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I Want To Fundraise For My Service-Learning Trip But Don't Know Where to Start
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I Want To Fundraise For My Service-Learning Trip But Don't Know Where to Start

Creating a crowdfunding page isn’t the only way to fundraise for a service-learning trip (but it can be a great one). We chatted with a handful of alumni who have successfully fundraised for their Rustic Pathways programs. They wanted to share the keys to their success. For more ideas, read our fundraising tips and tricks and get started!

Make it Personal and Just Ask 

“I knew that my letters had to be personal so I hand wrote every single letter, and the response was amazing. I ended up reaching about $800 above my original goal, which was $2,000. I think one of the main keys to my success was that I hand wrote my letters and I didn’t just leave a blank space for a name to be inserted. I expected fundraising to much more difficult, but I also expected results to happen faster. Regardless of the fears someone has of fundraising, I think that if they really, truly want to make a difference and experience the world with Rustic or any type of program like it, they will find it within themselves to fundraise.”

— Riely Mccullough | Seattle, Washington

Get a Job and Share Your Mission 

“I reached out to all the families I had babysat for and explained that I was saving money for a community service and service learning trip, and that I was available to babysit whenever! I got tons of jobs that way and lots of the families were very generous and interested in the trip. Some even paid me extra in donations! The challenge for me was that I didn’t want to seem pushy asking people for money. I think it’s important to explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to help!”

— Nicole Levi | Novato, California

Apply for Scholarships, but Start Fundraising TODAY

“I was awarded a 75% Scholarship from Rustic that went towards everything except for my flight. I also received 50% off of the Rustic Gear which definitely helped. A lot of people do not know that Rustic Pathways gives out scholarships! I highly recommend not completely relying on the scholarship coming through because there are many people that want scholarships. I recommend having a backup plan and fundraising some money just in case because by the time scholarship information is released, it would be too late to start fundraising after.”

— Ruby Halfacre | Bradenton, Florida

Elevate your Passions 

“So, I’m a dancer. To fundraise, I teach private lessons to students who need more help during their weekly classes. For these lessons, the average rate per hour may change depending on the time of year, what the student is working on, and their skill level. Also, I’m a video producer and photographer. If I’m needing some extra money, I’ll take headshots for people, film students’ pre-screen audition videos that are required from many colleges, or contact local dance studios in the area to see if they are in need of new marketing material.”

— Cayli Dobbs | Burke, Virginia

Keep your FOMO in Check and Get Thrifty 

“For my last trip, I worked to pay for most of it. I saved half of my paycheck and put it in my savings. Last weekend, we held a pasta night and created raffles with local businesses, and we successfully raised a lot that way. Car washes are great, too. I held one to fundraise for a past trip. I held the car wash for free, and then I would tell people what we were trying to raise money for. The customers typically donated more that way than having a set price.”

— Cammy Macomber | Cranston, Rhode Island

For more ideas, check out our Fundraising Guide and visit our scholarships page to learn more about financial aid opportunities.

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.