This is a sponsored blog post in collaboration with our partner, Recipes in a Jar. If you're based in Canada and looking for a class trip fundraiser that's as simple as it is effective, Recipes in a Jar is your answer. They'll set you up with a free, personalized online store where you'll sell their product: elegant mason jars containing the dry ingredients for delicious and healthy recipes! It's socially responsible too. Check 'em out!
An effective fundraiser is more than a means to support your trip cost: it can raise awareness, boost registration, and energize your students. The following steps can help you not only get your trip off the ground but also build a lasting tradition of student travel in your community.
Mobilize Your Champions
Did you know that 20% of your participants can generate 80% of your fundraising target?
Identify your leaders, within your colleagues, participants, volunteers and supporters. Talk to them individually and convince them of the
importance of their contribution to the campaign. One is working in an important company where you can broadcast your call to action? The other knows social media well? A team prefers to manage a kiosk? Assign a specific and determinant role to each of your ambassadors. Their commitment will be contagious.
Don't forget: you’re running this show, and your plate is full as it is! The more you isolate yourself in coordinating the fundraising, the more likely it will weigh you down. Delegate, collaborate, celebrate!
Activate and Motivate
Let's build on the first point for a second: behind every successful fundraising campaign is not only a champion to lead the cause but also a group of activated and motivated participants. It can be tricky getting your group to break the ice, to take that first step and solicit their first donation! But that's the key: push your participants and they'll quickly realize that it's much easier and gratifying than it seems.
Meet with your participants regularly: set reasonable goals and challenge them without intimidating them. Visual aids help to connect individual goals to the common goal of the group. If you think it's appropriate, contests can help stimulate participation too.
Attract and Convert
Three: that's how many invites it usually takes before someone actually donates online. If you're using a fundraising solution like Recipes in a Jar, you'll have access to an online store to which you can link via emails, social media, newsletters, etc. Think of this as an ecosystem of little campaigns and content: each initiative will help drive people to your fundraiser through unique and creative ways. Here are some best practices:
- Make it easy for your audience to visit and/or share your fundraising site with simple and clear calls to action
- That said, avoid beating them over the head with the same call to action. Try mixing it up. Tailor your message depending on the medium, timing, audience, etc.
- Keep your social media channels buzzing with daily posts about your fundraiser
- Expand your content! People respond well to photos and videos. They also love human stories. Perhaps one of your fundraising champions deserves a little spotlight? This could be a great way to motivate other participants too... we all love a little 15 minutes of fame
- Stay on top of your communications channels. You don't want to leave potential donors hanging. The best way to avoid this is to keep communications to one channel, like email
Solicit Companies and Organizations
From corporations to government agencies, there’s a wide range of ready-made support out there. Task one of your Champions with researching and applying for field trip grants. We’re on standby with any support documentation required.
Remember: the businesses in your area are part of the community and might be keen to support you through their own corporate social responsibility initiatives. They might want to buy your products in bulk for corporate gift to employees or customers. Smaller, independent businesses might not have the budget to buy your products, but perhaps they'll offer floor space for you to physically promote your campaign.
Again, if you're using a fundraising company like Recipes in a Jar, your online store might have space for advertising and sponsorship. We recommend even reaching out to your local elected officials for this type of thing.
Learn and Adapt
This might be your first foray into fundraising, but it doesn’t mean it will be your last. Take note of what’s working and what isn’t: Is the target reasonable enough? Could you be more ambitious next time? Do you need more time? More support? Ask yourself these questions in hindsight so that next year’s fundraiser is better, bigger and more bountiful.
The first fundraising effort might be a doozy but it will only get easier with time, until one day you’re running the show on auto-pilot. An evergreen fundraising campaign will help you transform your class trip into an annual tradition. Older students will cherish their class trip memory forever; younger students will clamor to be in your class next year so that they can call those memories their own.
Friendly reminder that Recipes in a Jar currently only operates in Canada. Please contact us if you'd like help exploring fundraising opportunities in other countries.