You have planned a school trip and want all of the eligible students to participate. This is a common goal and many school sponsors are using fundraising as a means of achieving it. I recommend you select a reputable fundraising company with a proven track record. I also recommend getting your PTO, booster club or a similar parents’ group involved in the project. As the trip sponsor you have many responsibilities and can use as much assistance as possible.
Consider the following recommendations when planning your next fundraiser:
– It takes a lot of planning to organize a successful fundraising effort. I recommend beginning the drive a minimum of 8-10 months prior to the trip. A good rule of thumb is to start fundraising just prior to or at the beginning of the trip enrollment period. Everyone is excited about the excursion and will want to take part in the activity. More importantly, it will maximize the amount of time for students to raise money to pay for their trip.
– Have a written plan spelling out all of the responsibilities and details. Items to include in your plan are: the fundraising rules/guidelines, beginning and ending dates, and a parental permission slip. Always keep your priorities in order. Teachers and administrators don’t mind fundraisers that are held before or after school and don’t detract from class time. You will be more likely to get the okay if you prohibit sales during school hours and schedule merchandise distribution and monetary transactions either before or after school.
– Communicate with parents. Send a copy of the fundraising guidelines home and require a permission slip be signed by parent or guardian for participation in the activity. I also recommend stating on the permission slip that all monies collected are the property of the school in the event an individual withdraws from the trip. Another good idea is to include language stating that in cases where students lose their trip eligibility all of the money will be used to defer the trip costs of other students.
– Proper record keeping, banking transactions, and payments to the tour provider require organization and attention to detail. I recommend designating one individual to handle these responsibilities. Experienced fundraisers report that the fewer people involved in the monetary transactions, the less chance for problems to occur.
– When selecting items that the school or club must purchase in advance of sale, (e.g. candy), always limit the quantity available to one individual and require the money to be returned to the school in order to receive additional quantities.
If you consider these tips when planning your next fundraiser you will be more likely to increase student involvement and help off-set the costs of the trip – two of the key elements used by trip sponsors to plan a successful student travel experience.
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