Updated: Mar 28, 2021
My name is Vaibhavi Talati and I am a Student Outreach Coordinator on SODA's National
Team. I recently graduated from college and was the President of Marquette University’s SODA Chapter. One of the things we often wanted to work on, as I’m sure is the case for many other chapters, is student turnout at our events. Organ donation advocacy and registration are critically important, and we wanted more people to get involved.
Here are some of my suggestions for increasing turnout at events:
Marketing is everything!
Remember to always give students enough exposure to your event. Every campus is different, for some, flyers and posters can work really well, while for the other chapters, emails and lecture slides work better. Understand who your audience is and engage them in your events by thoroughly catching their attention. For example, with lecture slides, you can add in an image of the event flyer within the slide and ask professors to briefly share them before or after class. Emails are also a great way to add reminders or include information about an event! It’s also helpful to have one person designated from the leadership team be in charge of this so there is consistency.
Attract students with free food!
Anytime a college student hears “FREE” they are bound to be interested and willing to check it out! Having goodies like pens or t-shirts can motivate students to attend your event and learn more about organ donation. Especially if these free goodies are centered around organ donation (think LifeSaver candy!), we are helping to educate students.
Does your chapter want to request more SODA supplies? Visit sodanational.org/resources.
Collaborate with other student organizations!
From my experience at Marquette and supporting student chapters across the country, I have learned that other student body organizations are often very inviting and friendly! We often had events in collaboration with other student organizations to promote both the group’s message while also being able to gather new student interest! Look around, maybe some of your friends are leaders in another organization and would want to collaborate!
Take advantage of SODA's Resources!
SODA National is happy to reimburse and help fund events that promote organ donation! SODA also has numerous resources guides such as the “Hosting an Event Guide” and “Managing a Chapter Guide”. All these resources and more can be access at sodanational.org/resources.
My time as the President of SODA at Marquette’s chapter was one of the most fulfilling roles I had in college! Leading an organization is both challenging and rewarding. Our national leadership team at SODA is dedicated to helping you succeed and grow your chapter to new heights. Always know we’re only a call or an email away to help! Feel free to be in touch.