Make fundraising fun for everyone

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 12, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I was a guest at a service club meeting in a neighboring community. Everything was routine until they started a discussion about fund raising.

The chair of that committee said that they really wanted to focus on some big projects, ones that would attract plenty of attention and support. Various ideas were bantered back and forth and discussed at length. Nothing was really original or creative plus I never heard the word travel.

Being an outsider I opted to remain silent but I’d like to share some of my thoughts on using travel to put the FUN into FUNdraising.

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Travel still has a mystique and alluring draw. Mention travel and everyone’s eyes and ears perk up.

You capture their attention. Travel is still prestigious especially when you get to brag that you’ve gone cruising with the coach of your favorite college team or traveled to Hawaii with the local TV weatherman.

A group trip has many additional non-monetary benefits for the sponsoring party. It can increase community awareness about your organization and its mission.

When traveling together most travelers experience increased fellowship with other participants and your organization can become closer group. This is also a great opportunity to attract and recruit new members.

I can ramble on and on as to why travel is an attractive and effective FUNdraiser.

Travel companies and travel agents love groups and many already have fundraising programs in place.

Who qualifies for a group? Anyone and everyone! The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is start speaking to everyone you know about their interest in joining your special departure.

Cruises, all inclusive resorts and escorted tours all make for wonderful and profitable FUNdraising projects.

Travel suppliers have special rates, amenities and discounts available for groups.

They will supply most if not all of your marketing needs. Some will even provide a speaker to assist in your promotional efforts.

Here is a “what if” example for a ladies golf league that is sponsoring a FUNdraising Hawaii Golf Cruise Tour group.

A $100 per cabin donation is built into the total package price so they’ll be earning one hundred dollars per cabin sold.

The cruise line will also add in an extra $50 bonus per cabin so we are now up to $150 per cabin. Sell 20 cabins and you’ve raised $3000.

Not bad, but it gets even better if you earn a free trip. Let’s say that you’ve sold enough space that you qualify for two free packages each valued at $2000.

As the organizer you and another lucky person could use these free spots but you really want to maximize the FUNdraising to its fullest potential.

You pay your own way and donate the freebies to the league. These packages are then sold and you now earn an extra $4000.

Do the math! The golf league has now earned $7000! Plus you get to sail the Hawaiian Islands and play golf on some excellent courses. It is a win-win situation for all parties involved!

Everyone has a travel bucket list. Ireland, Hawaii, a Caribbean cruise or even a New York City weekend are on these lists.

Select a hot button destination and set your sights on a big FUNdraising project.

Speaking about groups, many folks have inquired if I’m still doing trips and where I’m heading to next. The answers to these questions are no and yes.

While I am no longer associated with university travel I still work with local school groups, organizations and individuals on their travel needs.

Occasionally I still offer what I term as “private label” Travel Professor group tours. Next year we’re off on a January Hawaii cruise tour and plans are still being finalized for a spring Ireland escorted trip, summer Princess Alaska cruise tour and a December Christmas market tour to Germany and the Czech Republic.

If you’re interested in talking more about group FUNdraising opportunities I recommend that you talk with your favorite travel agent.

Don’t have an agent? I would be honored to speak with you about getting your group FUNdraising project off the ground. Just contact me at 740-550-9540 or