Tuition costs are the highest they’ve ever been, and they figure to increase every year for the foreseeable future. For many students, premium government loans are no longer covering the full price of admission. These fundraising ideas for college can make attending your dream school a reality.
College Fundraising – Details and Overview
Raising funds for personal education is usually much more difficult than fundraising for large-scale charitable efforts. You will need a lot of creativity to find fundraising ideas for college, and you must enter the process with an “every little bit counts” mentality. You probably won’t receive any massive donations from strangers. Instead, your mission will be combining traditional fundraising ideas with normal practices for winning money to attend school.
1. Apply For More Scholarships
This is not a traditional practice in campaigning for funds, but fundraising for college tuition is non-traditional in the first place. Few students take advantage of the full scope of their scholarship opportunities. For those who are willing to get online and seek out scholarships, there are thousands of unclaimed dollars floating around right now. Of course, you must be willing to write essays describing why you deserve the scholarships above anyone else.
2. Contact the Financial Aid Office
After applying for student loans, students typically fail to seek out any additional help offered by their prospective school. In many cases, your school’s financial aid office can lower your tuition costs even further. This may not stand as traditional fundraising advice, but lowering costs is just as effective as raising money. This department can also help you find a repayment plan that works well for you.
3. Utilize Tax Relief
Whether or not you’re considered an “independent”, you can benefit from further deductions come tax day in April. If you have a strong sense of your student loan information, your 1040 will provide you with space for maximizing your return even further. This may result in only a few hundred dollars of saved money, but that may be enough to purchase all your books for a semester.
4. Create a Crowdfunding Campaign
It’s never been easier to spread your positive message to people across the globe. In a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to create videos and written content that show people your potential for bringing positivity into the world. For a stranger to donate to your college fund, your video should be witty and entertaining; unlike other crowdfunding campaigns, it’s unlikely that you’ll give back to any of your donors. All value must come up front.
5. Create a Live Campaign for Friends and Family
Surprisingly, an old-fashioned charity event is one of many strong fundraising ideas for college. Host a party at your house with food and entertainment, but let guests know the reason for the event: you are low on cash for your college tuition, and you are hoping for every bit of help you can get. You’d be surprised how many donations you can receive from your inner circle if you’d only ask. A good idea is also to use custom wristbands for this event, to make everything sound more fun.
6. Create a Temporary Business
One of the best fundraising ideas for college is providing services for other people. Instead of relaxing on your weekends, you might consider starting a temporary business. Some ideas include starting a lawn mowing service, a car wash or cleaning gutters around your neighborhood. The work may not be glamorous, but people are willing to pay good money for these services. However, you may want to think of special winter fundraising ideas if the work you choose can’t be done when there are low temperatures.
7. Campaign Using Skills From Your Major
This is an ambitious extension of the previous idea, but use your specific skills to start a personalized business venture. For example, if you’re planning on attending school for accounting, offer to help neighbors with their taxes. If you’re hoping to earn a degree in computer science or information technology, advertise your computer knowledge throughout the neighborhood. These specialized skills can make you just as much money as the harder work of mowing lawns or washing cars.
8. Start a Krispy Kreme Fundraising Campaign (or Something Similar)
Though popular campaigns like this are usually restricted to larger charitable events, you can start a personal campaign if you believe you can sell enough product. This is the first item on this list with built-in risk. There is risk involved in purchasing product; if you can sell all of it, you make money. If you don’t sell all of it, you lose money. As a result, you may have a few long weekends of door-to-door sales.
9. Utilize Online Marketing
One of the most interesting fundraising ideas for college is marketing something else online. In some ways, this is the internet version of the Krispy Kreme campaign. You will find a product that you believe in, create promotional material for selling that product, and advertise it under the wing of your fundraising efforts. In this way, the manufacturer of the product will make its share while you pocket a percentage of every sale. Again, there is risk in this strategy as it requires you to successfully sell a product.
10. Contact Local Businesses
Lastly, never underestimate the power of local businesses. In the same way that larger groups contact local businesses to create charitable coupon cards, you can do so on a smaller scale. If you have strong negotiation skills, you can create a list of desirable coupons to local businesses and sell the list door-to-door. This entrepreneurial spirit will go far in helping you raise fund for college.
For a more serious take on the matter, you can watch this clip:
These fundraising ideas for college range from maximizing your current finances to raising new money entirely. Your options are more limited than those of a full-on charity, but creativity goes just as far here as it would anywhere else. The key is to remain humble and let your donors know the great things you’ll accomplish with a college degree.
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