How to Save Money on International Conference Travel!

Cindy Changyit Levin RESULTS Grassroots Fundraising Coach
May 16, 2012

We’re about two months away from the RESULTS International Conference in D.C. in July and many partners are making plans and reservations to get there. We appreciate that this is a significant financial commitment for many and are inspired by the dedication of so many of our volunteers to join us this summer. To make the conference as affordable as we can, we’ve put together some financial assistance and some tips on how you can help finance the trip with fundraising.

First, check out the discounts and scholarships at the International Conference website, including:

Some partners have asked if they can fundraise specifically for the purpose of sending their local activists to the conference. The answer comes in two parts:

1.    Fundraising for RESULTS’ Karen McQuillian Fund and having your partners apply for those funds is the only way you can accept credit card gifts or checks written to “RESULTS Educational Fund” and offer your donors a tax-exemption. However, there is not a guarantee those funds would be awarded to your group. Your candidate would have to go through the formal application process and be considered along with other candidates.

2.     Groups are welcome to fundraise for cash. Note: You must be very clear about the purpose of your fundraising, so your donors know that the donation is not tax deductible.

Here are a few ideas for quick and easy cash fundraisers:

  • Bake sales: This is especially effective if you let folks buy items for a donation of their own choice. Sometimes people will just give you $5 for just a cookie. If you do this at a place like a church or synagogue coffee hour, you might be able to arrange for funds donated by check can through that 501(c)3 organization and be tax deductible. That organization can then buy an airplane ticket or conference registration online on behalf of the conference attendee.
  • Garage Sale: You can have a group sale and turn your unwanted items into financial help. You could even invite your neighbors to participate by telling them they can donate their sellable items for you to sell.
  • Offer a Class: Do any of your partners have a particular skill like yoga, Zumba or scrapbooking?Set up an event and invite folks to learn a skill for a cash donation.
  • Split the pot raffle: Have a 50/50 raffle at a casual event like a backyard BBQ. Guests buy tickets with the understanding that one raffle winner will receive 50 percent of the total money collected. For example, if 15 people buy one $20 ticket each, then the pot is $300. The winner would get $100 and you keep $150 to offset your conference expenses.

 Feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 773-236-7758 if you have questions or would like to brainstorm more ideas. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!