Fundraising Your Trip

This guide has been put together by the Young Judaea Alternative Winter Break team. We hope that some of these fundraising ideas will allow you join us on AWB without straining your family’s finances.


If you have any questions, please be in contact with Young Judaea at or by phone at (917) 595-2100 ext 209. Shalom, good luck and see you on AWB!

Classy is an innovative, easy to use personal fundraising website. Through the website teens can create a profile and solicit their friends on Facebook, and other social media sites, to contribute to their fundraising effort.

It’s super easy! If you can create a Facebook page, you can create a Classy fundraiser!

When you fundraise through Classy, as long as the cause for your fundraiser is listed as “Young Judaea Global Inc,” the money (minus a small processing fee) will be directly transferred to Young Judaea in your name.

Even if you have already paid for the trip you can still fundraise and Young Judaea will reimburse you for the amount you raised online.

It’s simple!

Sign Up for Classy

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the green button that says “become a fundraiser”
  3. You can either sign-up through Facebook, or your email. Write your name, email and birthdate and choose a password
  4. Once you have done that it will ask you to name your page and choose a goal. It will also as you if you want to make your own url and you can write something like joejudaeanawb. You will also be asked to choose an end date. We suggest January 15th, just in case you have family members that take a little time.
  5. It will take you to your page. Here, they will give you a tour. We suggest you take it. Customize your story here, tell why you want to go to Charleston, create a thank you to your donors and… and voila, you’re signed up for Classy!

You can then send your link to all of your friends and family.

And finally, share the word on social media!

General Suggestions to Guide Your Fundraising Efforts

Getting Started

  • Set a Goal: How much money do you hope to raise?
  • Be Creative: Use this ideas in this packet to get you started, but don’t limit yourself solely to these suggestions.
  • Be Smart: Make sure your fundraising effort does not require you to invest more money that you are likely to raise.
  • Make a Plan: Break down your project into separate tasks and create a timeline. Remember that some people or organizations will take some time in writing and mailing checks to you.

Your Outreach Efforts

If you know of other teens in your community who are also attending AWB, you can work together to create a program, send group solicitation letters, etc.

  • Know Your Audience: Highlight the aspect of the trip that would be interesting to your supporters and create a ‘pitch’ appropriate to sell your cause.
  • Provide Information: Make sure you have information about the organizations you are working with
  • Be Specific: Explicitly describe why participating in the AWB program is important to you and those around you
  • Follow Up: Outline what you will do in your community upon your return (i.e. speaking to other groups, running a program about what you learned, etc.)

Following Up on Support

Acknowledge contributions immediately. You may want to prepare a template thank you note, so you can send this to any person(s) or organization(s) that support your experience.

Offer to give back after you return from the trip, via speaking engagements or other activities your supporters might be interested in having you participate in.

5 Simple Steps to Acquiring Sponsorship from Members of Your Community

This is a great way to help pay for Alternative Winter Break. It is easy, fun, and for some of you, something you already do on a regular basis. What you will be doing is getting people to sponsor you and support your commitment to taking action by forgoing your winter break to give back to the community instead.

  1. Finding Pledges: Finding people to pledge money is a very important part of this kind of fundraising. Here is a list of some people who would be good to ask.
    • Family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc) and Family Friends
    • Neighbors
    • Friends and their parents
    • Teachers
    • Your synagogue congregation members and groups (brotherhoods and sisterhoods)
  2. Preparing a Letter or Script: Prepare something to say or a letter to write that explains what Alternative Winter Break is. When you are talking with potential donors make sure to describe tzedek (social justice) and tikkun olam (healing the world) as two of the foundations of Young Judaea beliefs and explain why you wanted to participate in this unique type of a trip over your winter break.
  3. Collecting Donations: Collecting donations is very simple and you have to remember to do it right. All you do is fill in the top of the table below as you collect money. We would suggest keeping an envelope to make sure you do not lose any money and to stay organized so you know exactly what you need to raise.
  4. Following Up: After attending AWB you should send a letter to all your donors explaining and reflecting on the AWB program and thanking them for their support in making your participation possible.
  5. Continuing to Volunteer at Home: Plan a way to cultivate Jewish identity and social action in your community, such as:
    • Volunteer a few hours at a senior citizens home
    • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
    • Hold a Young Judaea “cookie bake” to give to a homeless shelter.
    • Help pick up garbage in a park
    • Help clean your synagogue after Kiddush
    • Distribute informative packets about the genocide in Darfur at your super market
    • Run a Young Judaea event to make blankets for a children’s hospital

Note: If you plan on attempting this step after AWB, you should inform potential donors of your intentions when you are initially asking for their support. They may be even more inclined to fund your efforts if they know it will not only benefit your participation in the program, but will also benefit your own community after the fact.

Some Other Helpful Fundraising Ideas

Better World Books is a social venture organization that provides fundraising opportunities to students and campus groups who organize literacy book drives. The book drive benefits one of 3 literacy non-profit partners: Books for Africa, Room to Read, or The National Center for Family Literacy-Hurricane Relief Effort. Students receive a scholarships based on the number of books collected, and the funds are completely unrestricted. You can use the money earned by collecting books for literacy to fund your attendance at the YJ’s AWB. By collecting used books you can save books from the landfills, promote literacy, earn a scholarship, and support a socially conscious enterprise. All donated books are sold online, donated directly, or at least recycled. Please contact for more information on how you can use our book drive as a fundraiser for your AWB.

Sell magazines for a 50% profit. MagRaise will supply all the sales materials to you and you sell! There are three different options to choose from.

There are national and regional companies which already have products packaged to sell as a fundraiser such as candy sales with Gateway Fundraising. These companies have prizes and profits for the group developed into a system. Many campus groups already have some sort of pre-developed fundraiser; therefore, you may be competing with other groups as you offer similar products to the campus over and over. This might inspire product sales or it might make it more difficult.

This is plain and simple; collecting change donations for your participation in Alternative Winter Break. Have participants cut water bottles in half to collect that loose change. Place one at school, at your parent’s work, at the local JCC, etc. Collect cans, bottles & newspapers: Get friends to sponsor you for every can, bottle or 10 lbs of newspapers you collect. Contact a local metal/paper merchant and collect these items to sell them by weight. Keep aluminum & iron cans separate.

Organize an interesting route for dogs and their owners. Have each dog sponsored. Have local businesses have water bowls and treats for the dogs along the route. Adopt-A-Participant: Many schools have been successful in adapting the “Letters to Locals” idea to friends and family as well. Basically, you have participants write to friends, family, and business people that they know asking them to “adopt” them or other students during their alternative break. Send a card or flyer detailing the projects that their breaker will be involved with and promise to have the breaker send a card or letter from the site during their experience. Adopted breakers should also give some sort of presentation after their alternative break experience.

This is where a “tree” is set up in a well-trafficked part of your school, JCC, etc. A table is set up next to the tree where people can donate $1 to place a “homemade buck” on the tree. As the tree becomes more decorated people will be able to see an actual goal and be more motivated to donate money.

Letter Template Regarding the Value of Attending Alternative Winter Break


My name is [your name] and I am a member of Young Judaea, the Zionist Youth Movement. Young Judaea has done amazing social action in the past, such as marching with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, the founding of Kibbutz Keturah in 1973, our movement to free Soviet Jewry in the 1980’s, our petitioning to free the Israeli Missing in Action soldiers in the 1990’s, and expanding Israel programs in the new century.

I am trying to do my part in strengthening the Jewish people by taking part in Young Judaea’s 11th Annual Alternative Winter Break (AWB) in Charleston, South Carolina. On Alternative Winter Break, I will join approximately 50 Jewish teens from around the country to learn about tikun olam (healing the world) while doing 25-30 hours of direct volunteering with the low-income community. While on AWB, we will also make plans for how to bring these values and actions back to our own communities throughout the rest of the year.

I am reaching out to you to invest in my participation in AWB so I can return that investment through running Jewish social action programs here in [your city] and strengthen what your chapter is already doing. As it stands now, I need financial assistance in participating in this convention as the tuition fee is $650 and flights to Charleston are very expensive. Any and all donations are welcomed and highly appreciated. I thank you for your time and your help and look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely, [Your Name]