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Communications The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: College Club Fundraising On the Fly? 89

An anonymous reader writes "As luck would have it, I was video-attending the monthly meeting of my alma mater's amateur radio club last night and learned that a local Alumnus had passed, leaving a significant amount of equipment to the club, including a 'Big Bertha' tower that the club does not have a home for. This particular 'Big Bertha,' as it is called, is a 115 foot tall, self-supporting rotatable pole that can support an enormous number of antennae. There are thought to be only a small number of them in civilian use, and this was one of them. I also happen to be a member of the local University's amateur radio club, and our local meeting was right after the Georgia Tech meeting, so upon learning of the availability I immediately informed them that this tower could be had so long as they could support the logistics of moving the tower approximately 100 miles.

After discussing the logistics, and the fact that construction crews would be required on both sides, we came to the conclusion that a significant amount of money would be required, and that your typical intramural basketweaving team bake sale would not do the job. The use case for such a tower is not difficult to make with the University, or with local emergency services who would no doubt love to have space on such a tall tower in such a prime 'top of the hill' geographical location. Zoning will also not be an issue owing to the location having one other taller tower belonging to the college radio station, and a water tower on site. However, with most governments being cash-strapped and unlikely willing to contribute to the project, we need some more ideas on how to raise the needed funds.

So if you're a small University club, and need to raise $30-40K in a hurry, how do you do it? They are working on some small grants from local corporations, and also contacting the manufacturer to see if there is any goodwill there. But, many more ideas are needed. Thanks in advance."
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Ask Slashdot: College Club Fundraising On the Fly?

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  • Call the Army (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @05:37PM (#46458209) Homepage

    Try calling your local National Guard unit, see if you can talk them into using a CH-47 to move it for you as a training exercise. After all, the National Guard needs the training anyway, so give them something in the real world to practice on. Just emphasize that you need it for disaster preparedness.

  • Re:Volunteers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @06:26PM (#46458689)

    In a particular case like this, it may be possible for much of the transport work to be done by volunteers from the local ham community.

    I think that's probably a good way to go - hams generally love to help others, especially other hams. And nothing's better than helping emergency preparedness either.

    Put the call out, and earmark some money for beer and pizza and stuff at the end and you may find that you'll have lots of help - not to pay for the transport, but to actually do it. And I'm sure lots of hams would love to have the chance to actually put up a tower or to learn how to put one up (a good skill to have).

    Heck, have workshops as well - turn this not into a "let's get a tower" event but into a whole community involvement and relations thing. After all, you'll get curious onlookers wondering what's going on. It's the perfect time to also do outreach and explain what ham radio is about, what they're good for, and why in an emergency it's good to know a few of 'em.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor