Though it may seem overwhelming at first, you can afford to take part in youth programs with the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ)! How? Fundraising — a key skill for social justice work. Being able to talk about money and how it can express your UU values will serve you in your endeavors now and in the future.
First, remember that program fees cover on-the-ground costs, including lodging, meals, program transportation, required educational materials, and the services of program leaders before, during, and after the trip. Participants are responsible for covering the cost of their own airfare, transportation to program site, and health insurance.
Once your parent(s)/guardian(s) have filled out your application and you’ve been accepted, it’ll be time to start raising money. Keep in mind the following pointers:
- Talk honestly with your family about how much of the program fee they can pay for and how much you’ll need to fundraise.
- Ask for donations — from your congregation, individuals in it, important adults in your life, community organizations like Kiwanis and Rotary Club, local businesses, government offices, and nonprofits. Whether you use an online fundraising platform (like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter) or host an old-fashioned spaghetti dinner at your congregation, your community can’t support you as a justice leader unless you ask.
- Connect your fundraising to your faith — when you’re asking for donations from UU people or organizations, reference UU principles. Make the connection between your beliefs and why you want to attend a UUCSJ youth program.
Resources to support your fundraising:
- Young Adult Service Trip Fundraising Manual, from the UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries — full of good ideas for teens
- “Fundraising Ideas for Congregations,” from the UUA — aimed at raising money for General Assembly delegates but most would work well for UUCSJ youth programs
- “5 Fundraising Ideas for Youth Groups,” from the UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
- “The Exploration Alternative Fundraising Guide,” from Explo, a summer program for teens
- “Popular Youth Fundraising Ideas,” from the United Way