Senior class trips can be expensive, and not all families can contribute to the costs of travel, accommodations and meals. Start by forming a student committee to organize fund-raising events and projects under the direction of a parent or faculty member. When brainstorming fund-raising ideas, try to come up with projects beyond traditional bake sales and car washes to dramatically increase your revenue. Publicize your events by regularly updating your school’s website and sending newsletters — via mail or email — to parents and community members.
Solicit donations from parents, staff and local businesses for a silent auction. Ask hair stylists to donate a cut and blow-dry, retail stores to provide gift certificates or products and students to donate services such as yard work or baby-sitting.
Host an international dinner. Have students prepare and serve a variety of ethnic foods, including dishes from France, Spain, Asia, Italy and Mexico. Use the school’s cafeteria to make and serve the meals, and charge a $10 or $15 admission.
Allow students to personalize their school parking spaces by painting their name and accompanying artwork for an annual fee of $20 or $25. Encourage students to be creative but tasteful.
Organize a spell-a-thon. Have students gather sponsors for the number of words they spell correctly at the event. For example, an individual who sponsors a student at $1 a word will donate $15 if the student spells 15 words correctly, $25 words if he spells 25 words correctly. Make the event even more fun by inviting parents, faculty and staff to participate in the spell-a-thon.
Ask local art and antiques experts to volunteer at an “Antiques Road Show”-type event where people pay to have their heirlooms appraised. Charge an admission or a fee for each item individuals bring in for appraisal.
Rent out booth space in the school parking lot for flea markets. Since 1998, Fairfax High School in Los Angeles has rented its parking lot to antiques, clothing and collectibles vendors and raised more than $3 million for school programs and clubs, as of 2010. Charge a per-booth fee to merchants and a $2 or $3 admission to shoppers to rake in serious dollars for your senior class trip.
Angela Brown has been a book editor since 1997. She has written for various websites, as well as National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and more than 20 fiction anthologies. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English from the University of Wisconsin.