Many groups that travel with us choose to hold fundraisers to offset trip costs and allow as many students as possible to experience the benefits and excitement of educational travel. Some of the unique fundraising opportunities we’ve heard of lately have included benefit performances, face painting at local carnivals, and selling crafts made by students planning to travel. Groups have also had success through more traditional fundraisers like bake sales and car washes.
If you’re interested in fundraising, but aren’t sure where to start or what type of fundraiser is right for your group, here are a five tips for choosing a fundraiser.
Choose a timeframe.
Ask yourself how long you want your fundraiser to last. One week? Two? A month? Program leaders tell us that one to two weeks has proven to be most effective. Shorter fundraisers may have trouble catching on, while parents and students may lose interest in longer fundraisers. Of course, one-day fundraisers are also great and can be very successful!
Pick a time.
When planning a fundraiser, it’s a good idea to look at the school and community calendar to see when other groups and organizations are planning fundraisers to avoid over saturating the area. It’s also recommended to look at the trip timeline. Plan fundraisers so they correspond with payment deadlines.
Parents and booster clubs can be great resources. Most parents are happy to help – you just have to ask! They may also prove to have unique fundraising ideas or resources of their own.
Individual or group?
Decide if you want your fundraiser to be individual or group focused. Individual fundraisers such as selling products make it easy for students to be responsible for their own fundraising efforts. Group fundraising options like silent auctions or raffles encourage teamwork and can help reduce the overall cost of the trip.
Self-organized or third party?
Fundraisers organized yourself are often more original, and students have a greater role in planning and promoting them. However, they could require more of a time commitment. Third party options allow a representative to handle collecting and distributing funds, as well as fulfilling orders. Check out Choosing a Third-Party Company for more information on how to choose the best third-party company for you.
And of course, we have our own fundraising tool, Gift of Education, which allows students to send e-cards, share their trip on Facebook, or send letters to family and friends to raise funds for their trips. Check out our fundraising website for more information on the Gift of Education, as well as for more tips and tricks on fundraising, including a list of fundraising ideas to get you started!
Have you held a successful fundraising recently? Tell us about it – or any great fundraising ideas you’re working on now – in the comments!