National FFA Organization
FFA Global Program
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-317-802-6060
22 Ways to Raise Funds for Your FFA Global Program
1. Letter to friends and relatives
One of the most effective ways to do grassroots fundraising is by a letter campaign to as many
relatives, friends, former teachers and professors, former co-workers, etc. as possible. You
should try to send a letter to 100 or more people. Send a detailed letter explaining the
program and what you hope to accomplish while you’re on it.
Ask for a specific amount of money - $50 is a nice round figure, but for older more established
relatives and friends $100 in not too much to ask; for peers and fellow students, perhaps $25
to $35. You may want to break your potential supporters into two, three or more groups,
sending a custom letter to each group, based on your relationship with them, or the amount of
money you are asking for.
If you send out 100 letters asking for $50 on average, and one-half respond, you have raised
$2500. Often a few people will be very inspired by what you are doing, and may give much
2. Form a support group
One of your best support structures is to have the people closest to you act as your
fundraising committee. Have them write letters on your behalf and distribute pledge forms to
their co-workers, immediate family and good friends. The best fundraisers have even gone as
far as to officially organize something like "The Committee to Send Julie to Burkina" – which is
personal, catchy, and shows you have organized support. It also shows that you are serious
about participating in the volunteer program.
3. The chain letter
A variation on numbers 1) and 2) is to write special letters to close friends and relatives asking
them to help you garner support. You should call them about this first, then send them a letter
with a number of sponsorship forms, and ask them to recruit five to ten other sponsors for
4. Sell your car and VCR (and any other possessions)
If you are participating in a year-long FFA program, it makes no sense to hang onto
possessions like a car, bike, TV, etc. You just waste money and time trying to store it all. Go
ahead, take out an ad in the classifieds and put it all up for sale!
5. Have a rummage sale
A rummage sale is a good way to sell your possessions and gather support for your cause. You
may want to combine a raffle at the site of the sale, or an auction, especially if there is a
natural group that would support you in this endeavor (fraternity, workplace, church, club, etc)
6. Guaranteed student loans
If you are in school you may be able to turn the year abroad into a research project, and
receive a student loan while being on some type of continuous enrollment at your school. This
is especially common for graduate students working on masters or Ph.D. research projects.
7. Grants from your local school
College public service centers and academic departments frequently have fellowship programs
that grant money to students participating in innovative research projects or programs abroad,
particularly if you are earning academic credit for the research.
8. Local businesses
Local businesses are far more likely to support you than are large corporations. The key is to
make a linkage between the owner of the business and you or someone close to you. You may
want to approach the businesses with a letter first, enclosing all relevant material and a pledge
form, then follow up with a phone call. Asking for $100 or more is not unusual. Please discuss
this option with your state association or foundation first, to make sure that this won’t cause
9. Special collection
Take up a special collection at a religious service or a general meeting of other community
groups, coordinated with the proper ministers/organization officers. It is important to educate
the community about what you are doing before the collection is announced, via written
material in the bulletin and preferably featuring a personal appeal by you during the
10. Approach your local place of worship
Go to your local church, synagogue or mosque councils directly and ask for a specific amount
($300-$1000) in exchange for an informative presentation about your experience when you
11. Community groups
Civic groups such as Rotary, Lions, Elks, certain Unions, special interest groups (like the Sierra
Club or Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) might be interested in sponsoring you, especially if
you can give them a special presentation when you return from overseas.
12. Get a part-time job
Getting an easy part-time job (like house-sitting) can earn you extra money without unduly
cutting into your time.
13. Get support from your employer and co-workers
Approaching your own employer (if you have one) is an often over-looked source of possible
support. Even better is getting support from your co-workers.
14. Loans from relatives
Certain relatives may be able to lend you more than they would be willing to just give you, as
long as you agree to pay them back shortly after the program is over.
15. Grants from foundations, fellowship programs or the government
Many foundations offer fellowships to people to work, study or do research abroad (for WEA
and USDA participants). Among these are: Social Science Research council in New York, The
Watson Fellowship program, Rotary Foundation fellow program, Luce Fellows, Echoing Green,
Council for International Educational Exchange, Fulbright Research Grants, and Americorps
awards (after Americorps service). More information on the above foundations and others can
be found in The Grants Register, the Directory of Research Grants, and The Foundation
Directory, all available in most public libraries.
16. Letters to alumni associations
An announcement in high-school or college alumni newsletter about what you are about to do,
with a pitch for contributions, can be a good way to gain more support and touch base with
long lost friends.
Canvassing is a nonprofit word for door solicitation. This is a tough one, but it is the backbone
of groups such as SANE/Freeze and Greenpeace. If you are positive, likeable, not easily-
discouraged, and can identify a neighborhood that identifies closely with you or has many
liberally-minded, well-off people, this may be worth a try.
Have something to show, and at the very least leave them with information and the
opportunity to send something to you later. The key here is to strike up a conversation first,
get them interested in what you are doing, and ask for a specific amount of money (like $20)
18. Sell something door-to-door
The traditional candy sale can work if you mark everything up enough. Participants with
artistic abilities can produce their own items.
19. Telephone campaign
Getting permission to call a friendly membership list can be tricky, but if you are successful in
persuading a group to let you call their members this can be an effective fundraising tool,
especially if the group shares something with you (alumni, international development,
20. Have a fundraising party
There are hundreds of ways to throw a fundraising party – just make sure you end up earning
money, not losing. You may want to combine a raffle with the party to earn extra bucks. Sell
raffle tickets ahead of time, and insist that people show up in order to win. It is usually best to
charge a flat fee for the party and provide beverages and food free. Have people RSVP so that
you have a good idea how much you will make before the party starts.
21. Make a winning event yours
Approach the sponsoring organization of a successful annual event (well ahead of time!) and
ask them to focus on a theme that relates to the work you are hoping to do overseas. They
can then arrange for a portion of the proceeds to go to the organization that will send you.
22. Sell progressive T-shirts, buttons, etc.
If you’re into the promotion of peace, environmental, or other causes and you can get a good
deal on related T-shirts, buttons, headbands, stickers, etc, you could set up a stand at a busy
place (a college campus, a mall, a peace rally) and accomplish four things at once: inform
people about what you are doing, gain more sponsors, and earn extra cash while promoting
your favorite cause.