Fundraising Ideas - Summer

A collection of ideas from the summer season to help you raise funds towards your GLA program

Welcome to the GLA Fundraising Page!  

This page is a collection of ideas and resources to help you raise funds towards your GLA program. Check it out and get inspired.

Meet our Featured Fundraiser: Jada Thomas

Jada Thomas used many different fundraising strategies in order to cover the cost of her 2016 Building Healthy Villages program in Ghana.  By starting early, Jada ensured that she would have plenty of time to meet her goals.  She began fundraising in November for her program in June.

First, Jada applied for and received a financial aid scholarship from GLA and was awarded $1000.  Still she had a giant task ahead of her in order to cover the rest of the tuition and her airfare from New Mexico to Ghana.  Her most successful fundraiser was a letter writing campaign.  Jada sent out a personal letter to all her family and friends.  In it, she clearly explained the program she was going on and why it was so important to her.  The letters didn’t ask for a specific amount, but did mention that she was collecting donations. Jada received a few donations from the first letters, but then every month she would send an additional letter updating her mailing list on her progress.  With each batch of letters, additional donations would come in.  Jada made sure to keep track of those who donated and while in Ghana she bought them bracelets as a thank you.  After her program she sent each donor a bracelet, photos from her experience in Ghana, and a personalized thank you letter.

Though mailing the letters was her most lucrative fundraiser, the fundraiser that Jada had the most fun hosting was a car wash.  She held it at her local church and had friends help her wash cars.  Again she didn’t mention a specific amount, but let people donate what they could.  Through sending letters, washing cars, selling T shirts, hosting dinners, and other activities, Jada raised $2800!

Jada recommends that students start fundraising as soon as possible and do fundraisers with family and friends. Additionally she advises, “Don't get mad, if you didn't make much money from a fundraiser. Keep doing many more. You may not think that the little fundraisers will make a difference but they help the most. Keep your head up and keep doing those fundraisers! Good luck and have fun on your GLA trip.”

Need some inspiration?

Check out this video of Matt and Coleman talking about their experience fundraising.

Here is a video recording of a fundraising webinar, hosted by a GLA staff member.

Have a creative fundraising idea of your own?  Share it on the GLA Fundraising Community Facebook page.

Summer Fundraising Ideas

Hot Dog Eating Contest- Every 4th of July, Nathan’s holds their famous hot dog eating contest in Coney Island.  Why not use the excitement around this event to create your own hot dog eating competition?  One option would be to allow contestants to enter for free and charge spectators $10 each.  Another option would be to charge contestants as well.  In this case, make sure you have an awesome prize to offer the winner!  Find a location (your backyard would work great), cook up a bunch of franks, and have a blast!  This is a great fundraiser, because you can also incorporate ways to make additional money, for example, selling other snacks and beverages to attendees and putting out a donation jar.

Host an Outdoor Yoga Class or Bootcamp- If you are an experienced yogi or athlete, share your skills with others.  If not, contact a local gym or workout studio and ask if a trainer would be willing to run the class for you.  It’s great publicity for the studio or an individual’s personal training business, so it’s likely they will be on board to help.  Find a local park or beach to hold the class and then spread the word.  Ask attendees to donate for the workout.  Drop-in classes at a studio are typically between $15- $25 so feel free to suggest a donation amount in this range. 

Water Fight- People are always looking for ways to cool off during those hot summer days, so it’s the perfect time to host a water fight.  You provide the weapons; water balloons, squirt guns, cups of water, etc.  You can charge a flat fee to participate or charge per weapon, the more effective the higher the cost.  You can even make shields and charge for those- for ideas look on Pintrest, but think cookie sheet with a duct tape loop on the back.  Make sure you have a plan for clean up, especially if using balloons.  If you are holding the fight in a public area be sure to clearly mark the boundaries so that both your guests and the public can see them.  You don’t want any innocent bystanders inadvertently soaked!