After being inspired by the global concerts of Live 8 in 2005, Commuter Student Association (CSA) a club at Arcadia University decided to have a benefit concert of our own to help fight poverty. CSA is a small club at Arcadia with a small budget and few active members as a matter of fact there was only 3 of us that ran it. Plus not only that but none of us have ever put a concert together, for example we didn't even know what a PA system was or why it was important. Since we needed a place or organization to give the money to, we chose Actions against Hunger (www.actionagainsthunger.org) and in 2007 we added Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org) to help.
The first year of doing Rock the Cause we focused on raising money for the Countries of Niger and Kenya since they were going through a drought and food shortage at the time. Since we were a small club with barely any money we tried to get help from other clubs at Arcadia, who sadly turn us away. We also didn't get much support from some people on campus but we carried on always thinking about the people we would be able to help. Our concert on March 25, 2006, lasted for 8 hours and we had 10 performers perform which included solo acts, bands, the AU dance team, AU Rockapella and a speaker. We had friends and family help by volunteering to help out at the concert to make sure everything ran smoothly. We also sold pretzels, t-shirts, cookies and fair trade chocolate to help bring in more money. We even had our concert covered in the local Arcadia paper. After calculating everything we realized we were able to put on this concert for only 200 dollars.
In 2007 we came across some interesting challenges. We learned that because our campus club is in a way a non-profit organization we had to pay back any money that we took out of our account because a nonprofit organization can not give money to another non-profit organization. Though we were disheartened by this we found a loophole. If we do fundraisers, the money we earn from that doesn't have to be paid back. We did many fundraisers which included selling tickets for a haunted Halloween event and having CSA days at certain restaurants that gave 15% of each bill for a certain length of time at night. We also sent out letters to local businesses asking for donations in exchange to be able to advertise at our concert with a banner. With the fundraisers we were able to pay most of the stuff for Rock the Cause. Our second Rock the Cause concert had proceeds going to the people in Darfur who were dealing with the genocide that's going on there and people who were suffering from poverty in America. Not only did the local Arcadia paper cover our event but so did the Ticket, one of the insert's in our local papers had an article about our concert. We also called local colleges and sent them flyers to help advertise our concerts. Lastly a few local radio stations had info about our event on their websites.
Once again we had an 8-hr concert on March 31st 2007 with 10 performers which included the AU dance team, solo acts and bands from the local area. We sold pretzels, fair trade chocolate and t-shirts along with the left over shirts from the 2006 concert. A new edition we had was Rock the Cause CD's, which we made ourselves containing music from all the bands that were performing. Also we had raffles of different items from local radio stations and other places. We also had Domino's Pizza come and sell pizza with half of their profit that night going towards our cause. In the two years that we have done this we raised over 3,000 dollars to help people who are less fortunate than us. We are starting to plan our third Rock the Cause concert to happen sometime in late March 2008.