Find a better way to fund your organization

Michael Giusti

Every time I walk past a bake sale, I get a little sick to my stomach – not because I have some hatred of cupcakes, but because bake sales are economic malpractice.

Hear me out.

If you are a member of a club or campus organization, by definition there is something special about you. You may be a good singer, or a good writer. You may have good business acumen or be a skilled chemist. You are in that group because you have a defining trait.

To my knowledge there isn’t a baking club or a cupcake-making organization at Loyola. So, why then is the first instinct for every organization to sell cupcakes whenever they need funds?

Instead of leaping into something you have no special skill at, you should be using what business professors call your competitive advantage. Use that thing that makes you special to raise your funds.

So, if you are the Quiddich team and you need money for new uniforms, say no to cupcakes, and instead, host a house cup between the dorms. The winner gets to say who is Hufflepuff for the rest of the year.

Are you looking for funds for your literary journal? Why not host a spelling bee? Charge everyone a few bucks to compete, split the entry fee with the winners and make an event out of it.

How about a music organization? Well, it’s a little late for Valentines, but you could have offered to serenade people who are having a special date. I’m sure you could have earned a few bucks.

Video game club? “Fortnite” tournament anyone?

Art group? How about flash sketches or caricatures in the quad?

See, you should be employing that thing that makes you special to raise your funds.

When we jump to the quick and easy world of bake sales, we are failing the campus twofold. First, you aren’t a special baker. All you are doing is going to Krispy Kreme and buying a box of donuts. That is their specialty, not yours. And second, you are depriving the campus of that thing that makes you special – makes you shine.

OK, economics club, I hear your counterpoint already – “but what about arbitrage?” Fine. Economics club, you have a point. If your competitive advantage is that you can define arbitrage, then you can do a bake sale, but nobody else.

Then again, on the other hand (see what I did there economics club), maybe you could use your skills to help all the other clubs develop business models of their own.

The rest of you, go out and make the world a better place. Do that thing that makes you special.

We already have a terrific baker on campus. If you haven’t tried the deserts in the Orleans Room, you are missing out. Leave the baking to the bakers.