Fundraising Tips for Teachers

Teachers, we get it.

Sometimes the hardest part of planning a trip is finding the money to make it happen, especially when you have a large group of students wanting to go. Some students simply can’t afford to pay their own way to go on a class trip, and some school districts can’t afford to help them out. No student should miss out on an educational travel experience simply due to a lack of funds, which is why we always highly recommend fundraising before your field trip! Fundraising allows all students an equal opportunity to be able to financially afford a fun field trip, and it takes extra stress off of teachers, parents, and administrators. 

Here at Adventure Student Travel, we realize the importance of not only setting up a successful fundraising idea but also offering and meeting realistic fund goals for your group. Below we have listed our top fundraising tips for teachers, breaking down the basics of raising funds into reasonable, realistic, and really fun steps for students.

Be SMART - In 1981, George Duran outlined a helpful objective-setting system in his article, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” Our version is a student-friendly fundraising spin-off of his classic, with just a few relevant changes.

Be Specific when setting up goals, your students should know exactly what they are aiming for in the long run.
Make it Memorable. Be sure that this fundraiser is a fun and overall pleasant experience for your students, this makes them both more willing to participate next year and more willing to help the community in general.
Make your goal Attainable. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your class, be sure your students can actually make the goal and not get disappointed or discouraged along the way.
Keep your fundraiser Relevant to your specific school and community. You can ensure optimal involvement from those around you by making the fundraiser relevant to their everyday needs and activities. 
Pick a Trendy activity or sales item. If there is a particularly hot item or trending activity at the time, go for it! Example: Fidget Spinner sales and Community Color Runs are all the rave right now.

Involve the Community - Take your fundraiser further than just selling items door to door by involving the community in city-wide activities and programs. Set up a school silent auction, neighborhood car wash, community movie night, or football game raffle system. These are all really easy ways to allow the community to help you in fun and convenient ways.

Focus on Student Incentive Programs - An extremely easy way to get your students involved and excited about your fundraiser is to set up incentive programs for reaching goals. Fun activities, student recognition, and reward systems all work really excellently to young kids and teenagers alike. Here are our top incentive program ideas:

BE SMART Adventure Student Travel

  • Pizza Party
  • Principal Punishment
  • Quiz/Homework Bonus Points
  • Homework Free Pass
  • Announcement Recognition
  • School Sporting Event Pass
  • Pajama Day
  • Local Theater or Restaurant Gift Card
  • Game Day
  • Lunch Ice Cream Coupon
  • Extra Recess Coupon
  • Movie Day
  • Class Party

Gain Sponsors - Make your goal just a little bit more attainable by gaining local sponsors. This can range from local business involvement to family-sponsored funds. Our favorite activity to gain sponsors is participating in a local business sales night. Different businesses in different communities offer a portion of their sales to go toward your fundraiser during specific nights throughout the month, these businesses most typically being restaurants. A few examples of popular restaurants that take part include Applebee's, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Chick-Fil-A, Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle, Panera, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Robin. You can also create locally sponsored tee-shirts to sell, create local business discount cards, or set up a holiday tip jar for family members willing to ‘sponsor’ your goal.

Utilize Social Media - Social media is the megaphone of this generation, so it is highly recommended that both you and your students utilize it to get the word out about your fundraiser. You can create and share events, set up online fundraisers, and even remind friends, family, and the community about the goals and dates of your fundraiser.

CrowdFund - A relatively new but increasingly popular fundraising idea is to utilize crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe, FundMyTravel, and TravelStarter. In today’s busy world it is sometimes easier for those willing to help to do so online. This also allows people not in your community to help out, a much broader range of support allowed online.

Be Persistent - Last but certainly not least, remember to be persistent. Both you and your students need to be reminded to keep at it during your entire fundraising period, and not get discouraged or bored with it. Set up milestone rewards when a small goal is met, this will help keep your students on track. Hard work pays off, and that’s a great lesson for your students to learn!

Popular Fundraising Ideas:

Bake Sale Shutterstock

  • Popular Item Sales: Sausage and Cheese, Pizza, Candy, Gifts, Wreaths, Garbage Bags, Etc.
  • Sporting Event and In School Concessions
  • Craft/Bake Sale
  • Car Wash
  • Prom Dress Rerun Sale
  • Haunted House
  • Football Raffle
  • Valentine's Day Dinner/Big Band Dinner
  • Community Lawn Care
  • Community Color Run
  • Community Movie Night
  • Community Pancake Breakfast
  • School-Wide Silent Auction
  • Class Carnival Day

For a more comprehensive guide to fundraising download our ebook. Fun-Raising: Your Fun Guide to Raising Money for Educational Tours