As a teacher, you’re no stranger to reaching into your own pockets to buy classroom supplies. But how the heck are you supposed to come up with the money to take your students on an educational trip?
It may sound awkward and intimidating to ask for money when fundraising for student travel. It doesn’t have to be though. With a well-intentioned message, you can lean on generous individuals for help sponsoring your educational travel initiative.
Check out these tips to write letters that turn prospective sponsors into a hearty source of funds for your next educational tour:
Tell Them Your Story
Students are the lawyers, contractors, restauranteers, and insurance agents of the future. Let it be known that educational tours are a great way to expose students to new passions! Seek out an organization that you think your message could strike a chord with, and tell them your story.
Explain to the recipient how an educational tour will benefit your students. What are you most excited for them to see and learn about? How will the trip help broaden their perspectives? You can even ask the reader if they recall any memorable student travel adventures. It’ll take them back to the days when they were young and becoming the person they are today.
By illustrating how the funds will be used, and how much the support will mean to you and your students, the reader will see that their contribution is much more than just a transaction. They’ll have an enormous impact on these future professionals!
Add A Personal Touch
We’ve all received them. Canned messages where it’s obvious only the recipient’s name is replaced (or even worse, a message sent with “Dear Sir or Madam”).
To increase your chances of getting through to a potential donor, make the message personal. Whether you’re reaching out to friends, local businesses, or community organizations, each message should be customized to the individual.
If you have an existing relationship with the potential donor, update them with the fun things your class is doing and how the school year is going. In the case where you aren’t sure of the name of the recipient, give their office a call and confirm. They’ll appreciate the extra effort put in, and will empathize with the challenges teachers face in funding extracurricular activities like educational travel. It’s also a great idea to include an overview of your travel plans. Who knows, maybe the reader went on a similar trip or can offer help by enlisting the services of their business!
Clue Them In On Your Fundraising Strategy
You will probably use multiple methods and sponsors to make your educational tour happen. Be open about this in your letter. The recipient will admire the effort that you and your class are putting into fundraising activities, and will get to see which other organizations are also lending a helping hand.
It also sends the message that you’re not just looking for a handout, and they’ll enjoy the creativity behind the other fundraising ideas you’re implementing.
Simplify Contribution Methods
The easier it is for donors to contribute towards your sponsored travel class trip, the more positive the interaction will be. Using a method like a GoFundMe page allows donors to remotely access (and share) your class’s fundraising page. They’re also able to leave a personal note with their well wishes, or remain completely anonymous.
Alternatively, you can set up a class bank account and let donors know you accept cash or check.
Whatever route you choose, tailor the contribution method to each donor. Nailing this step will make accounting for each dollar that much easier.
Sign, Seal, Deliver.
If you decide to send an email, this may not apply. But when sending a physical sponsorship request letter, have your students sign it! This adds an undeniable personal touch, and lets the potential donor know that these are real students with bright futures. So pass that letter around, get everyone’s John Hancock, and hope for a speedy reply!
Need Fundraising Advice? EDT Can Help
While parents are typically the primary sponsors of a student’s trip, fundraising and sponsorships can assist in offsetting a portion of the expense. It’s daunting to ask for financial assistance, but with the right message, you’ll be able to reach tons of potential donors.
Approaching a potential sponsor is a great way to spark cohesion and generate excitement surrounding the trip. As an added tip, it’s awesome to follow up with your donors after your educational tour. Recount the memories, and maybe they’ll even want to contribute next year!
For more advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to Educational Discovery Tours. We’re here to help you reach your student travel goals!