Fundraising - How Can I Get to the Physics & Astronomy Congress?

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How to fundraise to go to the 2025 Physics and Astronomy Congress!

  • Use this spreadsheet to help estimate the costs associated with getting your chapter to Physics Congress! In general, an amount between $300-$800 for US travelers is common. International students might expect to pay $200-$400 more. Most students who attend receive support from their department, get support from SPS, or fundraise to greatly reduce their individual costs.

  • Apply for a chapter travel award through SPS. These will become available in fall of 2024.

  • Steps:

  1. Identify a core group of students going. Example: E-board plus 1 member for a starting number of 6.

  2. Use the spreadsheet above to estimate costs.

  3. Identify a fundraising goal.

  4. Ask the department to match your fundraising.

  5. Ask the Student Government Association to match your fundraising and department contribution.

  6. Ask alumni to donate. Use the tips below for some ideas. An example: Sell extra department shirts for $50 each to alumni to help you get to Congress.

  7. Identify the cost per student after fundraising and set a due date for those funds.

  8. Have the chapter buy registrations around February 2025.

SPS will be sponsoring chapter travel awards - A limited number of chapter awards are available for research presentations, art exhibition, and meeting reporters. Chapter awards will pay for hotel rooms for attendees.

Top 10 tried and true fundraising events (click on the options for details):

Best Practices:

  • Start fundraising for the Physics and Astronomy Congress now! Saving a little each month over a long time really helps.

  • Get a cash box and consider setting up an account with your school or a local bank

  • Identify a treasurer to help track money.

  • Develop a system for saving over the next few semesters.

  • Create semester plans with tangible goals.

  • Investigate department and campus resources for conference travel. You'd be surprised what you can find.

  • For smaller fundraisers, reach out to Alumni and ask them to match what is raised.

  • Read more about fundraising in the Fall 2021 (page 5) or order issues of Sigma Pi Sigma Radiations magazine.

Get Started with Small Fundraisers:

  • Sell coffee & donuts, or pizza & soda once a month or during exam times. Pick a high traffic location and focus on class change times

  • Pi a Professor (around Thanksgiving and Pi Day)

  • Ask for donations at SPS sponsored demo shows

  • Sell food/shirts during events

  • Tutor for STEM courses at your college and also local high schools

Big Impact Fundraising Ideas:

  • Request Special Allocation Funds through your Student Government (plan early ~ at least 1 year out!)

  • Approach members of college administration to match funds - this process should be started before your school’s fiscal year begins.  Use this sample letter as a basis for your funding request.

  • Talk with your school’s alumni office to see if they have a donor who may be willing to contribute to your cause

  • Reach out to your school’s development or corporate partnerships office to see if there are organizations or companies who would be willing to sponsor you

Promotional Material:

PhysCon 2016 Fundraising Case Studies

Here are a few examples of SPS chapters that used the provided tips to raise money for PhysCon 2016: