Class trips aren’t what they used to be for middle and high school students. In older times they would do day trips, weekend stays, or, at the most, a couple of overnights at a campsite or the nation’s capital. Today, young families are experiencing requests from their children to attend trips to London, France, Costa Rica, Peru, or other international destinations. These travel/service project trips are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a life-changer for some of these students. They’re also quite expensive.
For instance, a 10-day trip to Costa Rica, all expenses paid, with airfare, can run one student $3,000. Add in a parent or a sibling and the total can escalate to the price of a decent pre-owned vehicle. This amount of money can be hard to put together for young families on a budget and leads to broken hearts when the word comes down that the trip isn’t affordable.
The good news is this doesn’t have to take place for students interested in touring the world thanks to the many fundraising opportunities available. From restaurant fundraisers to Kickstarter campaigns, there are numerous ways for young families to raise money. Here are a few suggestions.
Restaurant nights. Several national restaurant chains offer times where customers can come in and mention a school name or provide a flyer for a portion of their bill to be given to a particular fundraiser. For example, Famous Dave’s BBQ provides fundraising teams with flyers to present at the time of a meal. What percentage is distributed depends on the restaurant chain. Famous Dave’s has a sliding scale between 10 and 20 percent while Chick-fil-A provides a straight 20 percent for each purchase.
Coupon sheets. Some restaurants forego in-house fundraisers in lieu of coupon sheets that feature deep discounts on their products. These sheets are normally sold to fundraising groups for a small price so they can turn around and sell them at the full amount. For instance, Qdoba requests $2 for each sheet of coupons. In turn, students sell them for $10. There are strict rules that fundraising groups must adhere to in order to sell these coupons. It’s best to check with the restaurant before considering this option.
Supermarket cards. Chains like Kroger and Safeway work with schools to sell gift cards. How it works is purchasers add a minimum amount to the card to receive it, then, as they add money and buy groceries, a portion of the sale goes back to the individual student. The downside to this type of fundraiser is the low amount, around five percent, the students receive. On the other hand, the more frequently they buy groceries the quicker the money accumulates.
Kickstarter campaign. Some travel companies that work with schools offer opportunities for students to build fundraising websites under their own banner. In situations where this isn’t feasible, another option for gathering funds is via a Kickstarter campaign. This site allows students to build a fundraising website, describe what the money is needed for, and set a goal.