“PR FEST 2018”, More Than A Fund Raising Event

By Md Haque Noor Alam

GOMBAK, 8 December 2018 – What is a fundraising event? Why is fundraising important for a nonprofit organisation? What are the goals and objectives of a fundraising event? Is the only objective of a fundraising event solely to collect money? Is there anything students can learn from a fundraising event?

As an active member of different student societies in campus these questions keep coming to my mind again and again when anyone talked about a fundraising event.

I had a deep interest to know more about a fundraising event. This semester, the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association (IPRMSA) – IIUM Chapter had organised an event called “PR FEST 2018”,  so I volunteered and this gave me the opportunity to work for a fundraising event that took place last week at HS Square from 26 to 29 November.

According to collinsdictionary.com, a fundraising event is an event which is intended to raise money for a particular purpose. In this case, the main focus of a fundraising event is to raise money for charity or for other purposes such as increasing funds in meeting the need to organise activities of the association.

But the main objective of “PR FEST” was not only to collect money for the organisation, it also provided a platform to sharpen organisational skills among its members. It also gave an opportunity to its members to gain exposure to brands and business team to introduce their products to the campus community.

Apart from that, the objective of the event was also to provide grooming opportunities for the students and to train the association’s members to be financially independent apart from an attempt to enhance their entrepreneur skills.

To make this event successful, IPRMSA-IIUM Chapter collaborated with five vendors to sell books, clothing and beauty products with a theme “Beauty, knowledge and appearance”.

Now, one question came to mind, why did they choose this theme? In an interview with IIUMToday before the event, the programme manager, Nor Farazuha Aripin, gave this answer. According to her, “Although PR Fest is a fundraising event to raise money for the society, we are not focusing on this alone. We have five vendors that are selling beauty products, clothes, books and periodicals to IIUM students.”

“The reason why we agreed to have them for our event is because we are focusing on the theme to highlight knowledge, appearance and beauty. These are the three criteria which will be looked upon when someone is searching for a job later,” she said.

Farazuha explained, “In this competitive world grooming is very important. After graduation, students need to compete with other graduates of different universities and backgrounds. So, apart from learning the subjects in class, it is very important for them to absorb as much knowledge as they can outside their classroom.”

She said that while studying at the university it is the best time for students to get themselves prepared for their professional life.

Another question came to my mind, why this kind of event is important for public relations students?
To this question, Dr. Zeti Azreen Ahmad, the Internal Advisor of IPRMSA-IIUM Chapter, gave her explanation: “The philosophy of IPRMSA is to enable its members to experience the real tasks of public relations. When you are organising an event, you have to include strategic planning, you have to include your creativity and knowledge in there. This would in a way align with the mission of the association to groom future practitioners.”

“In public relations we have to make sure that our stakeholders are satisfied and that we do justice to them. In an event like this, your stakeholders are not only the potential buyers, not only the potential donors who will come to your stall, but also the vendors. So, make sure that the vendors are happy, and they are satisfied selling their products,” she highlighted.

I asked the President of IPRMSA-IIUM Chapter, Afzal Nurshamiera Musa, and here’s her response: “The fest focused on grooming the students inside and outside. We had vendors selling beauty products, scarves and books. This was intended to tell students that it was important to improve themselves in terms of their presentation. We also invited speakers to talk about the importance of grooming, seeking knowledge and being active in the university.”

“This event was to train members of  our association to be financially independent and to sharpen their entrepreneur skills as we sold flowers and preloved items too in the fest,” she added.

I asked the vendors what did they think about the event.

Fatin Nabila, who sold square scarf said, “During the first day, there were not so many people maybe because of the lack of promotion. But, starting on the second day, it was getting better. The fee was cheaper than other fest. I have sold 70 pieces of scarves and I am really happy with the service of committee. I hope there will be more promotion in upcoming festival.”

Another vendor, Nur Odiba, shared her experience. She said, “Overall, our sales were okay. Maybe, the rent should be reduced from RM180 to RM150. Other than that, it should provide proper store to keep our materials by setting up the booth more systematically.”

“Overall we are really happy with the services of committee. I hope that in the next festival opening here, they should introduce all of the booths provided.”

From the feedback, I had the impression that the vendors were satisfied with the services provided by the committee but they suggested to provide more opportunities for them in future festival organised by IPRMSA.

This festival also featured speakers from the industry to share their experience which had benefitted the campus community. ***

 

Md Haque Noor Alam

Experienced Reporter with a demonstrated history of working in the public relations and communications industry. Skilled in News Writing, Communication, Feature Writing, Team Building, and Public Speaking. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelors' in Human Sciences focused in Majoring in Communication, Specialization in Public Relations from International Islamic University Malaysia.

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