Monday 21 Apr, 2014

Tried-and-True Fundraisers

When the opportunity arises to travel on an educational student tour, fundraising activities can help offset associated costs and give your students a great opportunity to get to know each other before they depart. The funds you raise can be used towards anything from the actual cost of the tour to covering round-trip bus transportation to the airport, all tips for your group’s Tour Director, bus drivers and local guides, or “extras” such as free time activities. 

After finding out how to create a successful fundraising plan, use these tried-and-true fundraising ideas from some of our experienced group leaders to start raising money for your own tour!   

Take advantage of EF’s online contributions page 

EF’s new online contributions page makes it even easier for students to raise money. After enrolling on a tour, they will gain access to their own personal site that will include a contribution link they can share with friends and family. The page even allows students to partner with local businesses who share their passion for travel. All donations over $1 are accepted—we know every little bit helps students reach their goal!  

The contributions page is completely secure and accepts credit cards or payments from a chequing account. Once a student shares their contribution link, friends and family will be able to learn about the tour they’ll be taking. They even have the option to leave the student a message wishing them good luck and bon voyage. 

Raising funds has never been easier!

Partner with local businesses and sponsors

Groups looking to raise money for their educational tour can head to their local Ford dealer and spend the afternoon encouraging people to test drive Ford cars. You will receive $20 per test drive and Ford will pay up to $6,000. This is a really easy and cost effective fundraising idea—feel free to invite friends and family to try out a new Ford as well. If you are interested, just call your local Ford dealer and ask to find out more information about their “Drive One 4 UR Community” fundraising initiative. You can also check out the Ford website for details. 

Boston Pizza offers some great fundraising options for schools as well—their School Earnback program is fun, simple and can bring in a lot of money. Groups enrolled in the program collect receipts from family and friends who have dined at Boston Pizza, then send them back to the restaurant. A portion of the total goes back to the school group. You can also participate in their Celebrity Server program, where groups volunteer to work with a server at their local Boston Pizza. Volunteers can invite friends and family to eat there that night and a percentage of the sales will go back to their school.

Other ways you can work with local sponsors and businesses:

-Fundraise with Little Caesars.

-Fundraise with Terracotta Cookies.

-Work coat check at a local event.

-Bag groceries at a local grocery store.

Fundraising_Boston Pizza_Nayu Kim

Sell what you can!   

Setting up one—or several—successful sales can bring in a lot of money for your group. A great place to sell goods is at a sporting event or school activity. To get the most out of your fundraiser, try to schedule several events for your group to work; for example, you could sell concessions at every basketball game during the school year. This way, you will be able to purchase goods in large quantities, you won’t have to worry about having leftovers, and your group will turn a better profit.

To ensure your students are engaged and having fun, have them take turns walking through the bleachers and bringing the products directly to the consumers rather than sitting at tables. By taking turns and working together, it will be more enjoyable for them, less time consuming, and will still produce great results.

Other sales ideas:

-Host a bake sale, grilled cheese sale, or pizza day.

-Organize a yard sale.

-Sell freezies, candy grams, or raffle tickets.

-Organize a 50/50 draw.

-Sell school apparel or have a morning coffee sale.

Fundraising_Bake sale_Shehal Joseph

Offer privileges your students will appreciate

If you’re looking for an entertaining fundraising idea that your students will love, consider organizing something we like to call Tape Your Teacher to the Wall Day. Essentially, you’ll need to find a teacher willing to volunteer to have themselves duct taped to a school wall (the fundraising part comes from asking students to pay for each of the many pieces of tape required to keep the teacher stuck there). To make this a successful event, have your student volunteers pre-cut some pieces of tape to help keep up with demand. Other volunteers can be responsible for selling the pieces of tape and handling the money. Advertising this with school flyers or through social media will also help ensure you enjoy the best participant turnout possible.

The brave volunteer teacher will then stand on a chair against a wall as students add piece after piece of tape. Once your fundraisers have sold as many pieces of tape as possible, announce that you’ll be removing the chair—seeing a teacher hanging midway up a wall is sure to be a hit!

For pricing of the duct tape, consider charging per piece but offer deals if the students purchase more than one. If sales start to slow down a little as the event progresses, cut the price of the tape in half. To raise even more money, consider setting up food sales at the event as well.

Other privileges:

-Have students bid to be principal for the day. Alternatively, students can purchase tickets and enter a draw to win this privilege.

-For students that wear uniforms at their school, have them pay for the privilege of a Civvies Day where they can wear their “civilian” clothing. 

Fundraising__Duct tape_woodleywonderworks

Host theme days and events

Have your group organize events that the whole school or community can participate in. A great example is a pasta dinner, with the option to purchase your food to stay or to go. Consider charging $25 for pasta, salad, and garlic bread for a family of four (the group leader who suggested this fundraiser made the majority of their sales with the take out option).

Another great idea is to host a Bring Your Own Banana Day at school. Students can pack a banana in their lunch that day and can pay to turn it into a banana split. Have your local supermarket donate ice cream and toppings.

Other theme days and events:

-Host a movie night at school. Your group can charge guests for tickets and any popcorn or snacks they make available.

-Host a BBQ day.

-Hold a carwash. Ask local businesses to donate cleaning supplies, water, the lot, etc.

-Host a casino night, trivia night, or school concert for the entire community.

Fundraising_Banana Split_via dbgg1979

Stay tuned for our next post on how to pitch your fundraisers to the local media in your community! 


Boston Pizza – Flickr via Nayu Kim
Bake sale – Flickr via Shehal Joseph
Duct tape – Flickr via woodleywonderworks
Banana split – Flickr via dbgg1979