How Do Charity Fundraiser Cruises Work


Charities are always searching for ways to raise funds for their cause. Without those essential funds, charities would be unable to do the great work that they do. There are numerous ways that charities raise funds for their cause; car washes, dinners, selling various items, auctions, and the list goes on endlessly. Each of these fundraising opportunities comes with it a great responsibility on the part of the charity to promote the fundraiser, along with all the administrative duties of collecting funds, record keeping, etc.

Fundraiser cruises offer charities a unique opportunity to raise funds that also gives the people that participate something of great value for their money. Many people enjoy taking cruises. Group cruises are quite popular as well. Fundraiser cruises combines group cruises with people that already would take a cruise, and gives them a greater incentive to take a cruise for a cause they believe in.

Here's how it works: The charity selects a cruise of their choice with a certified travel agent. Ideally, the date of the cruise should be 6 – 12 months away. The travel agent contacts the cruise line and blocks the specified number of cabins for the charity. The number of cabins chosen is entirely up to the charity to decide. It can be as little as 10 cabins!

The type of cabin is also decided upon; inside cabins, outside cabins or balcony cabins. The rates per person for each cabin type are then given for the group. Obviously, the inside cabin is the least expensive cabin, and the balcony cabin is the most expensive of the 3 types. The rate is based on the group therefore; passengers that belong to the charity group will get much better rates than if they simply booked the cruise on their own.

A small fee, such as $25 is added to the cost for each passenger. This small fee still keeps the group rate lower than the individual rate, and many cruise lines will match that dollar for dollar. So, the charity, in this example, would receive $50 for every passenger booked in their group.

Marketing materials are supplied to the charity, and their only responsibility is in promoting the cruise. Passengers work directly with the agent that booked the cabins on behalf of the charity. The travel agent handles deposits and setting up a payment plan for each passenger in the group. They ensure that passengers are aware of all documents required for the cruise and can answer any questions the passenger might have. All the administrative duties of the fundraiser fall squarely on the shoulders of the travel agent, leaving the charity more time to promote the cruise.

Each group cruise also receives benefits from the cruise line, and fundraiser cruises are no exception. They can reserve space on the ship to hold meetings, cocktail parties, or to recognize key individuals. Additionally, if the charity would like to send each cabin a thank you gift to surprise them when they arrive, that can also be arranged. There are plenty of ways to get very creative with this! Another popular option is the group director option, which simply means that for every 15 paying passengers, 1 goes free. Port fees and taxes must still be paid on the passengers that go free, but it is an excellent incentive for the charity to reward key individuals within the charity that have worked hard promoting the cruise.

2 – 3 months after the cruise, the charity will receive a check directly from the cruise line. This is an excellent time to send a thank you note to each passenger, and tell them about the next "annual cruise" event.