FUNDRAISING can be a total blast, making memories in the process of providing cash flow for your travelers, but make no mistake it can be exhausting if you are not careful to follow a few guidelines that we suggest. This can be exhilarating as you see your goals reached, families invested and involved, and your groups already bonding in a common purpose. Vámonos Tours wants to help make your job as a group leader just a bit easier and also help protect your time and energies. Here are 10 tips to help you rock the fundraising efforts and quickly get you on your way to an exciting and valuable adventure.
PLAN AHEAD – Be early in your planning. Take advantage of Vamonos’ fundraising ideas and do some advanced research online as to what would fit your group. Create a timeline of goals and stay close to this. Inform others involved of this timeline and allow them to keep you accountable. This process will allow you to plan ahead and reach your goals confidently. We recommend to get started about one year or more prior to your tour departure. Trust us, you will see successful results with early planning!
CREATE AN ARMY & CONQUER – You will find freedom when you delegate, delegate, delegate! Have a fundraising task force meeting with adults involved. Allow different parents or staff members an opportunity to be a project manager for each fundraiser. They can report back to you for accountability. This will take a large weight off of you, protect your sanity, and allow others to invest their skills and time. Provide incentive for this project manager to receive a higher % for their students profit when they take on this task. Elect officials and choose your committee wisely. Many hands make lite work.
SET GOALS AND BREAK IT DOWN – This may sound obvious, but take the time to find how much money you need to raise. Factor in some unforeseen costs along the way but be clear and public about your total goals and deadlines This will involve the group in a celebration of achievement. Break your total goal into digestable portions over time. $4,000 may seem like a large goal to reach, but break it down over 5 months and it’s a reachable $800. per month. Confidently set your targets. Setting goals will keep you focused, motivated, and at ease.
CHOOSE WISELY – An experienced group leader shared a fundraising tip for successful profit planning. Choose your fundraiser wisely and stick to events and sales that have a profit of close to 50%. When looking for fundraising ideas, stick with ones that have low or no upfront costs or shipping fees and stay on guard for those sneaky expenses.
GO SOCIAL – Social media is the megaphone of this generation. Use social media to promote and even organize your fundraisers or events. Facebook is a fast and economical approach. Have incentives for your travelers to share and post multiple times per week. You don’t need to inundate your friends with constant money chatter, but no doubt about it, the word will get out if you publicize this way.
BRANCH OUT – Encourage your fundraising committee to find fundraisers that dip into many pots so to speak. A car wash will draw random donors and hoagie sales will typically target friends and family. Find ways to keep your supporters smiling and not feeling sponged-dry. Involve neighbors, grandparents, friends, doctors, soccer buddies, church connections, co-workers, and more. Your travelers may be surprised how people are willing to support them even if they don’t know them very well. Bring the community together!
CALL DIBS – As you find success in a fundraising event within your school, ask the administration if you can call dibs and book it for the next year. Selling glow sticks at a dance or football games, getting on a rotation for selling concessions at an after-school event or being the group that gets sponsored to clean up after an event will be appreciated on a regular basis. If it works, make it annual and your planning load for next year just got lighter.
MARKET FRESH – Keep your focus and your cause fresh. You may find energy and determination when mapping out your fundraising strategies. Bi-weekly grocery lists or sections of time will become routine as you devote yourself to creating a fundraising update. Throw that in the face of procrastination. Send weekly emails to your committee and travelers so everyone is feeling a part of the greater project and preparation is kept at the forefront of each mind.
PUNCH IN – CLOCK IT – You may find it helpful to develop a system and make it fair in dispersing funds. Create a time sheet that each traveler fills out PER fundraiser tracking their hours (actual work for event, solicitation of donations, etc.). Take whatever profits were made PER event and divide it by the number of man hours to come up with an hourly rate. Simply multiply, or use a friendly Excel program to do the work, the number of hours per participant with the hourly rate and that is the total for each one for that event. Leave a paper trail so there are no gray areas and dealing with money will simply have a weight lifted off of your shoulders.
PEP-RALLY – Remember to keep your regular supporters and helpers in the loop. They were happy to help in the beginning while the energy and enthusiasm was high. Send information on recent successful fundraising and thank them for their involvement and support. They will remember the passion that brought them to get involved in the beginning and treasure the fact that they are investing in the lives of your travelers.
Fund Raising Resources:
- SYTAyouthfoundation.org – Details on scholarship fund opportunities from SYTA and other community resources
- Easyfundraisingideas.com – Offers a wide variety of fundraising ideas
- Classtrips.com – Trip planning resources and fundraising ideas for student groups k-12 and college.
- Biddingforgood.com and Benefitevents.com – Auction websites designed to help you raise trip funds by auctioning off goods and services
- School-fundraisers.com – Loaded with resources to help you with the entire fundraising process
- Funds2orgs.com – This is a fundraiser that also gives non-profit organizations like schools the opportunity to do some good at the same time.