To gain experience-based insight on garnering excitement for successful student trip fundraising, Teach & Travel asked educators:
How do you encourage support for fundraising?
Fundraising in our school—as I am sure in most—is very competitive, with many student interest groups competing for the same pool of dollars. It’s easy to have your fundraiser lost in the endless series of bake sales, restaurant nights, and candy bar peddling, so I prefer one large event or fundraiser rather than many small ones. The fundraiser also has to be unique to stand out in our school and be successful. Examples: a “Proud Parent” spirit shirt, since most groups target students with clothing sales; a VIP Parking Spot Raffle for preferred parking for a student in the faculty lot; and a student versus faculty dodgeball tournament.
—Paul Kaser, Lead Counselor of College and Career Relations, Co-Coordinator of Global Studies, Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, New Jersey
Fundraising is an important part of our trip because it opens the door to many who could not otherwise go. The biggest way we support fundraising: making it easy for the students and parents! Fundraisers that don’t involve complicated websites, selling trinkets and going door to door are best. We handle the financials on the back end, to take the onus off the parents and students. We have had many people comment on how easy our fundraisers are for them. Yes, it makes a little more work for us. But it’s worth it to help these families finance the trip of a lifetime!
—Jeremy D. Biermaier, Seventh-Grade Social Studies Teacher, Middle School Coach for Boys Soccer, B-Squad Girls Basketball and Golf, New Prague Middle School, New Prague, Minnesota
Fundraising is a vital part of trip planning for our middle school students. It allows each and every kid a chance to go on these trips if they really want to. We strive to make it as easy as possible for students and parents to participate. We have also been fortunate enough to find two fundraisers that are easy to sell and offer great profits for our students We do as much as we can to take the burden off the parents and put in a lot of work on the back end to make sure a hard-working kid can earn a lot of money toward their trip.
—Jeremy Kalal, Eighth-Grade Science Teacher, New Prague Middle School, New Prague, Minnesota
Because we have one of the only competitive marching bands that does not charge fees, fundraising is an essential and endless endeavor in our program. Our Band Boosters’ main focus is to find ways to raise these needed funds and encourage participation through demonstrating the need and understanding everyone needs to participate. We find committee chairs to activate their volunteers through organizing clear and efficient tasks. Fostering a healthy relational aspect is huge: Then, it becomes more than just work. It’s seeing friends.
—Greg Wells, Director of Bands, Northview Public Schools, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Edited by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Teach & Travel.
This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of Teach & Travel.