University of Florida

Most Outstanding Philanthropic Program Nomination: University of Florida

Provide a detailed description of the philanthropic program and the population it served. Details MUST include: date of event, number of participants, program purpose (goals, objectives, etc.), use of resources (finances, community support, etc.), marketing techniques and evaluation processes.

Pho Fundraiser was a one day pop up restaurant on November 11, 2018. The primary purpose of this event was serving Vietnamese dishes such as Pho, Bun Bo Hue, Banh Bao, and Cha Gio to the greater community of Gainesville. So in essence, it was to educate diners about Vietnamese cuisine/culture while promoting and raising money towards this year’s CPP, the Children of Vietnam. The program took place over 3 days, with food prep occurring on Friday/Saturday and service on Sunday. Led by our fundraising directors, we had the help of volunteers/members (roughly 50-60 people) and the Vietnamese Association of Gainesville, we were successfully able to raise around 3000 dollars for our philanthropy. Most of our marketing occurred through social media, with the use of an event page and flyer. Through plugging/memes, as well as tabling on campus, we were able to spread awareness about our event and educate the UF population about the Children of Vietnam.

What motivated the organization to host the philanthropic program? What efforts were used to motivate and involve the organization’s members?

As stated earlier, our primary motivation for Pho Fundraiser was to educate diners about Vietnamese cuisine/culture while promoting and raising money towards our philanthropy, the Children of Vietnam. Not many people know of Vietnamese cuisine outside of Pho and are usually averse to trying new things. They see ingredients like tripe and tendon and turn their heads the other way. As a result, our goal was to provide them with the opportunity to change their opinion and experience just how delicious and wonderful Vietnamese food and our culture really is. As for our members, they gain the opportunity to become involved with our organization and gain a good experience from volunteering. Aside from luring them in with free meals, we receive feedback from our members that volunteering during this event is nostalgic, as they are given the opportunity to be in a Vietnamese home and are reminded of their own homes. This also goes hand in hand with our organization’s pillar of phamily and providing our members with a home away from home.

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the cultural program? What was the outcome of the program in terms of goals met, successes, and failures?

Challenges we met were mainly the stress and grueling labor that goes into prepping and running a pop up restaurant. A lot of work goes into the logistics behind the event. We have to consider how to divide the work of 50-60 volunteers, how much ingredients to buy/how to avoid overspending, as well as tasks the day of to keep the event running smoothly. With the excellent leadership of our fundraising directors and our organization’s ability to keep a light and positive atmosphere, we were able to host a successful event, as we raised roughly 3000 dollars towards our philanthropy, which was greater than last year’s total. Our diners enjoyed the event and were given a delicious taste in Vietnam. Most importantly, we we were able to reduce our overspending on ingredients, as this year we had little to no leftovers after service compared to previous years.