Student Group Travel FundraisingAs a tour operator, it is our goal to help you and your group with quality travel products and services.
When you or your group plan your travel itinaries, 'what's included' and 'how much it will cost' is of great importance. Once you have decided on your travel program, it is now time to set your goals and objectives. Ask yourself, 'Who's paying for this trip?' Will it be you, your community, your family, a corporation, the government, or will it be your team together? These are important steps to consider when approaching group fundraising. Below are the steps to help you or your group reach their travel fund goals.*
FUND GOALSWhen starting your fundraising campaign, the first step is to set fund goals and deadlines. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much money do I need to raise to cover our costs?
- What dates are these funds due?
- What are my options and resources to fundraise?
- Who can I ask to help me reach my goals?
- What am I or what is my group willing to do/provide to raise these funds?
- Know what your trip total funds will be and the due date, write it down and let the group know as well.
- Keep a record of incoming funds and how they were received.
- Make sure to thank each donor and sponsor with a big smile, a nice card or follow-up note. Show them you appreciate their donations.
- Don't ask the same donor more than once, repetition can turn them sour. Ask politely and leave a good impression so they can make their own choice.
ASKOnce you have set your Fund Goals, decide which steps you and your group are willing to do to begin your fundraising campaign. Will you be asking for donations, selling products, doing community projects, looking for a sponsor or filling out grants? Do you know family or friends who are willing to donate for your trip? It never hurts to ask in a polite way.
Sometimes people are willing to donate a few dollars directly to a group if they like the trip idea or are close to the participants. Asking for money isn't easy, but below we have linked some websites that can help you ask for donations in a professional way in order to reach your funding goals. You can also use social networking and media as a tool to ask anyone who is willing to help out!
- Create a website where people can visit and donate.
- Promote online to donors to help chip in on your funds.
- Promote online and earn 40% profit by online donors.
- Fundraise in style, make profits.
SELLAre you or members of your group uncomfortable asking for donations directly? Has requesting donations still not allowed you to achieve your funding goals? If so, selling might be a better or next option for your group.
To start, begin creating a list of products you are willing to sell to help meet your fundraising goals. Consider what your group represents, what kind of group you have, and what the trip means to your group. It is important that the product you sell relates to your group's purpose or event. Below is a list of companies that offer products for fundraising. See what products and companies can help you get closer to your fund goals!
- Keep 75% profits by selling ESPN Magazine subscriptions.
- Use pretzels to twist your way through.
- At 40% profit, get the scent of incoming funds.
- Sell pizza kits for $7, get $5 profit.
- Sell tickets and make 100% profit.
- Shoppers buy through the online store and your group receives a percentage.
- In select states, your group sells $5 coupon booklets and keeps 100% profit.
- Open a fireworks stand for July 4th and earn funds.
- They buy coffee, you get money.
DOSo you have tried asking family and friends and you already have the members of your group selling products, what's next? Your community might be another source of income. By doing projects and services for your community, their donation can add toward your fund goals.
This step is especially important if you have members of your group who are uncomfortable asking for money or selling products. Fundraising will increase your profits but also bring your group together and create a sense of teamwork as you move forward to achieve your fund goals. Below is a list of team fundraising ideas you and your group can do for your community.
- Car Wash- Park outside a willing venue and wash towards your goals.
- Bake Sale- Sell baked and home-made goodies for an extra dollar.
- Yard Sale - Ask your group and donors for items they no longer want, collect the item donations-- then have a yard sale!
- Silent Auction - Get donation items and let people bid money toward your travel destination.
- Fast-food Fundraiser - Contact a local fast-food franchise and see if they offer fundraising events where leaders can work for donations.
- Grams - Sell cards, flowers, or candy and have the buyer write a special note, then deliver them to the designated person.
- Spaghetti Dinner/Pancake Breakfast/Ice Cream Social - Make a delicious meal or treat, then invite diners at an admission charge.
- Raffle - Approach sponsors to donate prizes, then sell raffle tickets for a drawing to win the prizes.
- Walk-a-thon - Create an event where people can donate money by pledging miles walked or participants can be charged registration fee. Great for promotion of traveling sports groups.
SPONSORWhen the fund goals are too high or when time for fundraising is lacking or even when other options just aren't working... It never hurts to ask local or corporate businesses to put down the money in exchange for promotion and advertising. When asking a business to sponsor your trip, understand the following concepts below.
- Make sure you know your group goals and deadlines to help compile a proper sponsorship proposal to present to the selected businesses.
- Realize sponsorship doesn't always come without compensation. You may have to apply the sponsor's logos or name to uniforms, group material, etc.
- Explain to your group and discuss with your sponsors what the sponsorship means and what it requires of them.
GRANTSIf you want to see what organizations already provide funds for group travel, a good option in reaching your fund goal would be to search and approach the government and other organizations for grant money. Sometimes groups set aside grant money for student, group or individual travel. Often times there are grants or scholarships available to support a specific public or group need. Below are a few programs, grants and scholarships that companies and organizations provide.
- See what grants the Target company can offer.
- Financial aid for eligible students or groups for education/performance travel.
OTHER TOOLSNow that you've followed the steps for a successful fundraising campaign, you will need tools and resources to help execute your objectives. Here are some online tools and resources that can assist you with your fundraising campaigns.
- Find a fundraising company that suits your needs.
USA Student Travel wishes you and your group the best of luck! If you have additional questions or thoughts please contact Guest Services. We are here to help you create memorable travel experiences. Thank you again for choosing USA Student Travel. It is our pleasure to help you meet your travel needs.
*USA Student Travel is not responsible for any fundraising options or results from organizations/tips listed above, these are only suggestions.