So you’ve just signed up for a school trip and now you and your students are counting down the days until take off. You’ve done the planning, now let us help you with the fundraising. If you’re looking into raising money for tour and you have no idea where to start, don’t worry – we can help! Long time Group Leader Pam C. has been fundraising for more than 15 years. Pam kindly filled us in on some helpful hints to consider when starting the fundraising process, whether your school sponsors your trip or not.Tip 1: Form a committee. It’s highly recommended that you aren’t the only person managing the money and the events. Organize a team of parents and teachers who will be a part of the fundraising. Positions you can assign are co-chairman, secretary, treasurer, etc. This will be very helpful for planning and facilitating events, and they can also help in a lot of the behind the scenes work and money matters.
Tip 2: Transparency is crucial. When fundraising, you are handling other people’s money, so take every precaution and always get everything in writing. For example:
- At the end of a fundraiser, ask that parents stay around to be witnesses to how much money was raised. Allow them to count it and have everyone who was there sign off on the amount that was collected.
- When doing fundraisers based around pre-ordered goods, be sure to have customers sign that they have acquired what they ordered.
- Always have witnesses for the money being handled. If money needs to be dropped in a bank’s night deposit box after a fundraiser, ask that someone accompany whoever will be making the deposit. This is not just to attest that the money was deposited, but also an important safety precaution.
Tip 3: Secure all money in a group bank account. This will help make organizing and tracking your group’s money much simpler. There should be at least two signatures required for transactions with this bank account as an extra safety precaution. After each event the money can be totaled, safely deposited, and then recorded in a spreadsheet. Keep a list of students who worked at each fundraiser so that the amount raised at each event can be fairly divided between them and credited toward their trip.
Tip 4: Involve the community. Whether your school is in a small town or a big city, get word out to the community about your trip! You never know who may come forward with resources to help you. Plus, when the community is aware of your cause, student inquiries for support and donations are better received.
Tip 5: Know your goals. You should plan to make at least 2 to 3 times the amount you paid upfront for any fundraiser you host. It isn’t worth hours of work only to earn a few dollars more than what you put into the event, so try to consider events that require little cost going in or events that you know will generate a big return.
Now that you have some basics, you can hit the ground running and start planning for your school’s trip! Also, if your school sponsors the event, talk to your administration to make sure you know how they would like to handle the money from any fundraising you do.Keep up with our blog for more helpful hints and fundraising ideas that will help you and your students explore America. If you have any fundraising ideas and tips that you would like to share, email us at [email protected].