MyTourFund Empowers Students and Revolutionizes Fundraising
Combining the Value of Community Service with the Power of Social Media
For decades, students and teachers alike have spent considerable time and energy coming up with creative ways to fundraise for student trips. These fundraising efforts are often important lessons in responsibility for students and give them personal pride and sense of accomplishment in knowing their hard work paid for part of or all of their tour.
While there are literally thousands of great ideas for fundraisers, most of these ideas can be broken down into 3 categories:
- The Sales Angle- Students either make an item or purchase an item through a vendor and go to family, friends and neighbors selling candy, chocolates, wrapping paper, magazines, ticket raffles and nearly any item you can imagine; or
- Service Angle- Students host an event and provide their services to community members such as a car wash, concert or a dinner event where they make money through ticket sales or donations;
- Event-“a-thons”- Students will throw a bowl-a-thon or dance-a-thon or some type of contest or event and either seek sponsor donations or sell tickets.
The Limits of Traditional Fundraising
While all of these can be effective group fundraising activities, there are limits to all three. First, they all have a limited reach in that the donors must be individually persuaded to participate. Second, in the event of selling, the donor is often purchasing an item they don’t really want, the item is usually over-priced and the student typically only makes 30-50% of the cost. Third, in a group effort like this, proceeds are shared among the group and thus each student may not earn enough to offset the trip price.
While today’s economic realities have made fundraising efforts more important, today’s technology has made fundraising efforts easier than ever. Unfortunately, many prospective teachers and parents dismiss the idea of fundraising and refuse to give their students the opportunity to try. Not only does such a decision send the wrong message, it ignores the new realities and power of today’s youth.
Reality #1: There is not a more effective, natural fundraiser than a deserving youth taking steps to pursue their educational goals.
Reality #2: Students today are among a generation of connected, socially-engaged youth who most effectively communicate through digital, video and social media channels.
Reality #3: Every student possesses the ability to literally become an entertainer, entrepreneur or celebrity via the internet.
As Henry Ford said: “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
Why would we refuse to give a student the opportunity to use their natural skillsets and tools in order to go on the most important trip of their life based upon a model of fundraising that pre-dates the internet?
And how can we effectively combine the social benefits of traditional fundraising with the technologies available to youth today?
School Tours of America’s new online fundraising platform will forever change the way today’s 21st Century learners view fundraising.
“My Tour Fund” permits a student to earn their tour spot by giving back to their community. Thus not only does it appeal to everyone in the community, it also empowers a youth by valuing their hard work and contributions.
- Pay it Forward
By allowing youth to sacrifice and volunteer in their community, it ties together and reinforces the themes of the upcoming tour. These tours introduce youth to the immeasurable sacrifice that has gone into our great nation by honoring our brave military veterans and courageous ancestors. Thus students can honor their community by serving it in order to go on a tour that made possible by the sacrifices of ancestors of their community.
- Win-Win for Everyone
Rather than purchasing items you don’t want or need or donating money for a dance contest, you are investing in a child’s future in exchange for that child providing valuable service to your community.
- Engages the Expertise of Today’s Youth
Today’s youth are fully engaged on websites such as youtube and have become experts at utilizing video as a communication medium. Now students can fundraise by utilizing their true expertise by personalizing a video that effectively communicates their motives, the value of the tour and the project they will perform in order to achieve their dream.
- VIRAL, UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES
Students can now create a fundraising platform that can go out to thousands of potential donors with the click of a button. With the help of their family, friends and everyone’s social network, a student can literally make their tour-plea to thousands and thousands of people-a truly unlimited, potential reach.
- Students Capture 100% of the Funds
A student no longer will make 30 cents on the dollar for walking house to house selling a candy bar, but rather 100 cents on the dollar sharing their vision with potentially thousands of people with the click of a button. And unlike other 3rd party fundraising apps, because “My Tour Fund” was designed by School Tours of America, the money goes directly into your account without a percentage being captured by vendors.
This program should change the way all teachers and parents view the potential of this trip. To give up and not allow a student to try is to send a message to that child that you don’t believe they can accomplish their dream. The truth today is that any youth in America who is willing to work hard and give back to their community and is able to tap into the unlimited reach of social media, can raise every dime of the tour price.