Just because budgets are tight in business, government, and school districts it is no reason to cancel a class trip. Instead of cutting trips out altogether, many school groups are enacting creative ways to raise funds so that students can still take educational trips to places like Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Chicago. A student trip is a fun and educational way to learn about history, art, culture, science, and more.
The nice thing about fundraising for student trips is that contributors need only make $5, $10, or $20 contributions to make a difference. The best fundraising occurs when the whole community gets involved.
Fundraising efforts can include several different methods executed throughout the school year. There are some tried and true methods of raising funds for class trips and there are some new ideas making their way into the mainstream that have proven to be effective as well.
I will offer a brief overview of effective fundraising techniques for student trips that students, teachers and parents have shared with me over the years.
– Chocolate Candy Bars: Seeing a child or parent with a box of candy bars is a sign that a fundraiser of some sort is taking place. In the workplace, or even at school, people are willing to satisfy that sweet tooth or chocolate craving in order to help school children by purchasing candy to fund a class trip. Buying a candy bar is easy and relatively inexpensive. The person purchasing the candy feels better about buying the candy from someone they know — instead of heading to the vending machine or leaving the office to visit a store. There are many vendors available who will sell candy in bulk at wholesale prices so students can sell them for retail value and reap the profits for their class trip.
– Citrus Fruit Sales: Another way to make money for class trips is to sell oranges and grapefruits. The idea is to purchase the citrus fruits in bulk during the harvest season in areas where fruit crops are abundant. Students take orders from family, friends, and neighbors and collect the money. When the time arrives, boxes of fresh fruits are delivered to the purchaser, along with a thank you from the school group.
– Selling Roses and Carnations on Valentine’s Day: Student group leaders and administrators simply locate a flower wholesaler in their town and arrange to purchase roses and/or carnations in bulk for a decent price. Then individual students either take orders ahead of time and distribute the flowers on the holiday or volunteers set up a table at a school, dance, or other public event and sell them on Valentine’s Day.
– FREE Car Wash: The car wash-a-thon can be a labor intensive but fun day for school children that want to raise money for their trip. Just identify and reserve a public location with easy access to water spigots such as a church or bank parking lot on a main thoroughfare. Have students advertise with signs visible to drivers. The charge is often $5-8 for each car wash. Some groups even offer FREE car washes and make more money. Offer a FREE car wash and then ask for donations. Often the donations will exceed the $5-8 mark and make the fundraiser more profitable. Try this fundraiser as a FREE car wash with voluntary donations and see what happens.
– Sell Scratch Off Cards: This new popular way to raise money for student trips is a great idea. Student trip organizers purchase scratch off cards similar to lottery cards but much different. The school name and logo can even be placed on a lot of cards for an extra charge as a way of identifying the fundraiser. The purchaser is not gambling, they are merely donating money towards the class trip. The student gives the card to a donor, and he or she scratches one, two, or three of the hidden numbers and donates the amount indicated on the card to the fundraising campaign. Scratch off cards are worth up to $100 per card and are quite profitable. The recipient of the card receives discounted coupons for area businesses as a thank you for participation in the fundraising campaign.
– CD or DVD Fundraisers: This type of fundraiser can occur one of two different ways. The first is to partner with a CD or DVD catalogue company that offers A-list Hollywood movies and/or music CDs with the work of popular artists. Students sell these titles and are given a portion of the profits for each sale. The second way is to actually record a high school band, ensemble or orchestra on CD and sell this product to the community. Other choices include recording school group events or recitals, homecoming or prom videos, or the actual school trip as a way to retain memories of the event and selling these professionally produced audios or videos at a profitable rate.
With so many excellent fundraising strategies available, there is no reason to cut back on class trips. Just make sure to start fundraising efforts early in the school year. For maximum funds, try two or three different methods throughout the school year. Your group will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome! Community members love to help school children on their way to an educational trip. School children will be most enthusiastic about the fundraiser when it works. Whether the class is headed to Orlando, Florida or Washington D.C. the school group will be even more solidified if the children work together to raise funds beforehand.