10 Creative Summer Fundraising Ideas

Planning a Spring Break or Summer 2019 adventure? Start fundraising now!

Looking ahead to a Summer 2019 GLA program? Good for you! It's never to early to start planning, and with classes out for summer, you might just have a little bit more time to plan for your trip and coordinate a fundraiser, which can help cover tuition and flight expenses. GLA has a long history of students who have fundraised for as much as 100% of their tuition and expenses, just by leveraging their communities and networks, and putting a little time into letter-writing and event planning. Turns out, fundraising is actually fun, and earning your own way to a GLA program makes it an even more rewarding experience.

Check out this video for insight into how two students fundraised to cover 100% of their tuition, flight costs and overseas expenses.

1) Get a head start on your letter-writing campaign

Proven the most effective and efficient way to raise funds for your GLA program, year after year, is a letter-writing campaign. Write a letter that you can send (or email) to everyone you know—really, everyone!—showing genuinely how badly you want to go on an international service-learning program, what you hope to learn and how this will help you become a more engaged and globally aware citizen. GLA alumni who have done this in the past have consistently reported being surprised and humbled by just how many acquaintances are willing to donate.

With classes out for summer, you might have an extra few hours that you can start your letter-writing campaign early, and have your final draft ready to distribute the first week of school, when everyone has returned from their holidays.

2) Get a part-time job

We’ll start with the most obvious. Many GLA students credit their part-time job—whether working at the local grocery store, coffee shop, mall or restaurant—as the best way to steadily accumulate funds for their trip. Think about the skills you have. Can you also tutor, lifeguard, help people move, babysit, write, assist with landscaping or intern for a small business? These options might offer you more flexibility and heftier paycheck.

3) Work at a kids’ day camp

When looking for a summer job, check out your local YMCA, climbing gym, community pool or other sports facility. Chances are, kids’ summer camps will soon be in full swing. You might be able to snag a gig that’s fun, rewarding, builds your network of local families and even prepares you for a future trip on a Children & Education or Children & Community Development program.

Working at your local climbing gym, community swim complex, YMCA or other sporting facility over the summer is both rewarding and fun, in addition to putting some funds in your pocket.

4) Coordinate a car wash

An outdoor car wash presents one very full (but fun!) day, and great chances to accumulate some funds. Design and pre-sell car wash tickets in your community to ensure some income, and enlist the help of friends to help with the washing on the day of.

5) Host a sports tournament

This will take a little more time and organization, but if you set up a tournament of Ultimate Frisbee, 3-on-3 basketball or any other simple sports competition, you could start a fundraising tradition for a yearly trip. (Pro tip: Organize registration with online sign ups!)

6) Plan an outdoor movie night

What says summer more than laying out a blanket on the lawn, twinkle lights and projecting a movie? You might be able to rent a projector from your community center, or borrow one from your school, church or a neighbor if you don’t have one. Charge a small fee for admission and set up a table with a donation jar, photos and descriptions of what you want to accomplish on your GLA program

Plan an outdoor movie night!

7) Create something handmade to sell

Are you artistic and crafty? Summer might free up your time to create some handmade trinkets, jewelry, witty greeting cards, wall prints, crochet art, pet beds and toys, knitted items, accessories, terrariums or even baked goods that can sell well to the right audience. Sell red, white and blue DIY flower crowns on the Fourth of July, or start crafting woven bracelets now (with tags that explain where the proceeds are going—to your trip!) that you can keep selling all year.

Create red, white and blue flower crowns to sell on the Fourth of July.

8) Organize a garage sale

Again, here’s a classic fundraiser that will take a bit of coordination and support from your parents. Start gathering items not only from your own home, but from friends, relatives and neighbors too. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to donate an item to be sold, just to clear some clutter from their own homes! Plan strategically so that your garage sale coincides with the local swim meet down the street, or the annual neighborhood 5k run, or catches the crowd leaving church, etc. The trick is to get passers-by to stumble upon your event.

9) Move your garage sale to your local swap meet

At some local swap meets, you can reserve a booth up to six times a year without a complicated or expensive sellers permit. Try to snag a spot at the swap meet and you might get even better results out of selling old furniture, accessories, books and clothes gathered from your local neighborhood.

10) Organize a fundraiser with Jamba Juice or your local ice cream/smoothie shop at your biggest summer sporting event

Look ahead in your city's calendar to find your biggest sporting event. Is it the regional swim meet? Is it an annual surf competition? Is it the city marathon, cycling or triathlon event? Plan for the most crowded and hottest (both weather-wise and in popularity) day of the year, and contact Jamba Juice or your local ice cream/smoothie shop to investigate fundraising opportunities.

Jamba Juice makes fundraising incredibly easy, by boxing up hundreds of ready-to-drink smoothies that you can set up at a table at your event. Sell each drink with a major markup (hey! It’s for a good cause!) and we guarantee you’ll sell out.

Sell smoothies or ice cream at your city's biggest summer sporting event. Have a flyer at your table showing what the proceeds of each sale will go toward!

So, there you have it! With the right fundraising initiatives planned, this summer could be the perfect opportunity to get a huge head start on fundraising for your 2019 GLA program. Summer fundraisers are a great way to combine outdoor fun and community involvement for a memorable way to make your dream trip happen.

For questions about how GLA helps fundraising families, Scholarships & Aid and more, give our Enrollment Specialists a call at +1 858-771-0645. We'd be happy to help you plan ahead for your Summer 2019 servie-learning adventure!