A Comprehensive Guide to Fundraising for School Trips

School trips can help students gain real-world experience that can’t be taught in a classroom, opening their minds to different cultures. They can also strengthen students’ knowledge of the world around them and help them learn in a practical way. 

Taking students on a school trip can be invaluable for children of all ages, but school trips cost money. If you’re planning on organising a school trip, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to dip into the school budget to pay for it. Whether you’re hoping to take the kids to London, camping in the Lakes or abroad for a few days, you’ll likely need to raise funds to do it. Here we’ll look at what you need to do. 

Understanding the Costs Associated with School Trips

School trips can be expensive, and there are numerous costs you’ll need to factor in. 

Breaking Down the Expenses

Before you can start fundraising for a school trip, you need to know how much it’s going to cost. Common costs you’ll need to evaluate include: 

  • Transport – this could be a coach or plane tickets if you’re going abroad. 
  • Accommodation 
  • Meals 
  • Entrance to attractions 
  • School trip insurance 
  • Miscellaneous costs like first aid kits, snacks, petrol if you’re taking the school minibus, and plenty more.  

Estimating the Total Cost and Setting a Fundraising Goal

Once you’ve broken down the expenses, you’ll need to assign an estimated cost next to each element of the trip. This should then give you your total cost, and from here you can set your fundraising goal. 

It makes sense to set your fundraising goal over what you believe the estimated cost of the trip to be. This gives you some flexibility if things end up being more expensive than you first expected or if you need to add in extra elements you hadn’t initially factored in to the cost. 

You’ll also need to understand whether the cost of the trip will come exclusively from your fundraising efforts. Is there some school budget available? Does the PTA have funds that can be used? This will all need to be factored into your total fundraising goal. 

The length of time you have before your trip will also play a part in setting an achievable fundraising goal. The longer you have, the more events you can run and the bigger your potential target can be. 

Brainstorming Fundraising Ideas for School Trips

You could go down the traditional route, get a little creative or use online fundraising. Or you can do all three! Here are some ideas to help get you thinking. 

Traditional Fundraising Methods

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Traditional fundraising methods have worked for years and they still work today. 

You have many different options to choose from. You could opt for a bake sale, non-uniform days, a charity car wash, a fun run, sponsored events (sponsored silence at school anyone?), a step challenge or a reading marathon. 

To get parents and kids engaged with the event, you can tie the theme into the trip you’re fundraising for. If you’re taking the children to France, why not do a bake sale with a French theme or a sponsored talking French day at school? 

Creative Fundraising Ideas

You can also get a little creative when fundraising for your school trip. Talent shows, themed parties for parents, quiz nights and charity auctions are all great ideas. Again, you can try and tie the theme of your ideas in with your destination for the trip. 

If you’re going to London, you can do a London-themed ball for the parents, or an after-school quiz for parents themed around France, Spain or whatever the intended destination. 

Another creative yet easy-to-execute fundraising idea is a ‘break the rules day’ at school. On this day, the kids have an opportunity to break the rules and pay a fine for doing so. Rules could be things like wearing school uniform, not wearing trainers, no coloured hair accessories, no silly hair styles or colours, no nail varnish or glitter, no temporary tattoos and always eating your mains before dessert at lunch. Whenever kids break one of these rules, they’ll need to pay a 50p fine. The children will love it and will be more than happy to break as many rules as possible! 

Online Fundraising Methods

To supplement your in-person charity fundraising, you also have a range of options for online fundraising too. This can help broaden the reach of your campaign and increase donations. 

As well as setting up fundraising pages on the likes of JustGiving and GoFundMe, you can also look at crowdfunding as an option for your fundraising efforts. Online auctions are also a fantastic way to raise funds. With an online auction, users bid online for the items you’re auctioning off from the comfort of their own homes on their mobiles. You can set this up through Facebook, or you can use online bidding software such as OneCause or QGVI. You’ll need to investigate the mechanism and software that works for you, and make sure you secure some decent prizes that people will be willing to bid for. 

Signing up to easyfundraising can also supplement your offline and online fundraising methods. All you need to do is register your school as one of our charity partners. You can create a page detailing your fundraising goals and the reason behind it, and promote your page to our community of supporters. Your parents can use us to donate to your fundraising efforts whenever they shop online with one of the 7,500+ online retailers we partner with, but you can also reach a wider audience. In fact, we have more than 3.4 million supporters that help raise money for good causes with their online shopping every day. 

Planning and Executing Your Fundraising Campaign

Now you’ve got a fundraising goal and you’re planning your trip, it’s time to plan and execute your fundraising campaign. Here are some tips on how to do it. 

Creating a Fundraising Plan

How are you going to reach your goal? What events are you going to run and when? How much on average do you need to raise from each of the events? 

An accurate fundraising plan will help you answer these questions. You will need to outline the specific tasks that need to be done for each event to happen and assign responsibilities to get these sorted. Setting up a fundraising committee that includes teachers, parents and the PTA is a great first step and will help you understand exactly what needs to be done and who is available to do it. 

Fundamental to your fundraising efforts will be a timeline with key dates, events and fundraising targets along the way. 

Promoting your Fundraising Campaign

You need to get the word out there. Put simply, your fundraising efforts live or die on your promotion. Fortunately, you have plenty of tools at your disposal. 

The first place to start is with your usual communication with parents. Include a section on the trip and the fundraising goals in your usual weekly email and ask the PTA to include it in theirs. You can also include a dedicated section on the school’s website and keep your blog regularly updated with your fundraising target and highlights from your fundraising activities and events. Social media is also a fantastic way to spread your message. Plus, if you sign up to easyfundraising we’ll provide a range of templates to help you promote your cause across social media and on emails. 

And let’s not forget the traditional ways of promoting your event through posters around the school and at the school gates. The excitement of the kids about the trip itself and the various fundraising events you plan will also help parents get involved. 

Engaging Parents, Staff and The Wider Community 


Your teachers and other staff have a big role to play in your school trip fundraising efforts. They can volunteer at events, be part of the fundraising committee and can help organise different fundraising days. They’ll be directly involved in events like non-uniform and break the rules days, but can take a more active role in running things like talent shows or school quizzes for parents. 

They also play a huge role in getting the kids excited about the potential of their fundraising efforts. 


If parents are engaged in your fundraising goals, it can go a long way. You’ll want parents to donate their time to help out at your events, as well as help raise funds through donations. 

Engaging with the PTA is the first step, but you can also ask parents for their assistance in your school emails and other communications. If you’re running events like a ball, bake sale or summer fair, it’s crucial to get as many parents as possible to attend and part with their cash when they do. 

Getting parents involved successfully all comes down to your communication, whether emails, social media or on the school website. Make sure you detail the fundraising goal, why the school trip is important, why it means so much to the kids and how their contributions will make a difference. Parents can also help spread word about the fundraiser through their own networks, whether it’s the mums’ WhatsApp groups or their own personal social media networks. 

The Wider Community 

Local businesses can play a part in your fundraising too. Can they help with sponsorship of your events? If your trip is to France, can the local bakery donate some cakes to your bake sale? When you’re running a summer fair, can you get the local kids’ football team to come down and do a charity penalty competition? Or can local businesses donate their wares to your silent auction? 

Again, this all comes down to your communication. When you engage with local businesses, they’ll want to understand the benefits of your fundraising efforts for the children and how just a little help from them can make a big impact. You should also highlight the advertising opportunities this brings for local businesses too. 

Making Fundraising for School Trips Easier with easyfundraising

When you’re raising money for a school trip, you can supplement your fundraising efforts with easyfundraising. Simply register your school with us and create your dedicated page. You can promote it to parents but also our network of 3.4 million supporters. All they then need to do is shop online with our more than 7,500 online retailers and you’ll get a donation out of the money they spend. It doesn’t cost the school or your supporters anything.