In years past, field trips were almost a given. But with every district in the nation tightening their budgetary belt, it has become the job of each individual school or coordinator to find ways to raise funds for their out-of-the-classroom experiences. Here are some ways to get your whole community involved and collect some much-needed money for your next field trip adventure.
1. Sell Your Stuff
Encourage your fellow teachers, students and their parents to go through their closets and gather up all the stuff that no longer “brings them joy.” Then schedule a huge school-wide garage sale. Make sure to have your students help you make signs that tell buyers that the money raised is going toward educational experiences.
2. Look into Web-based Fundraising
Sometimes it’s best to leave fundraising up to the professionals. Sites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder can help you create an online account that gives community members a hassle-free place to donate funds toward your field trip. Include videos or text about how the field trip would positively impact your students.
3. Use Apps and Social Media
Many school systems use apps like Remind or private Facebook pages to get in touch with parents to relay important information. These same avenues could be used to ask parents to give a small donation to the field trip fund or to share the class’ need with friends and neighbors. It wouldn’t cost the school any extra money to execute and parents would already be familiar with the technology.
4. Find a Corporate Sponsor
While it might be a long-shot for some districts, it might be worth it to investigate corporate sponsorship. Many big-name retailers have programs that will donate some or all the funds needed to take your students on a one-of-a-kind field trip. Do some digging. The worst they can say is, no.
5. Make it a Class Project
Find ways to get your kids in on the fundraising. Not only will it get them thinking and problem solving, but it will also give them ownership in the trip. The more involved they feel, the more excited they will be about where they’re going. Try creating a prompt that asks the students to create a product to sell or a service they can perform (like babysitting or raking leaves) to help raise money. You might be surprised with what they come up with.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.