Travel can be very expensive - this we know. Frankly put, you can't travel if the funds aren't there, so what are you to do? Whether you're in a large student group or you have just graduated high school or college and desire a fun, exciting celebration trip, there are ways to raise money. There are several avenues of fundraising that can get you where you want to go be it overseas or right here in the States.
Study Abroad Fundraising
This is perhaps the most effective fundraising tool and one that can give you some idea about how much money you can gain. There is no limit to how many grants and scholarships you can apply for but, as you know, it's not guaranteed. If you don't meet the qualifications there's a chance the company will turn you down. But not to fear, there are many many many options to apply for. However, this isn't the best option for groups or those wanting to travel in the U.S. but for individual students desiring a semester or two studying overseas.
- Fulbright Travel Grants
- Marshall Scholarship
- Watson Fellowship
- American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
Foundations and Organizations
Be it government committees or educational organizations, there are several options for travel fundraising away from grants and scholarships. This can be utilized for larger groups if you choose but it also works for individuals wanting an educational vacation or study abroad.
- FLAG Foundation (Future Leaders of American Government) - Financial assistance via World Strides Fundraising for students of families with less than $85,000 gross income desiring educational travel or study abroad.
- Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA)
Create Your Own Travel Campaign
This is the modern day, tech version of hosting a fundraising dinner or asking people one by one for money. Like KickStarter for traveling, you can go online and set up your own fund via PayPal and people will just shove money in your direction if they like your story. This can work for literally any number of students, any amount of money, and any type of trip to any part of the world. On these sites you can anything from find recent graduates wanting a vacation to Italy, middle-aged couples looking for a second honeymoon in Hawaii, to kids trying to raise enough money to go to Disney World. Understandably, some people may not feel comfortable doing this but it is an option to consider. Some websites for travel campaigns include:
Get a Sponsor
Like crowdfunding in person, you can see if local businesses or large corporations will sponsor your trip. You might have to give compensation like agreeing to wear matching t-shirts with the company's logo for free advertising on their part, but it's a small price to pay. Some company's also have travel grants like Target Field Trip Grants so it doesn't hurt to check other corporate websites for similar options or, go door to door along your hometown business strip.
A lot of people don't feel comfortable asking for money from strangers, and we get that. Instead, you can go old school and sell stuff or perform services as compensation, effectively earning your way. You might have to do more than one weekend of sales or do multiple fundraising activities to get up enough funds but if you live in a big enough community it shouldn't take you very long. Just be creative! Here are some popular options:
- Bake Sales
- Firework Stands
- Car Washes
- Silent Auctions
- Yard Sales
- Auntie Anne's Fundraising - sell frozen pretzels and pretzel kits (think Girl Scout cookie sales), Little Caesar's Pizza has something similar.
- Magazine Subscriptions - like ESPN Coach Fundraising
- Donation Grounds - sell Kolika Coffee like you would magazines or cookies