Fundraising Spotlight: Student Travel Fundraising
In continuing our spotlight on the reasons schools fundraise, today we’re going to focus on student travel. Fundraising for student travel tends to be a focus for high school clubs, college groups and competitive sports travel squads. When you factor in the costs for buses, airfare, hotels and meals groups will encounter during their trip, you’re looking at hundreds, if not over a thousand dollar per participant. The cost can be overwhelming, hence the need for a good fundraising strategy.
Formulate a fundraising strategy early on. We’ve seen too many groups wait until the last minute to starting fundraising for their travel expenses. And, in many cases, they fall short of their fundraising goal. It is important to plan well in advance. At the beginning of the semester (or season), figure out the exact costs per each participant. Based on that figure, set a yearly fundraising goal. Now you’ll have a blueprint of how many fundraisers you’ll need to run and a plan to set in motion to promote the fundraisers to your community.
We know that you’re excited for your trip, now it’s time to get your community excited as well. We find that your community is more inclined to support your fundraiser if they learn more about your trip. We recently worked with a high school class that funded a trip to Spain. This group promoted their trip every opportunity they got. At every school event, they set up an information table about their trip. They educated their community on every aspect of their trip. They also held monthly fundraising dinners feature Spanish cuisine. They had over 500 people join their facebook page, which was updated regularly. The more they got the word out, the more fundraising support they received. They surpassed their goal by over $2500.
Promotion is key. This rings true for all fundraisers and student travel is no different. Posters, parent letters, announcements and most importantly social networking are the key to successful promotional campaigns. Since mostly high school and college students are running these fundraisers, the social marketing campaigns are a crucial promotional element. Facebook and Twitter campaigns are a must. Keep your community updated on your progress. Post photos and news links about your travel destination. Whatever you can do to stay on your community’s radar will help your cause.
Editors Tip: Make sure you’re using a reliable travel company. Over the years, we’ve seen too many groups use less than reliable travel companies. Make sure your do your due diligence when choosing a student travel company. They must have a successful track record and a good industry reputation. Smithsonian Student Travel is one that comes to mind that have an excellent track record in the industry. But do your own research to find the company that works best for your group.
Top 3 student travel fundraisers.
1. Cookie Dough