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Fundraising for Students: 101

Step 1: Where to Begin?

Fundraising can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure where to begin. The first step is to identify what costs you are responsible for. Talk with your advisor to understand the total cost of participating in your chosen extracurricular activity. Make sure to ask what is included and what you may need to pay for in addition to the cost of participation. Common costs may include:

  • Registration fees
  • Hotel costs
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Special supplies/equipment

Step 2: Communicate

After you have calculated your total cost of participation, it’s time to talk with your support system about how you plan on paying for your extracurricular activity. It is important to create an open dialogue with your support system so they can understand how to best help achieve your goals.

  1. Communicate with your support system about the extracurricular activity you want to participate in and the benefits of this activity (impacts academic, career, and/or personal goals).
    • “I joined the Model United Nations club at school so I can learn more about international relations and improve my public speaking skills. In 2 months, our club is going to a conference where I will be able to practice the skills I have learned.
  2. Share the total cost of participating in this extracurricular activity.
    • “The conference will cost me $450 for 2 days.”
  3. Ask for help creating a fundraising plan!
    • “I am really excited for this opportunity, and I need your help to figure out how I am going to pay for this conference.”
  4. Provide some ideas to help reduce your total participation cost.
    • “I will put the money I make baby sitting towards the total cost, and I will apply for a student grant from the Michigan Youth Education Fund if you could cover half of the cost?”

Step 3: Fundraise

Now that you have identified your total participation cost and communicated with your support system, it’s time to fundraise! First, reach out to those closet to you about supporting your personal and professional goals. Often times asking your grandparents, aunts/uncles, brothers/sisters, and family friends for $20-30 to participate in an extracurricular activity can be a great way to raise funds. After all, those you are the closest are invested in seeing you grow and succeed!

If you want to take a more structured approach to fundraising, make sure to set an attainable fundraising goal, and explore some unique and manageable fundraising ideas. We’ve included a couple of our favorite and easy fundraising ideas.

  • Pledge challenge
    • Walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, stair-climb-a-thon, etc.
  • Bake sale
  • Dog walking
  • Used book sale
  • Lawn mowing (summer)/snow shoveling (winter)
  • Baby sitting

Often times, students will turn to online crowdfunding to support their goals. While this can be a great way to raise funds, it is important to get your parent or legal guardian’s permission. With online fundraisers it is crucial to have many people share your link on social media and directly with friends and family.

Learn more about online crowdfunding here:

Step 4: Follow-up

After you have reached your goal, you can rest assured knowing your hard work has paid off! It is important to send personalized thank you cards to those that supported your participation! This is a great way to thank those who helped you achieve your goal. You can even include a picture of you participating in your chosen extracurricular activity!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team here:

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