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Brass in Pocket

So you’ve had the discussions, signed everyone up and made your booking. Now it’s just a matter of getting more and more excited till the departure date rolls rounds, right? Well, no. The not-so-small matter of getting the cash together still lies between your students and their dream trip. And that, totally understandably, can be intimidating. 

At STC Expeditions, we see raising the expedition funds as a key part of the whole educational opportunity. We appreciate not all students will raise ALL of their money themselves, but taking responsibility for raising a substantial pot of cash means that when they get to their destination, they will find the achievement all the more rewarding.

But (and isn’t there always a but…?) there are pitfalls to avoid along what can be a rocky road. We want all of our students to be ethical and legal in their efforts to raise cash. We want them to learn from their experience and maybe develop some skills they’ll find useful as they grow up. We’ve got a LOT to say on this subject, but let’s start with a few considerations that’ll set your students off on the right track…

  • The experience of travelling is so much sweeter for students who’ve put in the work and earned their place. If the fundraising is seen as part of the expedition, it becomes doubly rewarding.
  • Your students wouldn’t ask a stranger to pay for them to go to the cinema, so why would they ask someone to simply pay towards their adventure?  The key is to give something in return for the money. Give-and-take fundraising (where the person making the contribution gets something in return) is far more ethically sound than just asking for money for nothing. So instead of asking for ‘sponsorship’ ask people to buy cakes or freshly made lemonade, sell tickets to events or theme nights… there are lots of possibilities.
  • It takes time, so expeditioners need to manage their expectations, be realistic and dig in for the long run. One hour spent sitting in a bath of beans will not pay for a three-week trip.
  • By planning and executing activities together, the expedition group will bond before they travel and widen their friendship circles. And with every penny raised, excitement will rocket, too.Lateral thinking is at the core of successful fundraising. There’ll be all sorts of talents (some possibly undiscovered) within the group and unleashing them all will be key to success. If everyone plays to their strengths, they’ll all make a difference.
  • Modern kids know how to exploit their networks so harnessing the power of social media (known as ‘marketing’ in the grown-up world) is the best way of getting people interested in what they’re up to.
  • Nice though it’d be if it was all fun and games, it isn’t. Responsibility has to be taken for totting up the figures and keeping an eye on profit margins. Under-priced cupcakes can lead to a negative balance in no time. So don’t forget to factor in your costs and expenses 
  • Imagination is king. The sillier, wackier and funnier the fundraising ideas, the more attention they’ll capture.
  • Hard work is needed, as are skills that may as yet be under-developed. Forward planning, resilience and determination are all called for.
  • The boring bits are as important as the fun bits. That means being aware of activities that the law (and local authorities) may frown upon, staying on top of safety and being responsible with the handling of the proceeds. 

For ideas and lots more info on the whole process, see our full guide to fundraising by logging on to your STC portal.