5K Color Run, bake sales, karaoke nights, dying the fountain water blue in front of our campus, light up the campus and all fraternity houses with blue light bulbs. Fun and pretty easy stuff, just takes time and planning!
5:17 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Michigan-Dearborn, we sold puzzle piece, key chains made by kids with autism from Burger School. We made $150. And the bake sale last week, we made $200. Our major one is in April for the golf. We had planed the event for 2 weeks
5:18 
 
Comment From Antoneta Preldakaj
Fordham University, Antoneta. We will be having a DJ battle in April. Anyone wearing blue gets in at a reduced price.
5:18 
 
Comment From Darissa
Manhattan College, we did a "Wake Ap and Get Your Drink On" event during the change of the season. We did a coffee/tea/water stand fundraiser and gave Autism Speaks coffee tumblers or water bottle to fill up for everyone who donated
5:18 
 
Comment From Blake Hartgraves-Texas A&M
We have had many profit shares with many different popular local restaurants.
5:19 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
We plan on having restaurant days with various locations near campus each week and also will have a canning event at a near by Starbucks
5:19 
 
Comment From Christina
Northwestern University. We held an A Cappella show and sold lots of blue merchandise (i.e. t-shirts, wristbands, puzzle piece pins). We also held a bake sale with all blue desserts.
5:19 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
One person in my chapter has a brother with Autism and we sold Christmas cards he made to some faculty members.
5:19 
 
Comment From Ciara
New Paltz: We are in the process of planning our own walk on campus, including a hair dying station. Also, we were discussing a comedian night and a talent show at a local coffee shop.
5:19 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
We plan on putting on a Puzzle Piece Campaign in campus buildings and the nearby Starbucks
5:20 
  Great ideas everyone! Please share these with the chapter's e-board. 
 
5:20 
  Bottom line….do not start from scratch, rather use this network of 70+ chapters to get ideas from as these students are in “your shoes!”
5:21 
  Also, please note that Autism Speaks’ symbol is the blue puzzle piece and not an awareness ribbon.
5:21 
  When planning events and creating materials, do not use a ribbon, rather incorporate Autism Speaks’ blue puzzle piece in the designs, decorations and handouts.
5:21 
  Topic 2: HOW TO FUNDRAISE OFF CAMPUS
5:21 
  Two resources that chapters can tap into when fundraising: 
1. Local community 
2. Alumnae association 
5:21 
  Students can reach out to the community and alumni to expand their fundraising efforts, hit the chapter’s goals and to form lasting partnerships.
5:22 
  To start fundraising in the community, contact local businesses and ask them to work with the chapter to set up a fundraiser during April.
5:22 
  Explain to the business why this is beneficial to them and how partnering with the chapter can attract more customers, increase sales, promote their business and help align the company with an important cause.
5:22 
  QUESTION: 

How has your chapter fundraised in the community and worked with local businesses? Or, how do you plan to this April?

Include your school name, type of event, how much was/will be raised and how much time it took/will take to plan.
5:22 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
For our puzzle piece campaign, we plan on asking the nearby Starbucks to participate and also to dye their whipped cream blue.
5:23 
 
Comment From Ashley McLaughlin
Ashley McLaughlin, Stonehill College - we plan on having either a bar night or restaurant night off campus.. also we are currently working with the company prove people wrong to make shirts to distribute through there company during the month of april, with proceeds going to autism speaks u
5:24 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
We also plan to ask the local Panera restaurant to particpate as well.
5:24 
 
Comment From Emily Zeller
Gettysburg College. A local grocery store allowed us to do "canning" outside of their store. People were very generous and friendly. Contacting the store a month or so in advance is key.
5:24 
 
Comment From Julianna Mootz
Autism Speaks U Towson University- Our chapter has collaborated with Panera, Chik-Fil-A, Applebees, Smoothie King. We also plan on working together with Bill Batemans on campus
5:24 
 
Comment From Alcia Elms, Indiana State University
We are asking local businesses/grocery stores to donate cakes for our cake walk
5:24 
 
Comment From Elinor Chambers
Tulane University. Elinor. We held a raffle (tickets $1 each) for gift cards donated by local shops and restaurants. We raised around $200.
5:24 
 
Comment From Jaclyn Sessel
Boston University, we partner with local restaurants for % of sales evening or entire weekends, we also got donations from a cupcake store to be given out at our big fundraiser by promising them to put them in our program, we got dinners donated from CPK by giving them 250 emails to add to their roster and asked our athletics team to donate a hockey jersey
5:25 
 
Comment From Mark
We are trying to do some sort of profit sharing--we are still trying to find a location.
5:25 
 
Comment From Kelley Burr
University of Northern Colorado: bowling fundraiser (2 weeks to plan) and we set up a bake sale at the bowling ally as well. We are also trying to do a blue bar crawl or special night dedicated to Autism Speaks during April
5:25 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
We have worked with various bakeries in the area for our cake walk and bake sales. The event took a week or so to plan, mostly just working on getting an area in our student center reserved and going out and getting item donated.
5:25 
 
Comment From Christina
Northwestern University. For our Knockout Autism event, we asked multiple local restaurants/chains (i.e. Andy's, Jamba Juice, JJ Java) to sponsor our prizes. In the future, we plan on holding social events and fundraisers at local restaurants.
5:25 
 
Comment From Theresa Moore
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Karaoke Night. We are hosting a Karaoke Night on campus tonight and getting 10% of the proceeds donated to our chapter. We are also partnering with a local bar and selling wrist bands and then that bar is going to have a bunch of drink specials, including a "blue drink" special
5:25 
 
Comment From Amanda Ravenstein
Amanda, Pittsburg State University, We held a basket giveaway and contacted local businesses for donations. We raised $500 and it took a month to plan.
5:25 
 
Comment From Olivia, Armstrong Atlantic State University
We will be having our second annual Autism Walk this April at a local park. We did it last year and I cannot remember exactly how much we raised but it was over $200. We are currently planning for it now but we started planning December of last year.
5:26 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle
Panera Bread offered to donate any baked goods and specifically blue puzzle piece cookies
5:26 
 
Comment From Guest
Slippery Rock University, We have hosted a spaghetti dinner first semester and plan for the "color run" to be community based
5:26 
 
Comment From Chester Casabar
Cal State Fullerton, we got in contact with a local gas station that had a mechanical car wash. All we had to do was to get people to the car wash. We took donations from people who used the car wash. Washes were also free. We raised over $1,500
5:26 
 
Comment From Jen Schwartz
Autism Speaks U Binghamton University- We are planning on putting coin jars decorated by our members in local businesses near our school to get some spare change. The only planning it took was contacting all the businesses and finding ones willing to let a jar sit on their counter for a while.
5:26 
 
Comment From Ryan Keeney
WVU, Chick-Fil-A, Applebees, Buffalo Wild Wings, Giant Eagle, Sam's Club and other local area restaurants and stores to help sponsor or profit share
5:26 
 
Comment From Thomas Gansel
Marywood University, Five Guys Funraiser, we raised about $200 it was over the course of three days, 20% of customers checks went to Autism Speaks
5:26 
 
Comment From Ashley
SUNY Albany, Blue Hair Extension. We contacted a local hair school that was willing to donate their students to place a blue extension in anyone that wanted it for $10 each. We made around $70/day.
5:26 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Michigan-Dearborn, we contacted a local golf course. And we are planning on an event in April.
5:26 
 
Comment From Ciara
We are asking local businesses (such as Stop and Shop and Stewarts) to donate food for our upcoming walk.
5:26 
 
Comment From Darissa
Manhattan College, We are planning on partnering with a 16 Handles or another ice cream/frozen yogurt establishment. For a few hours on a chosen day the store allows an awareness table to be set up at the location and for the hours we are there the establishment donates a percentage of the sales during those hours to Autism Speaks
5:26 
 
Comment From Agnes, - Binghamton U
Partnered with a local frozen yogurt shop and they let us to get 10% of the bill every time a customer mentioned Autism Speaks!
5:27 
 
Comment From Antoneta Preldakaj
Fordham University. For our 5k marathon last October, a bakery donate a beautifully decorated cake for us. We are now placing the name of the bakery on our t-shirts as one of our sponsors.
5:27 
 
Comment From Doris- UT Austin
We have had some successful profit-shares in the past and hope to have one again in April. We are also asking businesses around campus to let us decorate their windows with blue puzzle pieces. As our big April event, we are hosting a guest speaker panel where therapists/service providers come talk about what services are available for individuals with autism. We are going to work with our local Autism Speaks chapter as well as clinics around the city to advertise. Anyone in the community will be welcome to attend. We will also have an auction at the panel.
5:27 
 
Comment From Devin M
UW-La Crosse We have worked with Buffalo Wild Wings to have a percentage of proceeds donated to us. It was fairly successful and we hope it will grow in the future. We are also building partnerships with local autism advocacy groups.
5:27 
 
Comment From Marisa Ragonesi, UCONN
We had a bar night and collaborated with another organization "Hear for U UConn"
5:27 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle
Ben&Jerrys is very willing to help out
5:27 
 
Comment From Taylor Levicki
Marquette University, partnered with local restaurant, we got a $1 for every burger they sold that night
5:28 
 
Comment From David, UCF
Chili's made a great partner for a partial proceeds night
5:28 
 
Comment From West Virginia Wesleyan College- Shannon
We are going to have a Pancake Breakfast at a local restaurant the weekend after Greek Week is over, that way alumni and their families can come. All proceeds will include price of admission and whatever they feel is appropriate. We also decorated mason jars and took them to local businesses and asked if we could leave them on display to see if customers would leave donations.
5:29 
  Now, once the chapter has finalized its plans for April, contact the school’s alumni association and ask them to send an email to all members requesting they support the chapter’s efforts.
5:29 
  Alumni love to see students from their alma mater give back!
5:29 
  Remember, when drafting up the email to send to the alumni association, lead with the awareness aspect and not fundraising. 

Ask if they will start by helping to promote the event and attend to show their support for the 1 in 88 individuals affected by autism.
5:30 
  To get started, visit the Student Activities Office and they can direct you to the alumni association.
5:30 
  If partnering with a Greek life organization or student club, ask them to reach out to their alumni as potential attendees, donors and/or sponsors.
5:30 
  QUESTION: 

How has your chapter engaged alumni in your events, or how do you plan to this April?
5:30 
  Include your school name, type of event, how alumni were or will be involved and tips for chapters reaching out to alumni for the first time.
5:30 
  If you have not reached out to alumni yet (whether through your chapter or the school's alumni), what are some ideas that you could share with the other chapters to get started?
5:32 
 
Comment From Taylor Levicki
Marquette University, we're working to promote our events through Autism Speaks Milwaukee to hopefully bring in alumni of the University to events. They've showed nice support so far
5:33 
 
Comment From Marisa Ragonesi, UCONN
We are a new chapter so we do not have very much almuni-- however, we have talked to the previous President who graduated to brainstorm more ideas
5:33 
 
Comment From Jamie, SUNY Cortland
We emailed our sorority's alumni and let them know we are supporting autism speaks. A few alumni donated to our events.
5:33 
 
Comment From Christina
Northwestern University. We hope to hold an auction with the local community and reach out to families and alumni.
5:33 
 
Comment From West Virginia Wesleyan College- Shannon
We do a Xi Saw. The sisters in our chapter sit on a see-saw for 24 hours whenever alumni come to campus. the can sign the XiSaw and donate whatever they feel is appropriate. We also have Autism fact sheets we pass out after someone donates. We've raised as much as $300-$500 in 24 hours!
5:34 
 
Comment From Ashley
SUNY Albany, We plan on reaching out to alumni through email and my involvement to invite them to future events and ask for their support
5:34 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle, John Carroll University
We have spoken with past e-board members
5:34 
 
Comment From Olivia, Armstrong Atlantic State University
We previously had not thought about reaching out to alumni but it is a great idea! We will definitely contact our school's alumni association to see if they would like to help out with our walk.
5:34 
 
Comment From Guest
Ohio State- We do not work very closely with our alumni but we do work closely with the autism community in Columbus. It is easy to send out a mass email to community members who are interested in the organization or affected by autism in some way
5:34 
  Topic 3: HOW TO FUNDRAISE ON CAMPUS
5:35 
  We know that college students generally don’t have extra cash lying around, so when fundraising, it is very important to first “CONNECT” with them before asking for donations.
 
5:35 
  This means sharing the following 3 items:

1. Why the event is “BLUE” 
2. Your connection to autism and why you are involved with the chapter
3. Were their donation is going
5:36 
  1. Explain why the event is “BLUE”

Light It Up Blue is Autism Speaks 4th annual awareness campaign, where iconic buildings and schools across the world change their lights from white to blue on April 2nd in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. 

Individuals worldwide will also host blue themed community events throughout the month of April in support of Autism Awareness Month. 
5:36 
  This is the time for everyone to come together and celebrate the 1 in 88 individuals who are affected by autism.
5:36 
  2. Share your connection to autism and why you are involved with the chapter
5:36 
  People connect with you NOT a fact card. Share your story and explain why you chose to get involved with the Autism Speaks U chapter on your campus. 

This will encourage students to ask questions about the cause and donate to your efforts. You never know who has a connection to autism!
5:37 
  For example, if you have a sibling or family member on the spectrum and being a part of the chapter means helping to promote awareness and acceptance for the autism community.
5:37 
  3. Inform people where their donation is going
5:37 
  People want to see how their dollars are used by the organization they are donating to. Share the following information with your campus and community.
5:37 
  Every dollar Autism Speaks U chapters raise helps make a difference to the families and individuals affected by autism.
5:37 
  Since 2005, your tireless efforts have helped Autism Speaks fund the following:
5:38 
Expand
5:38 
  *note click on the image to enlarge it
5:38 
  • Donate $180 million to scientific research.
5:39 
  • Gain autism insurance reform laws in 32 states.
5:39 
  • Conduct studies and clinical trials in areas of sleep disturbances, improved social skills and effective medical and behavioral treatments.
5:39 
  • Fund 17 Autism Treatment Network sites across North America – these sites are helping people with autism today and the knowledge they share helps to provide treatment guidelines to doctors around the U.S.
5:39 
  • Donate $3.9 million to local community grants.
5:39 
  QUESTION: 

What are some of your chapter’s best tips/strategies when asking students for donations? 

Include your school name in your response.
5:40 
 
Comment From West Virginia Wesleyan College- Shannon
We light our ENTIRE campus up blue throughout the entire month of April, but we don't do it until Autism Awareness Day, April 2. All the light posts will have blue Christmas lights wrapped around them, our major buildings on campus will have blue spot lights on them, the school fountain will be dyed blue, and all fraternity house will change their porch lights with a blue light bulb. Lowe's is being a major contributor to all the blue lights!
5:41 
 
Comment From David, UCF
Be friendly and approachable, don't talk to people on long boards, and free air heads seem to be a great conversation starter
5:41 
 
Comment From Theresa Moore
University of Minnseota-Twin Cities. Our best strategy is to tell them where their money is going to and to share why this is important with them when asking for the donation
5:41 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
Hand out free candy to get peoples attention! Have really tasty treats to sell, different and interesting. Play music when in your student center!
5:41 
 
Comment From Ryan Keeney
West Virginia University, I have a brother on the spectrum and I use that story to help connect with people, plus I am very enthusiastic about this cause and projecting that enthusiasm gets more donations. Acting like an idiot doesn't hurt sometimes. :)
5:42 
 
Comment From Julianna Mootz
Autism Speaks U Towson University: We tell students that we accept any size donation and every bit helps. We encourage pennies nickles and dimes which really adds up at the end of the day. People are very willing to donate the spare change in their pockets
5:42 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
When we were running our bake sale, we told them what was money was for. This encouraged some people to buy from us. Also, I personally encouraged some friends to go to the campus restaurant the night of Puzzle Palooza since a portion of the proceeds that night were being donated. We also make announcements about events in our classes.
5:42 
 
Comment From Olivia, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Giving students something in return always helps, even if it is only a small piece of candy.
5:42 
 
Comment From Amanda Ravenstein
Pittsburg State University, At one of our Awareness events I wore a blue shirt saying "Ask me about my son" because my 5 year old son was diagonsed with Autism two years ago. When the students came by and asked I told them more about autism and informed them that we were raising money for research.
5:42 
 
Comment From Elinor Chambers
Tulane University. Elinor. I have a brother with Autism, and believe it or not, people are always really interested in hearing about what that's like. Connecting with people and explaining the import of what you're doing always helps!
5:42 
 
Comment From Ashley
SUNY Albany, We found it best to connect with each person that is donating. We like to sell things that are most realistic to bring in a profit such as baked goods, blue glow sticks for concerts, etc.
5:42 
 
Comment From Thomas Gansel
Marywood- The best thing to do is let them know what Autism Speaks is and how the money helps the organization as we have seen in the image
5:43 
 
Comment From Christina
Northwestern University. Don't just blindly ask them for donations, but really show your passion about the cause and why you're involved. Educate them on what autism is and how there money can help find a cure.
5:43 
 
Comment From Emily Zeller
Gettysburg College. Donations are definitely hard to come by when dealing with college students. Selling any form of food has been working for us! And putting a smile on your face :)
5:43 
 
Comment From Lindsay
Be nice and let them know where the money is going and exactly what you are doing. You will get turned down a lot, but people will also be willing to help you and donate!
5:43 
 
Comment From Alcia Elms, Indiana State University
This year we are going to chalk our sidewalks with puzzle pieces along with autism facts to make people wonder whats going on. Next we explain what it is and most people donate.
5:43 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
I am on the spectrum myself. I have not yet, but if given the opportunity I would be willing to use that to connect with people.
5:43 
 
Comment From Guest
University of Michigan-Dearborn, be nice and always smile. Always talk to the donors.
5:44 
 
Comment From Darissa
Manhattan College, We usually send out mass emails to the student body ahead a few days before, the day before, and the day of the event to remind them and always make a point to let them know any amount is not too little..plus doing fun creative things or having sweets always intrigues people
5:44 
  Topic 4: HOW TO PROMOTE EVENTS ON & OFF CAMPUS
5:45 
  To have a successful event, you need people to attend, but how do you promote the event so people know about it?
5:45 
  Have the Marketing Chair, create a brief marketing planning for each event and assign tasks to each e-board member, so everyone knows their part in getting the word out.
5:45 
  It is not up to one person, to do all of the marketing, rather it is every members “job” to promote the chapter’s events.
5:45 
  Here are 5 EASY ways to promote events:
5:45 
  1. Create a Facebook event for EVERY fundraiser and ask ALL chapter members to invite ALL of their Facebook friends so it is promoted to THOUSANDS of people.
5:46 
  2. Contact the school’s marketing department to ask if they can post the event on the school’s Facebook page and Twitter. The school generally has a large following, and this is a way to reach new students.
5:46 
  3. Contact the school and local newspapers, as well as TV stations and ask them to cover the event beforehand.
5:46 
  Remember to download the Autism Speaks U Media & Sponsorship Guide (http://bit.ly/OBHZFV) for a press release template to modify and send out.
5:46 
  4. Create colorful and eye catching flyers to post on and off campus. To promote your Light It Up Blue efforts use the flyer template (http://bit.ly/liub_flyer), or design your own.
5:46 
Expand
5:46 
  When on campus, display flyers in the student center, libraries, residence halls, dining halls, etc. When off campus, hang flyers on community boards and in coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, etc.
5:47 
  5. Go in person to present at different student clubs and Greek life organizations meetings to promote the event and discuss ways to collaborate.
5:47 
  Contact the groups to see when their meetings are held and go prepared with a short presentation on autism and your chapter, along with event flyers. 

Remember to use the Autism Speaks U sample presentation (http://bit.ly/QdbWJs)!
5:47 
  QUESTION: What ways has your chapter successfully promoted events on and off campus?

Include your school name in your reply. 
5:47 
 
Comment From West Virginia Wesleyan College- Shannon
We as a chapter we have come up with our own advertising plans. We make Facebook events, talk everything up on all social media, make posters, etc.
5:48 
 
Comment From Thomas Gansel
Marywood U. flyers and posters and emails
5:48 
 
Comment From Elinor Chambers
Tulane University. We always make facebook events for our fundraisers.
5:48 
 
Comment From Christina
Northwestern University. We have promoted events through flyers, email, facebook events, and word of mouth.
5:48 
 
Comment From Guest
flyers and introducing at open floors at other groups our exec board members are in, U of Toledo
5:48 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
For puzzle pallooza we made flyers and gave annoucnements in class in the days leading up to the event. Also. I personally have encouraged friends of mine to attend the event.
5:49 
 
Comment From Emily Zeller
Gettysburg College. We send out emails promoting the event to sororities and other organizations the e-board is involved in. Also making a Facebook event is very good at promoting.
5:49 
 
Comment From Doris- UT Austin
Last year, we got the campus newspaper to write a story about our events on April 2nd.
5:49 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
We have posted flyers all over campus and made facebook events for every fundraiser we have had. I think we have room for improvement for off campus advertising, but for our April events we will definitely do this, especially at our Starbucks canning and puzzle piece event.
5:49 
 
Comment From Ashley
SUNY Albany. We have a Facebook and Twitter page that is always updated with our new events, along with emails. We also post flyers a week or 2 before every event.
5:49 
 
Comment From Autism Speaks U Towson University -Julianna Mootz
Through social media such as twitter, facebook and instagram. We also hand out flyers, advertise events at bake sales and word of mouth
5:49 
 
Comment From Taylor Levicki
Marquette University, facebook events, school newsbriefs, talk it up to friends, class visits
5:50 
 
Comment From Olivia, Armstrong Atlantic State University
creating facebook events, being featured on local television stations, flyers around campus, members making announcements in their classes, emails, campus newspaper
5:50 
 
Comment From Guest
West Chester. We make facebook events for our fundraisers and that seems to be the way most people hear about them!
5:50 
 
Comment From Eric Smith - University of Michigan
Facebook events, and flyers in local businesses are the most effective way to spread the word locally and in town. We also send many e-mails.
5:50 
 
Comment From Tim Schifferle, John Carroll University
we have had success with email and facebook as well as word of mouth. TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!
5:51 
 
Comment From Devin M
UW- La Crosse We put fliers all over campus and put out event information in the Campus Connection email.
5:51 
 
Comment From Theresa Moore
University of Minnesota-We make facebook events for all of our events and have everyone invite all of their friends. We do a lot of promotion through social media
5:51 
 
Comment From Ciara
New Paltz: Facebook has been a big help in promoting events, not only via event pages and statuses. Another thing that I have done is leave messages about Autism Speaks events on different pages associated with New Paltz (such as Class of 2013 or Communication Disorders Majors). Also, we have utilized fliers and professors who can get the word out to their classes. I really like the idea of contacting the campus newspaper and will look into also doing that.
5:51 
 
Comment From Darissa
Manhattan College, we send out emails, post flyers, setup events in high student traffic areas so people will definitely see it, word of mouth
5:51 
  For those who are interested in "canning" or want to know more about it, check out the blog post after the Q&A - http://bit.ly/canningevent
5:51 
  Now, for the final topic: HOW TO RECEIVE LIGHT IT UP BLUE MATERIALS
5:51 
  Once your school has finalized its plans for April, emailautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org the following 3 items, complete item #4 and Light It Up Blue materials will then be sent by the Autism Speaks U National Office:
5:52 
  1. Note how the school will participate – i.e. lighting up a building blue (include building name), hosting event, asking students to wear blue, placing awareness adds on school TVs, etc.).
5:52 
  2. Note what day(s) the building will be lit blue and/or event(s) will take place.
5:52 
  3. Address to send promotional materials to.
5:52 
  4. Register your school’s events at lightitupblue.org
5:52 
  The following Light It Up Blue promotional materials will then be sent to your chapter:
5:52 
  *note there are links next to some of the items, if you want to click on them and print additional copies
5:53 
  100 quarter cards: Color http://bit.ly/liubcard 
100 stickers: http://bit.ly/liubstickers 
25 Flyers: http://bit.ly/liub_flyer 
100 Light It Up Blue slim jims
One Autism Speaks U banner
5:53 
  Before we open this is up to questions, we would like to take a quick poll. Please let us know what time works best for you chapter to attend the monthly Facebook Q&A.
5:53 
For next month's Facebook Q&A, which time works best for one e-board member in the chapter to attend?
12:00pm-1:00pm ET
 
 ( 3% )
1:00pm-2:00pm ET
 
 ( 0% )
2:00pm-3:00pm ET
 
 ( 3% )
3:00pm-4:00pm ET
 
 ( 0% )
4:00pm-5:00pm ET
 
 ( 9% )
5:00pm-6:00pm ET
 
 ( 85% )
5:54 
  Thanks for your feedback! Now, let’s open this up to Q&A. 

Please enter a question that you would like the other chapter's feedback on. If you have a very specific question, emailautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org and we'll answer you individually.
5:55 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
I am curious as to why Slim Jims are included. Could I have more info on that?
5:56 
  Slim jims are a small handout that you can pass out to promote Light It Up Blue and Autism Awareness Month.
5:56 
 
Comment From Sean Moroney, Recruitment - CWRU
For the other chapters: about how far in advance should we start advertising for this event?
5:58 
  Chapters any feedback as to how early you start promoting your events?
5:59 
 
Comment From Agnes - Binghamton U
Is it okay to partner with bars & have them donate the money they'll get from "blue" drinks to our chapter?
5:59 
  Yes, but please note that it is a 21+ event, or if they let all ages into the bar, have them provide wristbands or something along those lines to people 21+
6:00 
  In regards to the planning comment, here's a few responses from chapters:
6:00 
 
Comment From Olivia, Armstrong Atlantic State University
We are planning now...just to make sure we have time to get everything squared away and that people know far enough in advance to attend.
6:01 
 
Comment From Kelly, DePaul University
You can create Facebook events weeks in advance, but I would say for flyers around campus maybe put them up 1 week before
6:01 
 
Comment From Autism Speaks U Towson University -Julianna Mootz
At least 2 weeks before if not earlier. The more time you have to advertise to students on campus the better the outcome
6:01 
 
Comment From Lindsay
I would start planning as soon as possible. We always seem to run out of time at the end!
6:01 
 
Comment From Taylor Levicki, Marquette
Sean-- I think it depends on what type of event you're hosting. For us, with Light It Up Blue in general, we'll start promoting it about 2 weeks in advance
6:01 
  BIG thanks to all of the Autism Speaks U chapters and potential chapters for your dedication and support. You are doing an incredible job!
6:02 
  Check out www.AutismSpeaks.org/U for more information!

If we did not get to your question or you have a few more, emailautismspeaksu@autismspeaks.org.
6:02 
  Have a great night!
 
6:02