Work together to lower the cost of a school group trip or fund a scholarship program for your students.
Interested in leading a group of your students abroad but worried about the financial cost for students? Here are some fundraising activities previous school groups have used to raise funds for the trip:
Nominate a few students for an SYTA Road Scholarship
We have had two students win an SYTA Road Scholarship after being nominated by their teachers. The SYTA Youth Foundation award funds to youth who, for various reasons, are unable to afford the cost of student group trips. Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant's circumstances and need as documented in an application form. More info.
Put together an international dinner
Sunnyside Environmental School hosted a Nicaraguan dinner and cultural evening to support their school group trip. Students and parents volunteered to prepare food, and they solicited donations of ingredients from local grocery stores. A family can host the evening in their home or the school or another community location. Provide authentic music (recorded or live), and have students speak about what the trip means to them and why they are excited to travel!
Movie night series
Show an international (French/Spanish/German/Japanese) film once a month. Charge an entrance fee, which includes popcorn or a snack that students prepare. Films can be shown at the school during evenings (or weekend matinees). One group raised $780 at one single movie night through $5 entrance fees and by selling baked goods that families prepared and donated. Make sure to show the subtitled version of the film, so students and parents get a sense of the language and culture before they even depart!
Car wash at the school
Klamath Union High School has been successful in the past with this type of fundraiser. Spring is a great time to throw a car wash. Students provide the labor, advertise the event in school newsletter, and create good old-fashioned bright signs on the day of the event. Posting signs on busy streets will increase traffic to the car wash.
Solicit support from local businesses
Whole Foods had a 1% day where 1% of all sales on a designated day went towards funding a school group's trip to Nicaragua. Promoting on social media was important (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to let friends and family know to shop that day. The group raised close to $1,500 through this fundraiser alone. Other businesses like restaurants often will do the same sort of arrangement, but offer an even higher percentage. Pizzacato, for example, offers "Dough for Dollars" and will donate 20% of sales on a given night to a group or organization. Burgerville, Laughing Planet, and several local breweries also offer similar types of fundraisers. Let us know if you find others!
Set up a holiday gift wrap station
Contact a local shop about setting up a gift-wrapping station. Ask customers for donations to support your trip abroad. Create a flyer about your trip or ask the shop if it would be okay to post a sign. Be sure to send the shop a thank you note after the holiday season and a post card from your trip!
Make wreaths to sell
Get together with your family or friends and make holiday wreaths. Ask neighbors and family friends to buy one to support your program abroad.
Host a holiday craft party
You offer the supplies and snacks, and your guests provide a donation to support your trip. Try to find a craft that reflects the country or language you'll be immersed in over the summer.
Organizations and individuals can make tax-deductible donations to ANDEO International Homestays as long as they are for a group and not for a specific student. ANDEO will issue a receipt for their donation for tax documentation purposes. All donations for a particular group can be divided among the student participants to lower everyone's program fee.