A few weeks ago, I got the dreaded fundraiser text message.
You know the one. It was the “please help Sally go to camp by buying this candy bar” text.
First of all – when did parents selling become the new norm?
Aren’t the kids themselves supposed to do the selling?
Isn’t the point of a fundraiser to teach entrepreneurship, teamwork and follow through?
Insert <back in my day...> comment here.
Anyway, I digress…
Since Matt and I do not have kids, we are the designated aunt & uncle who buy ALL THE THINGS. Cookie dough, wrapping paper, popcorn, magazines… you name it, we’ve bought it.
However, my years living in NYC taught me to abhor STUFF. When you live in 600 square feet, you quickly learn to prioritize what is needed and what is not.
Most of us don’t NEED more wrapping paper, garbage bags and most of all, cookie dough. Open any magazine or read any website; you’re likely to see at least one articile espousing the importance of Experiences over Things or quality family time.
Back to the fund raising: I hate to say no. Especially when the child is doing the hustlin’.
However, we just don’t need more STUFF.
Enter the travel fundraiser… TA DA!
If you are in a school group, church group, charity or alumni organization, Alpaca Your Bags Travel can help you set up a travel fundraiser that will knock people’s socks off.
Travel fundraising can work two different ways:
Option 1: Group Travel (set itinerary)
This is probably what most people envision when they think of fundraiser travel. In this option, the travel agent partners with the group leader to choose a designated cruise or specific dates at an All Inclusive resort. At Alpaca Your Bags Travel, we negotiate special “comps” i.e. free stuff and amenities that can be distributed to your group OR redeemed as cash value for your fundraising efforts.
Amenities can include things like cash credit in your travelers’ ship account, free accommodations for the group leader, free cocktail parties and events or more. It can also include cold, hard cash for your fundraiser. WIN-WIN!
This is good for one-off fundraising events, like an annual drive. It’s also good for events where you want to travel *with* your group to build camaraderie, team building or just to make memories.
Pros: Easy and quick to set up, easy to explain
Cons: Set itinerary, group must travel together
Option 2: Open Ended Travel Fundraising
As the name describes, this one is a bit more flexible. In this option, the travel agent negotiates special rate and fundraising amenity with a particular resort chain or tour operator. The group leader and the travel agent partner to offer ANY dates to the group members.
For example, we can negotiate a special deal with Palace resorts that has no specific date or location. Your group can earn fundraising credit *any time* a member uses a special promo code on any date or location.
This option is good when you have a large group and difficulties getting everyone to agree on the same date and itinerary. However, this one does take more time to negotiate. It also may require a year-long commitment or more.
Pros: Flexibility for your travelers, groups do not need to travel together
Cons: Longer set up time, typically requires annual commitment
Both of these options have big payoffs. We know a college alumni group that raised over $60,000 in 2 years using these fundraising methods.
The best part? If you’re the group leader, you don’t have to do ANYTHING! The travel agent does all of the work! The Alpaca Your Bags Travel team can create marketing materials, attend group meetings, handle travel arrangements and more. We can also set up electronic tracking so you know exactly what you’ve raised at any time.
Are you interested in learning more about travel fundraising? Would you like to make wrapping paper and cookie dough a distant memory?
Contact us today to get started!
Hi, I'm Ashley
Ashley (@ashleysmorris) is a freelance writer, virtual assistant and owner of Alpaca Your Bags Travel.
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