A college minister friend in another state shared with me that one of the ministries reaching out to his campus had spent about $20,000 on thieir Welcome Week events. As a BCM director with a limited budget, he was blown away by that figure. We discussed conflicting feelings about the priority and importance of that first week and whether it's ok to spend that much money in that way. He shared another interesting story about a local church that was doing a welcome event for students, renting busses for it, etc. After they figured their total cost, it came to about $7,000 for the one evening. As they thought about it, someone said, "We have part-time staff members we don't pay that much.". They decided to cancel the event.
Years ago a student friend of mine who attended a major university was telling me about his fraternity's rush/recruitment plans. I asked him how much they would spend. He guessed they would spend several thousand dollars. It made me think, if they will do that to get 50 guys, what should I be doing to try to touch a whole campus during the first couple of weeks. I upped my budget....but not even close to that catagory.
It raises lots of interesting questions. Are we spending what we ought to? How much is too much? Or, where are we subbing money for creativity and hard work? Or, if it were a baptist ministry, should they have combined with other Baptist ministries there and made one excellent event with split cost?