Florida Section Puts Dream Big In Every School

BY 
September 24, 2018

PHOTO: Florida Section

The Florida Section collaborated tirelessly to bring Dream Big: Engineering Our World to every school in the state. Section Executive Director Judy Nichols, A.M.ASCE, and Communications Co-Chair Garit Poire, S.M.ASCE, devised a plan to meet the challenge. Poire developed Great Give, the first funding campaign of its kind for the Section, to support putting one Dream Big: Engineering Our World DVD in every Florida school.

With the educational discount deadline for the DVD toolkits approaching, the Florida Section sought to ensure students had access to the film. K-12 Education Chair Jeff Earhart and Student Activities Committee Co-Chair Mike Olka encouraged local branches to spearhead this endeavor for their local schools and did so with much success. Funds for more than 3,500 DVDs were secured through fundraising and matching programs.

Even with that success, 2,500 schools remained unaddressed. The Section needed to discover a way to not only fund the remaining $12,000 that would be a finale to a grassroots campaign started by the Society, but also give the Section membership a cause to stand behind that they would be proud to support as a community.

It was a week before the 2018 ASCE Florida Section Annual Conference that Nichols and Poire discussed what became the ASCE Florida Section Great Give.

Week-long fundraising campaigns usually take weeks of marketing to inform the membership of the coming challenge. Unfortunately, time was short to accomplish this goal, and the annual conference was the one event where a large portion of the Section membership meet. Thus, while the ASCE Florida Section’s campaign officially started on Monday, July 9, the first portion of the week was used to collect donations through email and social media marketing, and to inform the Florida membership of the Great Give and its purpose. Within the first hours of the official release of the campaign, more than $900 was collected through the Constant Contact donation link. With three days and counting to the Section’s event, a strategy was introduced that would inspire a portion of the membership highly active in their local communities.

The Section issued the Grand Student Challenge, giving Student Chapters the opportunity to craft creative fundraising and marketing solutions to compete and learn skills they would need to learn to be successful in their coming year. At the end of the challenge, the student chapters were able to collect more than $2,832 that provided 566 public schools with copies of Dream Big.

Support didn’t stop there.

Through email marketing, the Section collected $12,878.86  by individuals and supporting companies. Branches, Student Chapters, companies, and individuals provided DVDs for more than 75 schools each. Local branches also took charge and donated additional funds to guarantee that their local communities had access to the outreach.

At the conference itself, over $1,750 was collected at the ASCE Florida Section Annual Awards Luncheon by student members who utilized Square readers to run credit transactions. Hundreds of individuals and entities made this Great Give possible.

As of Aug. 1, enough funds were collected through donations and matching to provide every school in the State of Florida to a copy of the Dream Big DVD.

The Dream Big DVD showcased the heart that is displayed by engineers bettering their profession, community, and future generations.

Keep up with the Section online.

Submitted by: Judy Nichols, A.M.ASCE and Garit Poire, S.M.ASCE

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