Ten Steps to Fundraising

You’ve done your research, you found the perfect location, you’ve selected the right team of students, and just as your excitement peaks, you receive your price quote. Nothing is worse than a higher bill than you’ve been anticipating, and unfortunately, cost is enough to halt all your premeditated dreams.

Fortunately for you, this does not have to be the case!

There are many ways to master the art of fundraising and make your trip more affordable or even better, completely FREE! Though this may sound too good to be true, it is quite possible with proper planning and adequate resources. The best part about fundraising is the team will grow closer in the process, making your expedition even greater than expected.

Follow these 10 steps for a smooth and pleasant fundraising experience:

Step 1: Plan ahead of time. Planning = Money. The more time you have to earn the money, the more money you will earn towards your trip. By providing yourself adequate time before your money is due, you are setting yourself up for success. Know that it will take a minimum of 6 months to pull off your event. Accept this timeline and plan for about 8 months!

Step 2: Define a goal. This is a dollar amount you want to raise.
Step 3: Motivate your team. If your team does not feel empowered to earn the funding, they will put in little effort and passion, which will hurt the potential success of you fundraiser.

Step 4: Define your target audience. Are you looking to get a group of parents to attend a school fundraiser, or are your looking for people with money to participate? Find the best method of fundraising catered to this defined audience. If you live in a busy area with a lot of traffic, host a carwash. If you live in a community where everyone knows each other, consider a door-to-door sale. If you live in an affluent area, perhaps you can hold a fundraising event. Understand hosting an event may be a greater cost in itself, but it may be extremely helpful in paying much of your costs after the event takes place.
Step 5: Create a format or theme based on your target audience.
Step 6: Set up a projected financial spreadsheet to figure out what it is really going to cost to pull of your particular fundraiser.
Step 7: Find a venue and plan the event around the location. Create a “picture” of 3 possible event scenarios; good, better, and best. You begin by creating the smallest or “good” event, and as your fundraising progresses, you can add additional elements if they will earn back at least 10 times their cost. Otherwise, they’ll only end up costing money. Remember, your purpose is to make money, not just throw a party. This is especially important when you start purchasing food. Be careful where you choose to spend the money you have, and make sure that at least 50% of the money collected actually makes it into the fundraiser cause. More than that is even better!
Step 8: Gather your materials. Take a look at your cost sheet and decide which services and materials you may be able to acquire through donations and which ones will cost you money. Assign or agree to roles of responsibility to acquire each of the things you need – whether in money or donations.
Step 9: Create a list of places and companies you want to ask to help. Come up with a brief, yet effective message for your audience and find out what the process is to get them to help you. You should have materials prepared ahead of time that will be easy to distribute via email, fax, or computer forms, so you can do immediate follow-up with potential donors and sponsors.
Step 10: Go! After all your efforts and planning you are now ready to begin fundraising. This should go smoothly and effectively and your travelers will be grateful they can attend their trip at a discounted price while having fun at the same time!

*Attention Teachers! Look no further for fundraising ideas:

This site is particularly helpful as it highlights exactly how much money was earned for a particular fundraiser, as well as a project summary and tips for success.

No matter what the economy is up to, with proper planning, an affordable trip can be planned. Do you have a desire to partner with Appleseed Expeditions for a cost-efficient trip? Through education, service and adventure, groups are able to receive a well-rounded trip full of learning, inspiration and fun! For more information or to sign up for an educational tour, call Appleseed at (877) 889-7150 or visit http://www.AppleseedExpeditions.com.


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