We’ve all had a class that was particularly challenging. But Martin Sauer, an instructor and program director of Lancaster Bible College’s business administration degree, had an especially difficult task in mind for his business students: turn $5 into as much money as possible in just 24 hours.
Talk about a serious challenge.
The only guidelines were that students couldn’t spend more than $5 on materials, they had 24 hours to earn as much money as possible and they were allowed to keep all the revenue they generated.
One group of students – Brad Erb, Jeff Edman, Collin Myers, Lindsey Song, McKayla Smucker, Joy Bright, Matthew Whipple, Naomi Wangyahui, Leighton Smith and Austin Burton – quickly set to the task. Almost immediately, the group decided that they wanted to donate any money they raised toward a worthy cause, noting that as Christian students, they were in a unique position to help serve and encourage the body of Christ. Rather than simply donating the money to a big charity, they decided to use the funds to fulfill the needs of someone on campus. After some serious brainstorming, the team came to a decision: the money would be raised to help needy students, with a portion of the funds being used to help a pair of international students who had recently relocated to the United States to study at LBC, only to discover that their planned housing situation fell through.
With little time to lose, the students began their work. They decided to focus on personal and face-to-face interactions to spread the word about their fundraising efforts. To do this, they set up a secure donation web page, purchased an easy to remember URL – studentsinneed.org – and got on the phone. Each member of the group called various family members, friends and loved ones to ask for donations. The group also created a short video that asked viewers to donate just $5 toward the cause. And by the time the 24 hours were up, the group had managed to raise $2,000 to give to the students.
According to Brad Erb, one of the students who helped to spearhead the fundraising efforts and budding businessman, there was a lot to learn from this project. First, he said, “Asking for money is hard and humbling, but with the right mindset – that this isn’t about you – it’s possible.” Secondly, he added, “In order to see something through, you have to persevere through each challenge or trial thrown your way.”
“This project is designed to teach students that they can do more than they ever imagined,” said Sauer, the professor behind it all. “And each semester, students exceed both my expectations and their own! Our business program has been intentionally designed in such a way that students are constantly involved in projects, internships and mentoring relationships with local business leaders to ensure that what they’re learning can be directly applied to their future careers.”
To learn more about Lancaster Bible College’s exciting undergraduate business program, click here.