How to Raise Money for a School Trip: A Guide to Success

Resource added: 03 December 2021

Make your school trip more affordable and give your students the chance to take ownership of it with some school trip fundraising!

Are you interested in arranging a school trip but worried about the cost being prohibitive for students?

Of course, school trips offer a myriad of educational and cultural benefits, and can help students develop important life skills, such as teamwork.

But school trips are often not an insignificant cost for families, and some students do miss out on all these benefits because their families cannot afford for them to take part. However, with proper planning and management, school trips can be made more affordable. And booking as early as possible can certainly help with this.

You may have already seen our article on money-saving tips on your school trip. Well, if you want to reduce the cost to pupils even further, why not get them involved in some fundraising?

As well as reducing the cost of the trip to them, it will also be a great opportunity for them to take a little more responsibility, gain more confidence and independence, and become more invested in the trip.

This guide will provide you with tips and strategies you could use to raise money for a school trip, as well as give you some school trip fundraiser ideas.

Planning and budgeting

If you want to make your school trip more affordable for your students and their families, the first place to start is by starting to plan your trip as early as possible. The longer that families have to pay for the trip, the easier it will be on them financially.

The next thing to consider is creating a detailed budget for the trip, including all costs such as transportation, lodging, meals and activities. Having all this covered means that families aren’t having to pay for the school trip and a large pocket money fund to cover unknown extras.

Of course, your Tour Adviser will be able to explain all the costs and confirm what has been included and what else you might want to consider including or covering by fundraising.

Once you know exactly how much you need to fundraise, the next step is to form your fundraising committee. You will need to assign roles and responsibilities, set a fundraising goal and create a timeline for reaching it. All this will ensure that you stay on track and reach your funding target in plenty of time for your school trip.

Organising a fundraiser event

The first thing to think about when organising a fundraiser event is the venue. Where would you be able to host it? Perhaps the school would allow you to use a hall, car park or field? Or perhaps there is a community hall or local park you could use?

You’ll then need to start planning the event, including any entertainment or refreshments you might want to provide.

Once you’ve planned the event, the next step is to let people know about it! You could create flyers, reach out to local media or use social media.

Community engagement

In order to raise significant funds for your school trip, you’re probably going to need to engage the wider local community, as well as your school community.

Reach out to parents, alumni and local businesses for support, whether that’s just attending your event or perhaps providing prizes for a raffle or auction.

Make sure you share the information about the school trip and your fundraising efforts through newsletters, social media and school announcements.

Or why not host a presentation or open house to showcase the planned trip and how funds will be used? Here, you can also share your timeline of fundraising events, to ensure that people know when you want them to get involved and how they can support you and your students.

School trip fundraising ideas

There are lots of exciting ways to raise money for a school trip.

You could host a fundraiser for your school trip at your school – bake sales, car washes and auctions are all good examples of events that can work well.

You could arrange some online fundraising, using a platform such as GoFundMe, JustGiving or easyfundraising. This could help you to reach a wider audience and raise money through donations.

Or you could reach out to local businesses. Some may be willing to donate to your trip while others may be keen to sponsor it.

Need some ideas for fundraising events? Here are 12 of our favourite ways to raise money for school trips:

1. Bake sale

Who doesn't love cake?! Here at Halsbury, one of our favourite fundraising activities is the humble bake sale. Challenge your pupils to bake the cakes themselves and watch them sell like…well, hot cakes!

The beauty of this activity is that you can run several bake sales in the run-up to your trip – we’re sure you won’t find any shortage of supporters.

You could also include some savoury snacks – for those who have less of a sweet tooth, or simply need something to balance out all the cakes they’ve enjoyed.

2. Raffle

Another classic, everyone loves a good raffle. You could ask local businesses to donate items, to keep costs right down and ensure you make the maximum profit.

3. Car wash

These are springing up everywhere, granted, but that’s because people are willing to pay money to have their car washed.

You could charge around £5 per car and hold it in the school’s car park, if there’s room.

Invite parents, put up signs around the community and this is certain to be a real money-spinner for your trip.

4. Car boot sale

Car boot sales are the ultimate in recycling goals. You can take your old stuff that you would otherwise just throw away and sell it to someone else who’ll actually be able to use it.

And with the current trend for upcycling, car boot sales are becoming more fashionable again.

You can charge people to pitch up, and even charge a small entrance fee to buyers.

And again, if you can get permission to use the school car park, this could be turned into a regular event.

5. Bag pack

Not a particularly exciting fundraising activity, we grant you, but the bag pack can be a lucrative one.

So, head on down to the local supermarket with your pupils and get raising some money!

6. Talent show

Now, this is a more exciting prospect, right? Talent shows are brilliant for fundraising and can also be used to raise the school’s profile in the community, with coverage by the local press.

Don’t be fooled though, they can be hard work. But that makes the payoff that much more satisfying, right?

7. Non-uniform day

A non-uniform day with every pupil contributing £1-2 to wear a mufti can raise a decent amount in just one day, depending, of course, on the size of your school. And it always goes down well with the pupils!

8. School disco

Another option that’s bound to be a hit with the pupils is a school disco!

Again, this is an activity that’s going to require more organisation, but you have a team of keen helpers standing by to assist you.

9. Collect small change

Every penny counts. And how often does small change just get discarded because it’s awkward?

Why not set up jars or other containers around the school (such as the staffroom, canteen and reception), where you can collect people’s small change?

Minimal effort, but you could raise a good amount of money!

10. Online fundraising

You could appeal to the school community, and further afield, with a crowdfunding appeal to raise funds for your school trip.

To encourage people to donate larger amounts, you can offer a few rewards, such as a thank you on the school’s social media, some artwork or other craftwork that students have made themselves, or free entry to an upcoming school event.

To start, you just need to set up an account on a fundraising platform like GoFundMe, JustGiving or easyfundraising. You’ll need to create a compelling campaign page that explains more about the trip and why you’re fundraising for it.

You can then promote your campaign through email and social media. And don’t forget to remind everyone you know to share your social media posts so they reach as many people as possible!

11. Partnering with local businesses

Something you may not have considered when it comes to raising funds for school trips is that local businesses may be willing to help by donating some money to your school trip fund.

First, you’ll need to identify the local businesses that align with your school’s mission and values, as they’ll be keener to donate to your school trip fund.

Next, you’ll need to approach the businesses and pitch your idea. If they like it, you can then negotiate a partnership agreement which will raise plenty of funds for your school trip.

12. Sponsorship

Another way to engage local businesses in your school trip fundraising efforts is by offering them the opportunity to sponsor your trip. This will help you raise the money you need and help them to raise their profile in the local community.

First, you’ll need to identify the companies and organisations that align with the school’s missions and values.

You’ll then need to create a sponsorship package and proposal with which you can approach the businesses and organisations you’ve identified as possible sponsors.

Good luck with your fundraising!

We hope we've given you a few ideas for how to raise money for a school trip.

Raising money for a school trip can be challenging but with dedication, creativity and the right strategies, it’s certainly possible.

Fundraiser events, online fundraising and working with local businesses are all really effective ways to raise funds for your school trip.

You just need to remember to plan carefully at the beginning to ensure you know exactly how much you need to fundraise and how you’re planning to do it, so that you can be sure you’ll reach your target in plenty of time.

But the process will be a fantastic opportunity for your students to develop some key life skills and take ownership of their school trip, making this an even more unforgettable experience for them.

Feeling inspired? Ready to start planning your next school trip?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information or advice, or to request your tailor-made quote.

The Halsbury Difference

School trips designed by teachers for teachers

Originally founded by teachers in 1986 and with several former teachers in our team, we understand the pressures on you as Group Leader and work hard to relieve them.

Trips tailored to your curriculum and learning objectives

We’ll design your trip around your specific learning objectives and curriculum, to ensure it meets your particular requirements.

Rewarding loyalty scheme

Work together with other teachers in your school to save thousands of pounds on future school trips with our multi-trip loyalty scheme!