Student Tour Groups – Get There with These Fundraising Tips
By Melissa Stanek
It happens every year, the dreaded word printed out on newsletters and uttered by hopeful staff: fundraising. Now more than ever, fundraising can be a fun and even easy venture. Fundraising for student group tours may usher in a period of extra busy schedules, but with these tips, this year can have the smoothest fundraising yet.
Crowdfunding Web sites help streamline donation collecting while reaching a wider audience than just student’s families and the friends of the school. Make a crowdfunding campaign stand out by featuring a video or photos from last year’s successful event. It is important to share why the school is sending students on this trip and what the students might learn. Adding a cute quote from a student about what they hope for in this big adventure is sure to catch charitable eyes. Crowdfunding campaigns are easy to set up and to share. Crowdfunding is great, because it works in the background of life with little maintenance. This allows fundraisers to focus on other efforts. Visit gofundme.com, fundmytravel.com, fundraising.myevent.com, indiegogo.com or volounteerforever.com to get started.
Most people have a caffeine addiction, and fundraising season is the perfect time to get in on the coffee-scented cash flow. Find a wholesaler to buy whole bags of coffee. Sell these to the community and at the school. At the car drop-off line, position someone with a carafe of the purchased blend taking $1 and $2 dollar donations for a cup of Joe. These little drops of cash can make a big splash, and even inspire a parent to purchase a full bag or two. When morning sales become a hit, consider adding homemade scones from the baking sale. What baking sale?
This baking sale. Everyone loves goodies, so the power of the classic baking sale should never be ignored. The cooking itself can bring people together, so consider hosting a baking event where students, teachers and their families get together. While preparation event will not earn money, it will get participants excited about what they made and inspire them to advertise more. This is also the perfect chance to explain the cause to families in a more intimate way than via the fliers that got smashed at the bottom of bookbags. Since not everyone has a sweet tooth, consider hosting spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts or barbecues as well. Make sure to send out invitations and advertise. The hungry are sure to start streaming in.
A used book sale and an art show are the perfect way to draw in any stragglers who have yet to be tempted by a fundraising campaign. A couple of weeks before the big night, have students and staff bring in used books. Meanwhile, join forces with the art department to get the school’s resident artists to create a gallery of their best works. Depending on the age and skill of the students, this may even draw community attention. Take donations at the entrance of the art gallery and charge a small amount for each used book. Consider auctioning off some of the art to add to the funds and to boost the self-esteem of the young artists. It is sure to be a night of culture students will never forget.
Secret talents and skills do not belong to the students alone, though. Have teachers and other staff host classes on whatever their passions may be. Is the math teacher great at D&D? Ask him to teach a class on how to start a game. Does the art teacher always wear immaculate braids? See if she is willing to teach a class on hairdressing or on doing one’s own prom hairstyles. Once the ball starts, it is sure to keep rolling. Secret chefs and karate masters will make themselves known among the staff giving the community and school a vast selection of classes to take for the cost of a small donation.
One not-so-hidden talent of teachers and staff is how much they care for their students. Since school staff love their kids, try asking which of the staff are willing to suffer a little for the sake of the class trip. Charge students for strips of duct tape so they can tape a favorite teacher to the wall. Sell students whip cream pies for the sake of hurling them at teachers and staff. With the fun everyone is having, fundraising will not seem like so much of a chore anymore.