Student organizers for the 1952 convention. Source: Washington & Lee University Special Collections repository.

As a student created and driven organization, one of the most basic challenges Mock Convention faces is raising the funds needed to steward one of Washington and Lee’s most treasured traditions.

Tanner Waggoner, ’16, Financial Chair for Mock Convention 2016, is in charge of creating and overseeing a budget for all of the major events. 

He works closely with Blake Liebling, ’16, Financial Controller, to account for all cash inflows and outflows and ensure that they fall within their budget. Myers McGarry, ’16, Fundraising Chair, is responsible for expanding sources of revenue.

“Balancing these two sides of the equation can be difficult, especially because the majority of our budget relies on revenue that we haven’t received yet” said Waggoner. 

Mock Convention receives funding from four main sources.  The first and most significant is private contributions.  The vast majority come from members of the Washington and Lee Community, including parents of current students, alumni, and friends of the university.

MockCon also has two major bequests in its name. The Sumners and Snyder Endowments generate almost a quarter of a million dollars over four years for the organization.

The third largest portion of Mock Con revenues comes from yearly budget allocations by W&L’s Executive Committee. Grants by private foundations that are interested in supporting groups that pursue advancements in higher education are the fourth largest source.

The Mock Convention 2016 financial team is currently exploring other ways to fundraise, including corporate sponsorship.

This past week General Chair Andrew McCaffery '16, Director of Operations Courtney McCauley '17, and Fundraising Coordinator Jack Thomson '16 attended the Washington D.C. Alumni Chapter Holiday Party to showcase the organization’s progress thus far and encourage alumni to contribute.

“We made a quick pitch for fundraising, noting that there are many ways to support Mock Con,” said McCaffery.  “It was great to start building a relationship with the D.C. alumni chapter, and we are excited to hopefully have their support as we get closer to 2016.”

In addition to finding outside support, the financial team is looking for help from the W&L student body.  Current students can get involved by not only providing contributions and purchasing memorabilia, but also by giving any references to political figures who would be willing to speak at Mock Convention.  

As always, continue to check out the website for the most updated information.