Tips

TIPS ON SEEKING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO ATTEND DRSA (CONSEILS)

Each year many of our students are very successful in raising significant financial assistance, in their own communities, to off-set their fees to attend our programs. Even those students who have been awarded bursaries have been able to raise additional funds to cut down costs. DRSA encourages students to go to their communities to seek support, and experience has shown that many organizations are more comfortable supporting students from their own community who directly benefit from the program, rather than contributing directly to DRSA, particularly if there are no campuses near that community.

WHO TO APPROACH
This will largely depend on your community, but the possibilities are endless. In the past our students have received money from such groups as their schools, school boards, parent/teacher associations local community and service groups such as the Rotary Club, Optimist club, Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion private companies in their community professional associations (ie Engineering associations, unions)

The first step is to talk to your science teacher or guidance counsellor. They may have some ideas and may be willing to help you out. Then look at your community and identify the various groups and businesses that you could approach. The best place to start is with groups that you are connected to in some way. This includes groups you, your parents, friends, relatives belong to or are involved with companies you, your parents, friends, relatives work for Don’t worry if you have no direct connections with groups or businesses – you can still make an approach without an introduction.


HOW TO APPROACH GROUPS OR BUSINESSES

Every group or organization is different and has different ways of doing things. Start with the groups or businesses you have a connection with and use that connection. Ask someone you know who is involved in the group or who works at the company to help you find out;

who you should approach
how you should approach (phone call, letter etc) when you should approach them (some groups have monthly meetings, some weekly etc) by all means ask your contact if they will help you make your approach (perhaps write a letter of support for you, arrange a meeting for you, and so on)

If you don’t know anyone who can help you, you can simply start by making a few phone calls or writing a few letters. Start with your yellow pages to identify potential groups and businesses to approach. It is important to find a contact name of someone in the company or group (the chairman, president, public relations officer, and so on). Always send a letter to a specific person – never send it to a company or group with no name on it. Even if you have sent it to the wrong person, there is a better chance it will be read and passed on.

MATERIALS TO USE TO EXPLAIN DRSA’S PROGRAM
The first, and easiest way, for any company to get information on DRSA is through the web site. It will be useful to quote the address (www.drsa.ca) in any communication you have with them, to give them a chance to get a good idea of how the program will benefit you.

It is important to let companies know that DRSA is a not-for-profit organization which relies on the continued support of funding partners to provide programs for high school students from communities across Canada.

DRSA can also supply you with copies of our brochure and poster, program outline and history etc, if you cannot access the web site. We also welcome telephone enquiries from companies and groups, if they need more information.

WHY SHOULD A COMPANY OR GROUP SUPPORT YOU?
Government, business people, teachers and scientists know that a strong Canadian science research culture is essential to a globally competitive economy in the future. And where is Canada going to find the scientific talent to compete in the global market in the twenty first century? In our high schools and universities. DRSA’s objective is to give talented science students an exciting science and engineering research experience, to encourage strong science students to pursue a career in science. It may also be worth mentioning that DRSA also employs about 30 university science students to work for the summer as Research Assistant s, working in research laboratories alongside the high school students participating in the program, guiding and directing their work.

This is why supporting students like you is so important. Anyone who is concerned about the availability of scientists and engineers in Canada in the years to come, can make a contribution towards a solution by sponsoring a student on a DRSA program.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE FUNDER?
Any group or business who sponsors you wants to know how their funding will be used. You can engage their interest by offering to;-

Report back to them on completion of your research

Show them your report, or give a presentation to demonstrate what you learned

You can also tell them that graduates of DRSA often bring their enthusiasm for science and their recognition that what they are learning in school will actually be useful one day, back to the classroom.

Sponsors are also welcome to attend the graduation ceremony at the end of the program – please inform the office if you want a group to receive an invitation.

Funders who contribute directly to DRSA are also listed on our web site.

Donors will receive significant recognition through promotional efforts which reach schools, students, teachers, parents, businesses, government agencies, community groups and media across Canada.

Funding support enables groups and businesses to expand their community and education partnership initiatives.

Funding assistance creates a win-win for all participants; the students, the Research Assistants, the scientists, the research laboratories, and the donors who are helping to build a culture of science and research in Canada.

Finally, as a donor, a group is contributing to the development of an educated, experienced workforce critical to the new knowledge-based economy, a workforce we will need to draw from in the future.

STATISTICS & TESTIMONIALS
On our web site there is plenty of testimonial and statistical information describing the success of our programs, which you can use in your own communications with groups and businesses.

Good luck in your fund raising!