Maybe you’ve chosen your student travel itinerary, sign-ups are rolling in, fundraisers are scheduled, but you still need a few more ideas to boost your students’ funds.
Maybe you just have a dream itinerary in mind but doubt your students can afford it.
Or maybe you’ve held a parent meeting where your students’ families have expressed the desire to find ways to help finance the tour cost.
In many cases, group leaders like to offer ways for students to plan for their trip and offset their travel costs. The money raised can be split across travellers and applied directly to their individual trip accounts; it can be pooled to pay for a special excursion or dinner on tour for the whole group, or it can be offered back to the students as pocket money for their trip.
What are the most effective ways to help your students finance their trip? We outline dozens of ideas for fundraising activities and events in our eBook Fundraising Made Easy, but here are our four best tips on how to manage these fundraisers and make educational travel affordable for your students.
1. Divide and conquer. Depending on the size of your group, you can divide the students into smaller groups to run several different fundraisers, either simultaneously or at different points in the planning process. For example, instead of having your group of 20 students do a car wash, send ten to manage a car wash in a grocery store parking lot and have ten others bagging groceries inside. The activities don’t have to be directly related. Some of your students may be working on an at-school fundraiser while others are planning to collect bottles in their neighborhoods on the weekend.
2. Divert funds. Do your students have after-school jobs? Do they get an allowance? Help them learn the lessons inherent in financial planning and long-term goal setting. Ask them to set aside a percentage of their regular earnings for their trip. They’ll be making small sacrifices and forgoing other amusement, which will make them appreciate their trip that much more.
3. Solicit donations from local businesses. Draft a letter to send to local businesses, asking them for a financial donation to support your student trip. Make sure you personalize it, do some research to find the best person to address it to, and leverage any connections your students’ families might have with these local businesses. Offer them something in return: an ad in your school’s parent newsletter, an announcement at a school sporting event, etc. Make sure the follow up with a thank-you letter, whether they make a donation or politely decline.
4. Borrow from family. While your students’ families might not consider a bank loan to finance a trip, a loan (or gift!) from extended family members is often a possibility. A loan from Grandma can be paid back in odd jobs or from money earned the following summer. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and the like can often be easily convinced of the value of educational travel for the younger members of their family.
Don’t forget, with Prométour, your students will have the ability to make their tour payments online, saving you the hassle of managing student payments. Prométour has also partnered with Project Travel to offer students a fun way to crowd-source funding for their trip.
So, put these tips to work in conjunction with a couple other fundraising initiatives, and you’re well on your way to turning your dream of showing your students the world into reality!