Fundraising from the ground up

Erik Woods

Spring and fall — the two seasons in which most plants are growing, reproducing, or dying off.  This Fall and Winter will see the cycle continue as it always does and with each plant that ends its cycle, another begins.
The Horticulture department at Saddleback College has an annual Spring and Fall plant sale where Professor Robert Farnsworth opens his green house doors to the public. 

Why?  “The greenhouse generates around $7,000 to $9,000 in the two plant sales,” Farnsworth said.  That’s an incredible $8,000 a year!  That $8,000 goes to fund scholarships for horticulture students.
The other departments throughout the school should find some way to do fundraisers whether its from a sale or some kind of event that people enjoy.
Farnsworth said not all 100% goes to the scholarships, but nearly all of the proceeds do.  The remainder of the funds are spent on seeds, pots, soil, fertilizer and other plant necessities.
The fact that this brings in money for scholarships is a way for students to learn. This allows students to attend school or pay for their books.
The yearly plant sale is about as close as it gets to a real money tree.
The plant sale starts in the morning and continues on into the evening with most customers making multiple trips, and most customers are return customers from the previous plant sale, just months before, according to Farnsworth.
Most of the plants that are sold during the annual sale are common in southern California.  Hibiscus, Pansys,  Alyssum, Pothos and many more are sold each year, and most customers return during the next growing season for another drove of plants.
Not all departments have to have plant sales; for example they can have a bake sale or just like the recent chili cook out to assist veterans. If they asked for some ideas from the events cabinet at Saddleback ASG they might get some ideas in order to raise money for their department.
Essentially the idea is that other departments follow suit of the green house. By raising money for their departments they can decide how to spend the money whether its for scholarships for that department or if the department needs new equipment.
This method does not dip into Saddleback’s funds since Farnsworth said, “Some of the money goes to continuing plant sales.” If the departments use volunteers and uses some of the profits from their events or sales to continue future fundraising then this can also help the college budget.