Organizing fundraisers for your trip may seem daunting, but you can make it easier for yourself by taking advantage of the natural momentum around holidays! These fundraising ideas are a great, simple way to capitalize on holiday buzz. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to promote your fundraiser and make sure that all of your supplies come in.
Valentine’s Day – Who doesn’t want flowers and chocolate on Valentine’s Day? With this fundraiser, you get both–chocolate roses! Whether you’re planning to buy the candy in bulk, or have students place orders and purchase cases accordingly, you should start planning for this 1-2 months in advance–this way you won’t end up with leftover chocolates and can ensure you’re maximizing funds raised. If your school has rules against selling candy, selling real flowers might work for you. While carnations are usually cheapest, you should call around to local florists a few weeks in advance to see what affordable options they have. Start promoting towards the end of January, and have students place orders in advance to be picked up or delivered on Valentine’s Day!
Pi Day – Pi Day is always a popular school event, and it’s also a great fundraising opportunity, especially if you’re traveling on one of our STEM tours! It’s super easy to sell pies through a service like this, which provides catalogs and ordering forms–making the process pretty seamless. You’ll have the option to place orders in advance so they arrive by Pi Day, or start selling on or near Pi day for the pies to arrive on a later date. Another option–perhaps more fun–is charging students a few dollars to “pie” a teacher during lunch or at a school event. If you can find a few willing teachers to get pie’d this can be a very inexpensive fundraiser, as the pies only need to consist of a foil pan and some whipped cream. This is also a successful fundraising event at school festivals and field days!
St. Patrick’s Day – If your students are feeling the luck of the Irish, a 50/50 ‘Pot of Gold’ Raffle is the perfect St. Patty’s Day fundraiser! With no money down, it’s super easy to have your travelers make the rounds with raffle tickets during homeroom or lunch. This model can also be adapted to sporting or after school events.
Halloween – A pumpkin carving event can be as simple or as elaborate as you have time for–and is always a fun fall option! At its simplest, all you really need are pumpkins and carving tools; but simple add-ons like stencils, paints, and other decorations can make your fundraiser more festive and still relatively inexpensive. Charge per pumpkin or host a contest and have participants pay a fee to enter. You can add on a bake sale, sell apple cider, or rent out popcorn and cotton candy machines to make this event a real fall festival!
Thanksgiving – As the leaves start turning, your school is probably getting excited about the Thanksgiving Day football game! You can order personalized sports gear like rally towels, t-shirts, and winter accessories here, and sell the items in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Consider setting up a stand near concessions or the ticket booth on game day for additional revenue. It’s cheaper to buy these items in bulk, but don’t worry if you don’t sell out–you can start selling again during basketball season!
Christmas – Tis’ the season for giving, and what better gift to give than helping students travel abroad! Designing customized Christmas ornaments is as easy as uploading your school’s logo and selecting the correct colors. This is another item that is best bought in bulk. Post photos on Facebook and hang up posters around your school to help increase success. Depending on your group size, you should purchase enough so that each student will have 5-10 to sell. Plan to order them in November so you can start selling in December. Take advantage by selling at school lunches, sporting events, holiday festivals, or even craft fairs!