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What exactly do we mean when we say fundraising? Take apart those two words and you will have “fund”,  another way of saying money, and “raising”, to increase something in size. So is fundraising really about increasing money? Yes and no. Fundraising is so much more than asking people for money. It is about creating awareness around a subject and increasing the number of donors to your cause – i.e. those that will be giving you the funds.

There are various reasons why you might want to start a fundraising project. For one, it might be that you and your group of friends want to embark on a trip of a lifetime, whilst learning about the fundamentals of reforestation in Medellín. Or perhaps you have just come back from a CAS Trip and are kicking off your Changemakers Challenge? Or maybe you and your class have decided to raise funds for the homeless shelter in Prague before visiting the city. There are many reasons why you might want to fundraise, but one thing is clear – you need to have a good plan.

What you need for your fundraise to be successful

1. The mission: You need to know why you are fundraising. What is your end goal? How much money do you need to consider your fundraising activities a success?

For example: We need 8,500 dollars to help build a new school in Peru.

2. The story: Make sure you are ready to explain your story to potential donors. To get their support, your story needs to be emotional yet factual. Study your CAS Trips itinerary and identify the key global issues or UN Sustainable Development Goals you will be tackling and how.

For example: The Peruvian Quechua women are in need of a new school for their children. Currently the children have to walk 15km to school every day. To construct an adequate school we require the necessary material, which costs a total of 8,500 USD.

3. The plan: Brainstorm what the best ways of collecting donations may be. Come up with a strategy, including a schedule and detailing who is in charge of what, create posters, flyers, a website, or anything else that might fit your cause to get the word out.

For example: Businesses – especially in the US – are often trying be more socially aware. So, why not write a personal letter to local businesses to petition them for sponsorship? Businesses may want to champion your cause as a means to fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. A win-win-win situation for the business sponsoring, for the cause being sponsored, and for you. 

4. The execution: Pick your starting date, follow that schedule and kick-off your fundraising project! Good luck!

Our Favorite Ideas

It’s the holiday season, so we’re feeling extra generous this month. As a little add-on, we have put together our top five favorite fundraising projects – lemonade stand was yesterday!

  1. Fundraising party: Let’s kick it off with a bang! Host an awesome party (Ex: Winter Dance or pancake breakfast) and ask people to pay for entrance, drinks, food, etc. With the help of sponsors, all contributions could go towards your cause.  
  2. Host a fun run: What a great way to incorporate some elements activity into your fundraising project. Organize a cause-related run and ask people to join. Sell drinks and snacks, and ask all participants to contribute a monetary donation to the race.  
  3. Hold an auction: Work with your local community to create fun baskets and prizes to auction off; for example: beauty products from your local spa, two cinema tickets, a dinner at your local pizzeria, etc. All contributions will be donated to your cause plus you will have incorporated the local community.  
  4. Sponge-off: Is it hot outside? Ask your school principal (and teachers too!) to participate in a sponge-off. Students and teachers will pay a bit of spare change for the opportunity to throw a wet sponge at the principal. Trust us, it is super fun! 
  5. Host a dance marathon: What better way to kick-off prepping for Hip-Hop classes in New York than with a dance marathon? Challenge participants to dance for as long as they can. This fun team challenge will ignite the inner dancer in you.  Watching supporters can also request a special song for a specific amount of money – Britney Spears, anyone?

Have we inspired you to start your next fundraising project? We’d love to hear what types of causes you are supporting with your projects in 2019! Happy fundraising!