So your teen has been selected to go on a trip with a group. Congratulations! He may be part of a band, an athletic team, a church group or a student ambassador program. Regardless, this trip is going to cost some money, and parents of teens quickly learn the art of fund-raising before their child goes off on their adventure. Believe it or not, a little creativity will bring in a surprising amount of money for your teen, and save you from having to absorb the entire cost yourself. Here are some tips on how to raise money for teen trips.
How to Raise Money for Teen Trips
Start simple by having your teen write a letter to every single person she knows. This includes not only family and friends, but other people she may know- the dentist, your neighbors and more. In the letter, explain what the trip is for, why it's a good thing to contribute to, and what donors will get in return. For example, your teen could offer a free DVD of trip photos to anyone who pitches in. If your teen sends a letter to 100 people, even if only a fourth of them reply, that's 25 people who are contributing to your fundraising.
Consider asking for corporate sponsorship, or a host from a local non-profit group. If your teen is going on a trip that has to do with sports, ask a local athletic club to pitch in. If it's a band expedition, check with your neighborhood music store. Other potential sponsors include Parent-Teacher Organizations at school, church congregations, or civic clubs like the Lions or Kiwanis Club. Again, make sure any sponsors are offered something in return--perhaps your teen can give a presentation and slide show after he returns, so donors can see what they paid for.
Hold a fund-raising event. If there are multiple teens going on the same trip, have them work together on a group event. Plan a car wash, a babysitting all-nighter, or a spaghetti dinner. The kids can work together on planning, advertising and making the actual event take place, and then split whatever profit they make.
Sell something. Many direct-sales companies offer a fund-raising option. It doesn't usually involve a lot of work, other than passing around catalogs and order forms, or possibly hosting a show in your own home. If you and your friends spend a lot of money on makeup, home interior accents, or cookware, consider finding a direct-sales company to do a fundraiser show for you. Often you can make up to 20% of the profits from your sale, donated right back to your teen. Another option is to hold a rummage sale with donated items, and use the money for the trip.
Finally, have your teen earn some of the money himself. Babysitting, cutting grass, or bagging groceries at the local supermarket are all valid sources of income. They may not be as much fun as a spaghetti dinner, or as easy as just asking for cash, but it's a good way to teach your teen the value of hard work. Regardless, start planning well in advance, and by the time your child gets on that plane or bus, they'll have enough money in hand for a fabulous trip.
- If your teen has a birthday coming up, let everyone know that what your child needs is money for their trip. Gifts of cash can be applied towards the trip.
- Don't fall for offers to finance your child's trip. These will end up costing you a fortune in interest. Pay for it upfront by fund-raising.
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