Tuesday 2 Dec, 2014

Favorite Fundraising Ideas: Chow Down on Culture 

dinner buffet

A community dinner buffet is a fun and social way to raise money for your trip. (Photo by Chicago Art Department via Flickr)

Often the best fundraisers are the ones that bring people together for a fun and social event, and nothing brings people together quite like a big communal meal.

That’s the idea of the Chow Down on Culture fundraising event. You organize a community buffet that serves food donated from local restaurants and special regional dishes prepared by your student travelers. Sell tickets to friends, neighbors and community members, and you’ve got a fun, tasty evening that raises a good chunk of money for your EF Explore America trip.


Time to prepare: A few hours per week for one month

Money up front: $0-50 (Try to get the event space, tickets and promotional posters for free.)


1. Ask a variety of local restaurants to donate food items.

2. Have students cook special dishes representing different cultures and regions in the U.S.

3. Sell tickets for $5-10 for a buffet-style dinner.

4. Hold the event in your school cafeteria or a community center.

5. Have students participate as hosts and hostesses.

There’s a lot to like about this kind of event. Everyone loves to eat great food, it’s a fun and festive reason to get together, and the cultural twist adds a nice educational element and tie-in to the travel theme. Students and community members will learn about different cuisines, get to know their local businesses, and raise money for a great cause. It’s a win-win all around!

For more ideas on raising money for your student tour, visit the fundraising section of our blog.