Whether you’re looking to raise some extra money to help out with monthly payments, or to cover your group’s tips on the road, tour fundraising can be a great way to help out your group while building unity at the same time. We understand that organizing a fundraising event has the potential to become just a tad bit overwhelming, so we’ve created this quick guide to help make sure your fundraising stays fun! From creating a committee, to focusing on social media marketing, use this guide to help you successfully plan and execute your event!
Make Your Fundraising Event Unique and Memorable
Planning a unique and entertaining event will not only leave a good impression—it will also make people want to show up next time! Keeping your audience in mind, get creative and think of an afternoon that will leave your guests with a memorable experience. City-wide scavenger hunts and sports tournaments are always great ways to get everyone involved while guaranteeing lots of laughs.
Create a Committee
Creating a core team will help ensure that your event is successful from the start to finish. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Assign everyone different roles (think marketing point person, secretary, treasurer…etc.) so you can keep all your bases covered. Meet regularly and make sure to set a goal for each person!
Look for Sponsors
Getting organizations to sponsor your event will not determine the outcome of your event, but it can help significantly. Sponsors make your event feel more legitimate and can attract more people from your community. Send emails, make phone calls and focus on social media to start conversations with potential companies in your area. Is there a coffee shop in your town that everyone loves going to, or a local pizza shop? Try reaching out to these types of shops to see if they would be willing to donate food for your event. Click here to see some example templates of letters you can send.
Set a Realistic Goal
Setting a realistic and attainable goal is possibly one of the hardest part of fundraising. It would be amazing to fundraise the entire cost of your trip, but for most this is a pretty steep goal to accomplish in one event. To start, think about some of the smaller things you may need funds for. Perhaps you can start with raising tip money for your group, or money for lunches, or maybe even a bus to get your group to and from your local airport. If you have planned past fundraisers for similar causes, estimate your average donation and multiply that number by the number of people you expect to attend. When in doubt start small and you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised at the end!
Don’t Forget About Marketing
This is arguably the most important step leading up to your event. Use all of your social media resources to your advantage. Set up a Facebook page and make sure students share the event across their own accounts. In addition, make sure that your campaign has plenty of visuals! Try posting images from past events, current volunteers and even sneak peaks of the upcoming event to keep your target audience engaged. If you have led a group before, don’t forget to share images or video footage from past trips to give everyone an idea of what their donation is going towards.
Focus on Why it is Important for the Community
Why is it important for people in your community to donate? When describing the purpose, make sure to highlight how your travelers will benefit from an experiential learning tour. Ask you travelers to write personal notes to sponsors outlining three goals they have for their upcoming trip.
Give Out Prizes/Awards
Everyone likes winning! If you have the opportunity to be sponsored by local shops, think about putting together a few goody bags full of fun things to do around town to raffle off.
Don’t Forget to Say Thank You
Everyone likes to feel appreciated and it will go a long way if you are sure to thank all of those who came out for your cause! Handwritten notes to some of your largest sponsors can be a great touch. Most importantly, don’t forget to follow up when you are back from your trip to share some of the highlights!