Getting started with your fundraising cruise is simple:
- First, decide on the length of cruise for your group and determine your travel dates as well as desired destinations. Grand Escapes Travel will determine which sailings offer the fundraising program and amenities and group space will be secured. - Second, we will discuss the development of a plan to promote this special fundraising cruise. Cruise lines will have marketing collateral, flyers and brochures available for our use. Additionally, your fundraising group cruise will be featured on our website with an invitation for all to join - thus increasing your total fundraising revenue. We can also create a Facebook event page! - Third, promote the cruise! This is all you have to do. Grand Escapes Travel will handle all questions, will obtain all paperwork needed, booking reservations, collect all deposits/final payments, book air if needed, transfers, group transportation, travel insurance, arrange shore excursions if desired --- will be the point person for your group!! Once final payment is made and all group activities booked, we will deliver final documentation.
Here are some examples:
Group marks up price of cruise by $50 per person (your participant’s donation)/$100 per cabin on a 7 day cruise Group sells 50 cabins x $100 = $5,000 Cruise line will match up to $70 per cabin for charity - 50 cabins x $70 = $3,500 Group raffles 50 tickets (at $25 per raffle ticket) for one earned free cabin = $1,250 TOTAL FUNDRAISING = $9,750
Group marks up price of cruise by $50 per person (your participant’s donation)/$100 per cabin on a 5 day cruise Group sells 50 cabins x $100 = $5,000 Cruise line will match up to $50 per cabin for charity - 50 cabins x $50 = $2,500 Group raffles 50 tickets (at $25 per raffle ticket) for one earned free cabin = $1,250 TOTAL FUNDRAISING = $8,750
The total contribution check would be delivered by Grand Escapes Travel to the organization 2-3 months after sailing.
Use a fundraising goal to determine number of cabins to sell. Group rates and donation are protected with a minimum of five cabins as long as you are actively promoting group. Additionally, while on board, activities can be planned for the fun of the group, such as scavenger hunts, silent auctions, private parties, etc.
Most importantly, the key to any successful fundraising cruise is letting enough people know about the vacation opportunity and the benefit to the organization. Depending on your organization, it might just take each person selling one cruise to achieve your goals!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is cruise fundraising? - Cruise fundraising is a unique fundraising idea utilizing a cruise vacation to raise money for non-profit organizations.
When should we begin? - It's best to begin as far in advance as possible to secure the lowest cruise rates, allow news of your cruise to reach your audience and allow participants time to make payments toward the cruise.
Who can benefit from cruise fundraising? - Anyone can benefit from cruise fundraising; however, the only requirement is for the recipient of the fundraising check to have a federal ID reflecting not-for-profit status -- a 501C. Some examples might be: churches, schools, youth activity sponsors, charities, social service organizations, fraternal groups, scholarship programs, youth sports, booster clubs, non-profit foundations, PTA/PTO organizations, and more!
What are the requirements for this type of fundraiser? - Your non-profit organization must carry a tax-exempt status of 501c(3) or 501c(6). - A minimum of eight (8) cabins must be sold to qualify for matching funding from the cruise lines. - Your organization should allow at least 8 - 10 months for creating and marketing the fundraiser.
Why should we try a cruise as a fundraiser? - Because it's quite easy! The target participants for your cruise are folks who have cruised in the past or are planning a cruise in the future. Your donors, their families and friends are out there right now thinking about cruising. Why not give them a reason to sail on a cruise designed to benefit your specific fundraising effort? Since families and friends tend to vacation together, you will also gain access to potential new contributors who may, in the future, be able to assist you with future events. Remember, people who have a truly great cruise experience will cruise again and again!
When are cruise payments due? - It depends on when the group was booked with the cruise line and when the sail date is. The more time between securing group space and actual sail date, the more time travelers have time to pay. Typically with groups, there will be approximately 15-30 days to make first deposit and final payment would be due approximately 60 days prior to sail date.
Can travelers make payments? - Yes, absolutely! Travelers can contact Grand Escapes Travel at any time between first deposit and final payment to make any amount of payment. This can potentially eliminate a large payment at time of final payment. Grand Escapes Travel will help to develop payment plans for individual travelers if desired.
Who does all the detail work? - We do here at Grand Escapes Travel. We handle the reservations, deposits, payments, special requests, answering questions, setting up special events and distributing the documents.
How do we promote our cruise? - You can promote your cruise through your organization website, through a page on Grand Escapes Travel website, your monthly newsletters, meetings, worship services, word of mouth, Facebook events, get togethers, or any type of print or radio advertising you have access to. We will supply you with collateral -- posters, post cards and other print media to help with the promotion of your fundraiser.
How does our organization make money with a cruise fundraiser? - Your group makes money: - By "marking up" the already low group rate - By receiving donations from the cruise lines - By holding raffles for "free" cruise cabins
When do we get paid? - After the sailing, the cruise lines will send a check, made payable to your non-profit organization, to Grand Escapes Travel and we will deliver it to you.
When can we sail? - With the exception of holidays and extremely high volume periods, almost anytime is available for a group fundraising cruise.
Where can we sail on our cruise? - The major cruise lines sail to the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, New England & Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe from many convenient ports, some within easy driving distance from most major cities.
Can we have private meetings or socials? - Yes, we can arrange these special events for your group.
Can we dine together as a group? - We can make arrangements to have your group seated together for dinner, or, if you prefer, everyone may dine as they please. The choice is yours!