Let’s Put The “Fun” Back in Fundraising!
So you’ve booked your trip! Are your students up for some “FUN” fundraising? A quick online search can be overwhelming at first glance and it seems like it’s all been done before. Where to begin?
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at what can set your trip apart. Is there something interesting or distinctive about the place you’re traveling to, the group that’s going or the staff that is heading up the team? Is there a way you can incorporate what makes your trip unique into your fundraising? Brainstorm what makes your trip different and make that the focus of how you ask for donations.
Some of our performance based groups have had great success with special “donor-only” performances, as well as hiring themselves out for parties and other events. This works especially well for choir groups around the holidays. Groups have also picked a song or two for their concerts and events that celebrates where they are traveling to, while asking for donations from event attendees. A dollar or two from an entire audience can really add up! Another option is to sell personalized songs or to write a song that includes the names of all your donors and record an impromptu performance sometime during your travels to share in a fun follow-up thank you email.
Many fundraisers require people to buy a product in order for you to raise money. Why not try the reverse? These types of “get rid of stuff” fundraisers can net donations on multiple levels. If you want to organize a large flea market or garage sale, have people pay a small fee for students and chaperones to help them clean out their garages and basements and haul the donations away. That way, you make money on the collection of the items, as well as on the sales from the event.
There are also a number of organizations that pay you to collect recyclable materials, which helps out not only you, but the planet and the piles of items people may have lying around their homes as well. TerraCycle (www.terracycle.com) allows you to register to collect previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste, like candy wrappers or yogurt containers, and then send them in for cash. The Funding Factory (www.fundingfactory.com) accepts inkjet and toner cartridges, cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS devices, headsets, and laptops in exchange for cash. They even provide the shipping materials and labels – what could be easier?!? Programs like these get the entire community involved and provide a valuable service, beyond the fundraising.
Another idea that has worked for groups of all sizes is to request donations for a specific piece of the trip. People are more likely to donate if they know their money is going to a visit to the American History Museum or a master class with a Broadway performer. When asking for support, break down costs into events and activities and ask for sponsors. Be sure to take a photo of the group enjoying that event and send a fun and personalized thank you card when you return. In that same manner, think about selling opportunities to be a part of the trip without actually traveling. You could sell pennies and have your group throw wishes into the fountain at Lincoln Center in New York City. Or a dance group could spell out someone’s name in front of the White House and take a photo or video. Or even just a “having fun on the trip” postcard sent from Costa Rica – I bet a lot of parents would pay for that, an actual written note from their child!
In addition, if you are interested in booking a trip to Educational Travel Adventures/Sustainable Horizon, they will provide you with a very informative Fundraising Guide that will give you more FUN ideas! How about an auction event at school where proceeds to go your trip, or selling bars of soap, and for every bar sold, one is given to a child in need in Haiti to prevent water related illnesses? There’s something for everyone!
However you decide to fundraise, make it fun and get everyone involved. Even small amounts add up over time and you never know what might spark someone to give money. Sometimes you just have to ask!
Make your trip a reality! Please contact Educational Travel Adventures/Sustainable Horizon for more information on fundraising ideas. 1-866-273-2500 or 732-410-5677 /firstname.lastname@example.org