If you’re like me, you work at an institution with less than 2,000 full-time students. In fact, the number at my institution is floating between 1700 and 1800 right now. To prevent my other readers from losing interest in this blog, let me preface by saying, “Hey, this might apply to you, as well!”
Anyhow, some of us work at smaller institutions and are oftentimes challenged to overcome significant budget shortcomings year after year. Because of our already small budget, these “shortcomings” are truly noticeable and downright frustrating at times.
So, how do we battle these shortcomings? How do we pinch our pennies, so to speak?
1. We co-sponsor. A few months back I blogged about the importance of co-sponsorships with events on our campus. Co-sponsorships enable our students to plan great events and assures that we’ll have the money available since the cost is being split between more than one group’s budget. At my institution, we are soon holding a very large Casino Night event that is pooling resources from four different organizations – the Alumni Association (paying for food), the Student Activities Board (paying for the casino games & prizes), and our Resident Student Council and Student Government Association (splitting the cost for live entertainment/band).
2. We “create” our own events. Instead of paying expensive agencies to come in and host large-scale events, such as game shows and other such events, we do our best to create our own. A colleague of mine at another small institution has gone as far as creating his own “cheap” – but effective – versions of Wheel-of-Fortune, Jeopardy, and Deal or No Deal.
3. Take advantage of community events & community partnerships. Many times this will depend on your location and seasonal temperatures. Anyhow, if your town has an annual Festival of sorts – let’s say, a pumpkin/fall-themed festival – take advantage of this “FREE!” activity. Perhaps, all you need to do is promote it to your students and provide transportation… and, viola! – a very low-cost event. Plus, very minimal effort on your part.
What else do you all do to “pinch pennies”?