In the last of a three-part summer series on fundraising ideas for youth and college students, we focus on crowdfunding to pursue your academic goals and future success. Our other installments profiled fundraising ideas for kids and fundraising ideas for teens. Now, it’s time to give it the old college try!
Individuals who strive to attend college are making big plans for their future. With consistent rising costs of higher education in recent years, it has become crucial to take into consideration the various expenses that college brings.
According to College Board, yearly tuition for a public four-year in-state university is $9,139, not to mention that attending an out-of-state university nearly doubles the tuition cost. Things like test prep courses, application fees, textbooks, school supplies, housing, food, transportation, tuition and studying abroad can become more affordable with the help of a fundraising campaign.
Furthermore, crowdfunding isn’t just for individuals raising money for their educational expenses, it also serves as a tool for any college student interested in raising money for a worthy cause or a group of students like fraternities, sororities and clubs raising money for philanthropic purposes.
Crowdfunding can help feed your thirst for knowledge and fuel your compassionate nature by providing a platform that links willing donors to your online campaign as well as assembling motivated participants for your offline fundraising events. Don’t let roadblocks deter you. Instead, take action and crowdfund your way to success. Let this list of fundraising ideas for college serve as a jumping-off point for your own campaign.
Back to the Books
Whether you are still in the application process or you are already are in college, you have a skill set that is considered extremely valuable for other younger students who are about to take on college admissions exams like the SAT and ACT. As veterans of these admission tests, you have a source of knowledge that can be shared and capitalized on. As an addition to your online campaign, offer a test preparatory class or be a personal tutor for students in your community. For each session ask for a donation to your campaign.
Pass the Torch
Have a field day filled with various sports events like Olympics but with more quirky challenges, games and contests. Options might include blow-up obstacle courses, tug-of-war, giant Jenga, water balloon toss, potato sack race, hula-hoop contest or any other creative ideas of your own. Resources needed include a big open field, which most schools have, some sporting equipment, a few blow-up obstacle courses and, most importantly, enthusiastic participants.
Encourage the teams to make their own T-shirts to distinguish themselves and add some personality, motivation and team spirit. All that running around will most likely result in participants looking for something to quench their thirst. Ask all participants and spectators to donate a certain amount to your campaign to pay for the cost of admission. Add one more way to gain donations to your campaign by setting up a concession stand with water, other refreshments and healthy snacks to help get your participants energized.
All for Laughs
Gather up some of your class clowns and local aspiring comedians to participate in an event made for laughs. Host an improv or comedy show at a local business or at your school, for example. You can sell tickets before the event via your online campaign and provide smart phones, tablets or computers for individuals wanting to purchase tickets at the door. Besides just offering laugh-out-loud entertainment you can also sell drinks and snacks to gain more revenue to add to your online donation amount.
Game Show Knockoff
Pick a classic game show to serve as an offline fundraising event for your campaign like The Price is Right, Jeopardy or Family Feud, just to name a handful. If applicable, contact a local celebrity to serve as the game show host to amp up the number of participants as well as spectators. Hold the event at your school auditorium or a community center and remember to get advertisements out at least a month before the event. The excitement of a game show stems from the anticipation mixed with endless laughs so rally your friends, family, school and community around your cause. Ask participants to buy tickets to the event by donating to your online campaign.
Numerous fundraisers on YouCaring are providing much-needed assistance to aspiring students and those already in college. Here are a couple of examples.
- Nonprofit Foots College Bills
For the past 14 years, the nonprofit Revolution Leadership has been awarding scholarships and providing educational leadership training that has helped more than 1,500 students with their educational endeavors. The organization’s campaign on YouCaring, Revolution Leadership/Leadership Legacy Campaign has thus raised more than $13,000 to help secure an academic future for students eager to attend college.
- Picture Perfect
Lyn-Holly Knight took matters into her own hands by creating her campaign Life Changer! on YouCaring. With big dreams of becoming a photographer with her own business, Knight saw the benefits of crowdfunding and put together an informative campaign, which explains why she isn’t asking for free handouts, but support for her to attend the Hallmark Institute of Photography that she worked so hard to get accepted into. She even organized a raffle for her donors with the prize being a personal photography shoot.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
In reality, there are loads of creative fundraising ideas out there, but it’s about choosing the event that will complement your campaign and your cause the best. Whether you are in high school raising funds for college admission exam courses or a college sorority raising money for a local nonprofit, crowdfunding is the perfect tool for forward-thinking individuals and groups looking to reach their goals. Check out our other fundraising ideas.