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Nonprofit Communication Students Blow Past Fundraising Goal for LIPSTICK

Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley speaks at The Last Straw, a fundraising gala for Operation LIPSTICK created by Emerson College students that raised over $13,000. 

Twenty-two students in Cathryn Edelstein’s Nonprofit Fundraising Campaigns class last month raised over $13,000 for Operation LIPSTICK, an organization that prevents women from being used to straw purchase guns.

The Emerson College students raised the money through a fundraising gala called The Last Straw, which they conceived, planned, and managed as their final class project. The class exceeded their fundraising goal of $8,000.

“I am so incredibly proud of the hard work my students did to create and host such a successful fundraising event for,” Edelstein, senior executive-in-residence in the Communication Studies Department, said over email. “They are now prepared to do this in their future careers as nonprofit fundraisers – this is a valuable portfolio addition for them. They have learned and experienced what it is like to create an event of this magnitude, from conception to realization and how much work is involved.” 

Held April 15 in the Bordy Theater, The Last Straw featured speakers Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, and former NFL player Gosder Cherilus, as well as local comedian Jimmy Tingle, singer Tori Beaudoin, the Emerson Dance Company, and poet Krysten Hill.

The course is part of the new Communication Studies minor, Nonprofit Communication Management, which already has many students enrolled.

The event was supported with help from a Service Learning Innovation Grant from Emerson’s Office of Academic Engagement and Community Action. Last year, the class organized a successful fundraising event for

Watch a video of The Last Straw. 

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