Here at Adventure Student Travel, our job isn't merely to sell student group trips.
Our job is also to ensure all students get the chance to embark on an educational journey in an unfamiliar place, regardless of their personal situations. Moreso, our job is to allow a complete education for students of all ages, sending them into the real world for cultural and educational immersion they simply do not get into the classroom.
The truth is just about 95% of student groups who take these class trips have to fundraise, whether they are fundraising as a class, club, school, or individual. Sometimes this process gets to be so stressful, for everyone involved, from the teachers and parents to the students and community.
To save some stress AST has put together an easy to use Fundraising Ebook, Fun-Raising: Your Fun Guide to Raising Money for Educational Tours, which you can download and use whenever you need to. (Check out the Fundraising blog, too!).
We also feel it is important to share advice from others who have been there, so below we have put together an explanation of our friends from SYTA's (Student Youth Travel Association) 5 tips for profitable and stress-free fundraising.
1. Determine how much money you need.
Instead of just ballparking a few thousand for a weekend stay in the big city, make a detailed budget including admission to museums/attractions, food, transportation, lodging, gas, entertainment, etc.
AST Tip: Lay out the amount your group or individual students need to raise when first presenting the trip idea.
2. Set deadlines.
Once you have your required amount, set small deadlines for collection. Work backward in your timeline, so you ensure it is all taken care of in time!
AST Tip: Make a school-wide or class-wide visual chart of payment dates and previous payments. Allow access to parents and community as well either in person or with online updates.
3. Have one point person for fundraising.
Don't put the entire process on everyone involved, be sure you have one person set aside to be in charge overall. This doesn't necessarily have to be a teacher, it can be a student advisor, group leader, or PTA member.
AST Tip: We find it more helpful at times to actually not have the teacher be put in charge, students seem much more involved when they or their parents are in charge.
4. Meet monthly.
At a minimum, hold monthly update meetings on the funds raised, funds needed, and activities/sales coming up in your process. This is also a good time to update your group on any lodging or attraction changes you may have come across.
AST Tip: Make your monthly meeting fun, don't stress over the money the whole time. Splurge on a picnic or pizza party when you meet! Keep those spirits high!
5. Meet individually.
While it is absolutely important to have monthly meetings as a group, it is also very helpful to meet individually with those involved with raising funds. This allows for personal discussion if the individual needs extra help or would like to help others.
AST Tip: Call students in for small 5 to 10 minute meetings during downtime in class. This saves time for you both and allows a personal connection.
Outline Courtesy of SYTA.