Personal Fundraising Guide

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Tips for Financing your Travel to the GSA Summit

Congratulations on your involvement in Global STEM Alliance of the New York Academy of Sciences! We are thrilled you are considering joining us at the annual GSA Summit!

You should be proud that your hard work, persistence, and devotion have earned you this recognition.

We understand that fundraising might be a necessary part of your journey to the GSA Summit – not only because it will assist you in paying for part or all of your trip, but because it will help you develop a wide array of life skills, such as goal setting, planning, following through, and communicating. It will also give you an opportunity to build social and leadership skills. Although fundraising may seem daunting, it can be fun and rewarding. You CAN do this!

This guide is full of helpful tips and detailed ideas to assist you on your fundraising journey.

Two ways to help pay for your travel:

  1. The Academy will award a limited number of partial scholarships based on performance and financial need. For more information please email your program manager.
  2. Raise money in your community.  This is a wonderful way to pay for your tuition and trip that has been successfully used by other students in the GSA.  Here’s how you do it:

Planning:

1.  
The first step is to figure out your financial situation. Ask yourself these questions:
  • How much money will I need for the Summit? Consider the cost of transportation, accommodation, food, and personal spending.
  • How much money do I have?
  • How much money is my family willing to contribute?
  • How much money will I need to raise?
  • How much time do I have to raise the money I need?
2.  
The second step is to brainstorm fundraising ideas. Remember, people like to help other people. You are giving others the opportunity to be a part of something beyond them, so reach out to every person you can think of.

Possible Fundraising Ideas:

  • Setup an online fundraising site. GoFundMe.com is an easy and convenient way to raise money for your tuition and trip.
  • Spread the word through social media: Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, or even create a website of your own.
  • Make a flyer, brochure, or bookmark to give to family, friends, and other possible contributors. Include your picture, why you want to attend the GSA Summit, and how much money you need to raise. You can also suggest incremental donation amounts, such as $20, $50, or $100, because people often would rather choose from a list of options.
  • Connect with your teachers and school administrators, they may be able to help you with the fundraising.
  • Think of people at any local businesses, community organizations, or religious establishments that you and your family have connections to. Go see them in person and ask them to contribute.
  • Consider having a car wash if you can get family and/or friends to help you.
  • Think about the skills you have and how they can help others
    • Tutoring!
    • Babysitting
    • Cooking
    • Handy work - cutting grass, raking leaves, painting, fix things
    • Singing
    • Teaching sports
    • Magic tricks
    • Creating websites for local businesses
    • Setting up social media accounts
  • Ask family, friends, and neighbors to donate items they no longer use and hold a yard sale.

When You Start Raising Money:

Once you begin collecting money, it is critical that you keep accurate and complete records.

  • Keep originals of all distributed materials.
  • Keep a record of names, addresses, and donations. Consider creating a Word or Excel file to help keep you organized.
  • Consider asking your parents to help you open a bank account designated specifically for saving raised funds.

At the End:

Be sure to write thank-you notes to all your donors – whether family, friends, neighbors, or strangers. A simple, handwritten note has greater impact than you would expect. It symbolizes your appreciation of the individual who took the time to listen to you and help you achieve your goal by donating. Showing gratitude is an essential part of your fundraising process, and it is also important to practice in your everyday life.