As you know, school trips are tremendous learning experiences for young students. However, many factors must come together for the trip to be successful. Fundraising is often one of them.
Fundraising can play a large role in the feasibility of leading a school trip. It can even make or break whether a student is able to attend.
So, how do they do it? How do teachers fundraise enough money to lead amazing trips for their students year after year? They prepare diligently and follow this process.
1. Evaluate your goals
- Is your fundraising goal to fully fund every student’s trip?
- Is your fundraising goal to offset the cost of every student’s trip? If so, by what percentage?
- What is a reasonable amount for families to contribute out of pocket?
2. Determine your most efficient fundraisers.
- What fundraisers raise the most money in the least number of events?
- Are there fundraisers that can be repeated without loss of community interest (think concession stands)? This minimizes the upfront planning effort while maximizing your funds.
- What fundraisers raise money while preparing students for the trip? See our ideas here.
3. Confirm that fundraisers align with school policies.
- Do your fundraisers follow all school policies? Check with your administrator before pitching fundraising ideas to coworkers, parents, or students.
4. Know your school procedure for reporting finances.
- What is your school policy for appropriate collection and reporting of finances?
- What information must be documented and how?
- Confirm procedural details before proceeding.
5. Clearly communicate the goals with trip parents.
- Make sure that every parent and student has a clear understanding of their responsibilities to the trip cost. How much money is each family expected to contribute? How much money is expected to be fundraised by the student?
6. Start early.
- Begin one year in advance of your trip dates. This gives students and families time to save money and fundraise.
- Remember that you are one person, with the big roles of both teacher and trip leader.
- Select trip parents (or teachers attending the trip) to run the actual fundraising events.
- Confirm that funds are collected and reported according to school policies.
8. Express gratitude.
- Send a group photo from the trip to the paper with a thank you letter to the community.
- Encourage students to share photos and stories from the trip with those that supported them.
Fundraising can be affective and worthwhile if you take the proper steps to create a plan and follow through with it. Your preparations will help your students have a positive learning experience that they will remember for years to come.
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