My fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, was struggling to find a philanthropy event that really connected with our campus. We knew we wanted to continue supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, as one of our members has Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, but we were approaching it all wrong. Rather than focusing on what students want, previous philanthropy chairs refused to branch out from something strictly muscle-related.
My friend Nick and I took on the task of shifting our approach completely. It's not difficult to deduce that college students are always looking for cheap, satisfying food. We capitalized on this simple insight and built our entire fundraising effort around it. When the pun idea "AlphaTACOmega" was brought up, we knew it was just right.
By increasing attendance to over 3,000 people, and having awareness-focused parts of the event, such as having a Drake ATO who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy give a speech about what the MDA means to him, allowed us to use our higher numbers to also boost our impact.
Social media was a big part of AlphaTACOmega. Students were encouraged to post pictures holding the giant taco along with a fact about the MDA's mission and accomplishments. This allowed for us to generate buzz for the MDA and to help increase attendance at our fundraiser.
Our event was a huge hit, and truly a rewarding moment for me. Seeing everybody so excited about supporting the MDA and enjoying a great time together was better than I could have ever imagined.