Everyone loves money, but no one ever has enough. So what can you do to get more money? You can fundraise. Everyone has different opinions and experiences, but I’d like to share mine. Just keep in mind that that are plenty of other ways to go about fundraising.
So let’s start off going all the way back to my freshman year when I first joined DECA. Competition was coming up and I heard I was going to have to fundraise. I was pretty nervous just because I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. My chapter runs a school based enterprise (SBE) that’s one of our lunch lines. All I had to do was help in that lunch line a couple times. That was my fundraising for the year. It seems small, but that lunch line raises hundreds of dollars for my chapter every week.
Some other schools and districts might have different rules and regulations, but I’d highly recommend considering starting a food-based SBE if it’s allowed. Definitely talk to your advisor.
Anyways though, fast forward to sophomore year and I had to do quite a bit more fundraising; I had a campaign to fund. My chapter hosted nights at restaurants, reached out to local businesses, and sold candy. It worked like a charm and is what I’m going to do whenever I have to fundraise from now on. You have to find what works for you, and stick with it; you’ll only get better and better.
For me, fundraising turned from something I was scared of, to something I legitimately enjoy and am excited to do. Even if you don’t like it, fundraising is a part of DECA, and you might as well make the most of it.
Honestly, networking can be a little bit daunting to think about. How do you just go up to someone and talk to them; how do you not be awkward; how do you actually make it meaningful? If you want to learn my tips for networking, I have some great ones in my video blog. Here, I’ll be shedding some light on the benefits of networking.
Some people see networking as unnecessary. They can do it by themselves and don’t need other people’s help, and sometimes they’re right. They don’t NEED other people’s help, but it definitely makes things easier. Networking is how you get that help. If you reach out to people and stay in contact with them, you can learn from them and use their success to benefit you.
For me, I network mostly just to meet people, and if they help me with anything I need, that’s a bonus. It’s an incredible feeling to get to meet up with a bunch of people you met at past DECA conferences. Personally, I have friends from my first ELS who I still talk to at least every couple of weeks.
Networking is absolutely scary, but if you learn how to, it’s completely doable. Plus, the fear is easily outweighed by all of the help and support you can get from networking. To network, just talk to people, and you’ll be amazed at where those conversations can take you.
With a written event, one of the hardest parts is getting over your anxiety about it. I remember my freshman year I looked at events and thought, “whoa that is WAY too many pages.” That’s the reason I didn’t do a written event, and I don’t regret it, but I definitely know now that I was wrong. 5, 11, or even 30 page written entries aren’t nearly as daunting as they seem.
Realistically, finding relevant information to add to your written entry is pretty easy. Once you get started, you realize you have a lot more to say than you think. If you are having some trouble filling the pages, adding informational graphs, charts, and other graphics are a great way to do it. Keep in mind that those page numbers are maximums, not requirements, and it’s better to have 2/3 of the pages done with quality content, than to have all of them done with useless information. Quality over Quantity.
Probably the biggest mistake people make in a written entry is getting penalty points. AVOID PENALTY POINTS. They really do make the difference between an incredible performance and an average one. Read through the Written Event Checklist and MAKE SURE that you won’t get any penalty points. It seems really picky but it makes all the difference in the world.
The best thing you can do to prepare for you presentation is to practice. In front of your chapter members, in front of your advisor, in front of professional members, in front of you parents, in front of anyone who will listen. Everyone has a different perspective and will give you different ways you can improve on your presentation. Not only that, but presenting so many times will make the day you compete much less stressful. Over prepare so that you don’t get any jitters.
My final tip is to improve your presentation between competitions. If you compete at districts and get any constructive criticism: use it, it’ll help you at CDC. If you compete at CDC and get any constructive criticism: use it, it’ll help you at ICDC. Even if you don’t get any constructive criticism, you’ll know what you liked and didn’t like about your presentation and what you have to improve about it.
Doing a written event can seem difficult, but if you thoroughly explain everything, prepare for your presentation and are confident in what you’re saying, you’ll do just fine. After all of that, the only thing left to do is to get ready to Own your Awards.
Whether you’re a part of your chapter officer team or not, there are going to be times when you are able to (or have to) work in a team. Depending on who you are, this could be a blessing or a curse to you. Regardless though, you should make the most out of your time working with others and make sure to be a good team member.
So then the obvious question is, how do I be a good team member? This is a really simple question with a really complicated answer. It’s probably best to start with the basics; what is teamwork? Sure it’s working in a team, but it’s so much more than that. The most important aspect of teamwork is synergy, meaning that you and the rest of your team will get more done together than you would individually. Something that you need to realize about this is that it means you have to contribute more than you would if you weren’t with a team. But that doesn’t mean you have to do more work.
In fact, when you work with a team, you can do less work, get more done and have more fun doing it. This happens when a team is full of good team members. Good team members will collaborate and bounce ideas off each other so that better ideas can be thought of. Multiple brains are better than one. In addition to this, working with good team members makes working more fun. By being friendly and communicating with everyone, the entire team can feel more involved and that the work they’re doing is more meaningful than if they worked alone.
It is worth noting though that teamwork can have a major flaw: stalling. We’re all guilty of it, we’re working in a group with our friends and get off task so much that nothing gets done. To combat this, teams need to make sure they stay on task and stay motivated while having fun to make sure that things get done.
Working in a team is a unique experience. You have multiple people who may have completely different ideas and want to do completely different things. But that’s just a part of life that you can’t change. Instead of trying to, you should cherish the experience and gain something from it.
When you hear the word Thrive, what do you think of? If you’re like me I think of someone or something that’s doing their very best, whether it be an athlete at the peak of his career or a company that’s flourishing. A great way for your chapter to thrive is to complete the THRIVE campaigns.
There are five different THRIVE campaigns which all cover different aspects of what many successful chapters do. The five campaigns are Membership, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Promotional, Community Service, and Advocacy. If you really want to THRIVE, you should complete them all!
The Membership campaign’s focus is pretty straightforward: membership! The three requirements it has are to increase student membership by 20, to have 20 alumni members, and to have 20 professional members. If your chapter completes one of these requirements, you will earn achievement level and receive a pennant and certificate. If you complete two (or three) of these requirements, your chapter will earn THRIVE level and earn a pennant, plaque, flag and three allocations to attend the THRIVE Academy at ICDC. By completing this campaign, your chapter will be able to strengthen their membership with past and present members, as well as their relationship with members of the community.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign, this year, takes place November 14-20. The three requirements are to submit 3 ideas for the DECA Idea Challenge, to hear 3 success stories of alumni entrepreneurs, and to have 3 school/community outreach activities. Keep in mind to be recognized for this campaign (as well as the next three), you must complete ALL of the requirements. By completing this campaign, your chapter members will be more knowledgeable about entrepreneurship, and be able to develop their entrepreneurial abilities.
The Promotional campaign works to promote DECA within your school and community. The three requirements for this campaign are to complete 3 school outreach activities, to have 3 alumni present their success stories, and to have 3 community outreach activities. By promoting DECA in these different areas, your chapter can garner a huge amount of support and truly fulfill the Community Oriented principle of DECA.
The Community Service campaign is another excellent way to be a Community Oriented chapter. The requirements for this campaign are to complete 1 community service activity, with 75% or more participation of your members, and 1 form of publicity or promotion.
To be recognized for the three above campaigns (Global Entrepreneurship Week, Promotional, and Community Service), you must complete all three of the requirements of the campaign. If you complete one of these three campaigns, your chapter will receive a pennant and certificate. If you complete two of these campaigns, your chapter will receive a pennant, plaque, flag and three allocations to the THRIVE Academy at ICDC.
The fifth and final campaign is Advocacy. To complete this campaign, you must complete three school outreach activities, reach out to 3 public policy makers, and complete three community outreach activities. All of this must be done in February, and if you complete it successfully, your chapter will receive a pennant, a special plaque, and a letter of recognition. It is important to remember that the Membership, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Promotional, and Community Service Campaigns are all due December 1st, so be sure to SUBMIT them by that date. The Advocacy campaign is due March 1st, and must be submitted by that date.
The THRIVE campaigns are excellent ways for your chapter to gain recognition and spots in the THRIVE Academy at ICDC. By completing these campaigns, your chapter will thrive, and I think it is one of the best things you can do. An excellent graphic to help you out is this.