GEEO works to make travel as affordable as possible for educators, but we understand that not every teacher is able to afford travel programs. There are plenty of grants, programs, and fundraising platforms available for teachers who want to travel and need financial assistance. Read on for ideas and resources so you can fund your teacher travel program with GEEO.
The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school’s principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school’s PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.
Read this blog post written by GEEO alumni detailing how they used the crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose to fund their entire travel program with GEEO. By articulating how your travel program will benefit your classroom and community, you can leverage your friends, family, and local and online networks to help fund your travels.
We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants are valid for use on GEEO trips. Please note, in the past only teachers from pre-selected districts were eligible for this grant. Now, any teacher in the US can apply for this grant!
If you are a teacher in a rural area, we suggest applying for the Rural Trust’s Global Teacher Fellowship, which can be applied to a GEEO program.
The IIE AIFS Foundation Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grants is a professional development program to support U.S. secondary level (grades 6-12) teachers who have shown to be outstanding advocates for study abroad. This grant provides $1,000 and can be used towards your GEEO trip. More information about this grant can be found by clicking here.
• Begin early. Most teachers make the mistake of waiting until a few months before the trip to begin fundraising. Actually, the best time to begin collecting donations is before the trip is fully planned. The sooner fundraising begins, the sooner teachers will meet their goals. They are also less likely to fail due to lack of time and preparation.
• Use unique opportunities. Every teacher has a “niche” that he or she fills in the total education scheme of a community. Take advantage of the opportunities afforded by a unique outlook on the community and experiences that no one else has. Remember that any individual has a unique set of experiences and friends. Tap into those resources when trying to find a source of funding.
• Share information. Most civic groups are happy to have someone come and speak, and this can be a great opportunity to network and share needs. Do not be afraid to hand out letters or to contact those whose names are learned during these visits. As an example, one of our participants was able to fund their trip with us to Tunisia by offering to give a presentation about the experience when he returned. The mosque was excited to have a teacher from their community bringing knowledge about a predominantly Muslim country back into their classroom.
Let GEEO know if you have applied for a grant that you plan on using on one of our trips! Or, if you know of another grant for teacher travel that we should share with our educator friends, please tell us.
GEEO does not currently provide any grants for its programs and is in no way affiliated with the organizations and grantors listed above. The grant and funding descriptions provided on this webpage are for informational purposes only and shall in no way be deemed an offer, representation or warranty of GEEO.