Creative school trip fundraising ideas

So, you're interested in organising a school trip for your students. However, the cost involved is making you, your students' parents and the school board extremely anxious? Don’t feel disheartened yet, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite fundraising ideas to help you raise the funds to make it happen.

Raising money for a school trip not only helps subsidise the cost involved, but it’s also a great way for students to gain volunteer experience, build community, understand the value of money, and work with shared purpose and goals.

To be most effective in your fundraising efforts, we recommend adopting an omnichannel approach. This will involve using a few different tactics in your school travel fundraising strategy.

Here are our top creative fundraising ideas for schools to help make your next school trip a reality.

Approach local businesses with a captivating sponsorship letter

Reaching out to businesses in your region is a great place to start your omnichannel school trip fundraising campaign.

The most personable way to do this is by approaching the manager/director/ CEO directly through email (you may have to spend some time scouring LinkedIn to find out who to approach!) Your email should include the purpose of the trip, why school trips are important to a child's education, and why you're approaching them for financial help.

There are two different avenues you can use to approach a business for sponsorship. The first is to request a direct financial donation to help fund your school trip. The second option is to ask the business to donate a product or service that you can on-sell for another activity in your fundraising strategy (such as a Raffle).

The likelihood of a business saying yes goes up tenfold when you can offer them something in return. For example, you could offer to put their business logo on your school trip tee shirts or offer an advertising slot in your next school newsletter or publication.

Organise your own 5km community colour run

The Color Run, also known as the "happiest 5km on the planet", is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, and individuality.

Organising your own version of The Color Run is a fun and easy way to fundraise for a school trip. The Color Run is a five-kilometre, untimed event. At each kilometre mark, runners are doused from head to toe in a different coloured powder. Participants wear white at the starting line and finish the race plastered in colour.

You may need to apply for a permit if you want to organise the run at a community park, and you will need to figure out how much to charge as an entrance fee (maybe $10 - $15). However, the rest of the logistics are relatively straight-forward. Students and colleagues can help out as race volunteers, local businesses may be willing to supply music, food and beverages that will help make the whole day a community event to remember.

Organise a movie night for a new-release film at your local theatre

Find a local movie theatre that can be hired for private events and organise a fundraising movie night. Once you find a movie theatre to work with don't forget to ask if they are willing to give you a discounted hire rate to support your school trip fundraiser.

Movie fundraisers can be wildly successful, particularly if you find a theatre to work with that can give you two things -  access to a new release film (or new-ish) and a discounted hire rate.

All you will need to do is choose a good screening time, movie and date, and sell tickets through your school network. Ticket prices should be enough to cover the rental costs and make a contribution to your school trip, but affordable enough for families in your school community to attend.

Run community workout classes at your school gym

Why not organise a regular workout or yoga class at your school gym once a week? With fitness classes often costing $15 or more at a gym, members of your school community will likely be thrilled to hear they can take a cheaper one and support a good cause.

Use your school community to find a parent or connection who is a fitness professional or yoga teacher and ask if they would be willing to donate an hour of their time once a week to teach a class at your school gym. You can then advertise these classes to parents and students alike.

One of the great things about this fundraising strategy is that the people who support you get something of value back in return.

Create a school recipe book

School recipe books can be a wonderful fundraising tool. Particularly when they are beautifully designed.

Reach out through your school network and put a volunteer committee together and ask parents and grandparents to contribute their favourite recipes. Recipe books work great when they are professionally put together, so seek out a local designer to help make yours sleek and professional. Here's a beautiful example of a New Zealand school, Parnell District's recipe book.

Run a 50/50 Raffle

A modern take on an old classic. A 50/50 raffle works so that half the money you raise goes to the winner and half goes towards your school trip.

Raffles offer high-profit margins. Costs are low and proceeds are only limited only by the number of tickets sold.

A 50/50 raffle can have a snowball effect. The more money raised means a larger cash prize for the winner, meaning there is more incentive to purchase a ticket. When the prize on offer is a cash prize (rather than unwanted merchandise), you can generally market tickets at a slightly higher price (e.g. $5 instead of $2).

Best of all, you can always increase the number of tickets to sell.

Organise a school picnic day

A school picnic day is ideal during warmer summer months and can create a strong sense of community at your school too.

Head to your local park one weekend during the school term and set-up some outdoor games, music and a barbeque. Use equipment from your sports department for games, a stereo from the theatre department, and reach out to local companies to see if anyone is willing to donate something for the barbeque and drink. Ask for a donation from parents and students, and encourage them to pack their picnic blankets and join in on the fun.

While school picnic days aren't always a massive money-maker, they can be a great way of encouraging community, creating awareness, and improving parent buy-in for your educational trip.

Set up an online fundraising page

There are loads of great software options out there designed to help fundraising efforts such as Donorbox and Snowball Fundraising. All you need to do is set-up a website and share the link (often) so people know where they can donate.

This is an easy fundraising strategy, but it shouldn't be your only one. Instead, you can use it as something that ticks away in the background while you focus your energy on other fundraising events that will help create awareness for your educational tour.  

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