How To Fundraise For Your Service-Learning Trip: Tips and Ideas That Actually Work
All Articles

How To Fundraise For Your Service-Learning Trip: Tips and Ideas That Actually Work

Fundraising is about bringing your community together in support of a goal to positively influence the world. Convince donors that travel is a powerful experience and you are committed to reaching your goal no matter what.

How to Develop a Fundraising Action Plan: Things to Consider

Before you get started, know the answers to the following questions. The more realistic, detailed, and personalized your action plan is, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

What Rustic program is calling your name? What kind of service will you do? What do you hope to learn?

  • Do your research. The more you can tell people about where their money is going, the more willing, and excited, they will be to support you.  

Why is attending this program important to you and beneficial to the community you will be visiting?

  • Rustic works hard to support locally-driven, sustainable projects and we’re proud to say that we’re not like other travel companies. You’re doing this because you believe in the great work you want to do. Speak from your heart when you tell donors about what motivates you! 

How much money do you need to raise? How will you raise it?

  • Consider several smaller fundraising strategies that will add up. Be realistic while keeping your big goal in mind!

When do you need to raise the money by?

  • Break your big goal into smaller goals with short-term deadlines.

Whose help will you need to reach your goals? How will you contact these individuals, businesses, and organizations?

  • Involve your community and expand your reach. A one-person fundraising team can only do so much. Reach out to everyone you know, and ask them to reach out to everyone they know.

Time to get started! 

Ways to Fundraise for Your Service-Learning Trip

Consider your strengths and your personality type; what type of project excites you most? There are so many ways to reach your fundraising goal. Here are some tried-and-true fundraising suggestions to help you brainstorm.

  1. Host an event, like a raffle, talent show, or dinner party. Ask local businesses to donate their time, goods, and services.
  2. Use crowdfunding websites to spread the word, especially those catered towards students and travel funding. Be specific about how much money you need and what you’re using it for. Offer something in exchange for donations, and keep donors updated. Even if people can’t donate, remind them to share the page! Don’t forget to call or handwrite thank you notes to everyone who donates.  
  3. Get sponsored for each mile you complete in a race, every tree you plant, or every hour you volunteer. Hundreds of fun and charitable activities can be turned into “a-thons.”
  4. Ask directly with a letter or email-writing campaign or ask to receive money instead of gifts for your next birthday.
  5. Make something you can sell, like handmade jewelry, knitted scarves, postcards, or baked goods. Spread the word about why you’re raising money at events, bake sales, craft fairs, or a garage sale.
  6. Look for grants and scholarships from schools and community organizations.
  7. Work a part-time job or odd jobs in your neighborhood. People you know may need help filing papers, mowing their lawn, babysitting, or cleaning out their garage. Get creative with your talents!
  8. For more ideas check out our entire Fundraising Guide.

Have you successfully fundraised? We want to know your fundraising story. Email Rachel at to share.

Looking for a volunteer or service program?

View Our Programs for Service Buffs

About the Author

Rachel Levin

Brand Engagement Manager

Rachel joined Rustic in 2013 and led programs for three summers in Costa Rica, Peru, and Ghana. She’s also led programs in Fiji and Tanzania. A graduate of the University of Vermont with degrees in sociology and Spanish, Rachel focuses her love for travel, writing, and her unquenchable curiosity of our natural world as Rustic’s Brand Engagement Manager. Based in Tahoe, CA, Rachel is a talented ceramicist and lover of the outdoors.