Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Servathon?
The Servathon is our annual scholarship fundraiser. We are raising money from family, friends, and businesses during February, and then having a day of service and celebration in May, where we will spend the morning working on preparing a YMCA camp for their summer programs, and then celebrating with a picnic in the afternoon.
Why do we do it?
New Hope Tutorials has served homeschooling families in the greater Boston area for 17 years now. We regularly hear back from alumni and parents that what we do is vital. We are putting this energy into the Servathon to strengthen New Hope through supporting our students through scholarships. Last year, we raised over $33,000!
Offering scholarships benefits New Hope by helping us offer more courses to more students, even those who might be struggling to afford it. By pairing the February fundraising with our day of service and community picnic in May, we are able to manifest our commitment to being good neighbors and serving those around us. It is also a great way to build our community while having a lot of fun.
What service are we doing?
We are partnering with Camp Tricklin’ Falls, a YMCA camp in East Kingston, NH. They serve primarily low-income young people throughout the area. This means that we will all be able to serve at the same site together, and we will then be able to celebrate there as well in the afternoon! Our morning of service there will mean that they can direct funds to their own scholarship fund for summer campers. We are particularly excited to continue this partnership, as two separate scholarship funds benefit!
What are we asking students to do?
Like last year, we are asking students taking one full-year tutorial to contact at least 10 donors and to raise at least $250, and students who take two or more to contact at least 20 donors and to raise at least $500. Short course and workshop students are encouraged and welcome to participate, but have no set goal.
HOW AND WHEN DO WE DO IT?
Refer to 2016 Dates that describes the details and deadlines we have set for January and early February. We plan this kind of "Fast and Furious," in order to encourage task completion without procrastination!
Are there incentives?
Yes! See the “Big Picture” handout for the individual incentives (including a drawing for an iPad Mini / iPod Touch, and amazon or iTunes Gift Cards!).
Wait! Why are you paying for an iPad (and other goodies) as incentives? Aren’t we raising money here?
Indeed we are raising money, and so want to keep our expenses down. However, it has been our experience (and the experience of many fundraisers) that offering modest incentives such as the iPad Mini ($299), iPod ($199) and gift cards to incent individual students raises the overall total raised. In a nutshell, our hope (and expectation) is that paying out around $600-$700 in incentives will result in significantly more than that raised on the other end.
Yikes! I don’t know twenty (or ten) people!
Thinking of people to ask is the hardest part (or so it sometimes seems). Here are some general categories of people to get you started:
- family members, both immediate and extended
- people at church
- people at your job/internship
- friends at school or other programs you participate in (sports, music, etc.)
- local businesses that you patronize
Think “outside the box” when coming up with names. They don’t have to be people you know well or see all the time. And don’t worry -- you are raising money for a good cause! But, a lot of us are nervous about asking for money...
Double yikes! Even if I did know that many people, I don’t want to ask them for money!
There are very few people who “enjoy” asking for money. But money is only hard to ask for when the cause is not worthy, and we strongly believe that the New Hope scholarship fund is most worthy! What is important is that you, the student, find it worthy:
- Many families have been enabled this year in your tutorial(s) to attend New Hope (or take additional courses) by last year’s successful Servathon.
- You are not raising money for yourself. Even if you receive scholarship money from New Hope, you are helping enlarge the pool of funds from which others can draw. You are enlarging and enriching our community by raising money.
- Everything raised from the Servathon is called “restricted giving” -- we have to spend it all on scholarships.
- Homeschooling is hard to do through the high school years, and all the more so when money is tight. We want to help even more families to stick with it!
Triple yikes! Even if all that were true, I’m already raising money for ___.
There are many students who are already raising money for other activities, e.g., mission trips. Combine and conquer! Let your donors know that you are participating in TWO worthwhile activities this winter/spring. Ask them to consider giving you a sum of support for each one, at the same time.
We are giving you a pre-written letter, but you can also download it, and you can take what we have given you and modify it. If you are worried about asking people who have already supported you recently, you could modify the “ask” portion of the letter to:
- indicate that you have appreciated everything they have already done for you,
- say that you do not expect them to give above and beyond,
- remind them that any amount they would be willing to give is appreciated not just by you, but by all of New Hope, and
- reassure them they should not feel pressured to give -- consider the letter an update on what New Hope is doing this spring.
Quadruple yikes! We have two (or three, or more!) students at New Hope! How can we raise for all of them?
We have a suggestion for you to ease the burden of writing letters. For example, if you have one student in one full-year tutorial (goal of $250) and another student taking two or more full-year tutorials (goal of $500), the goal doesn’t change, but you may combine the letter-writing activity. Just compose letters to 20 people you know, and both of the students will personalize each letter. Let them state their combined goal of $750, and share the follow-up.
In this case, you will turn in ONE Donor Sheet for your family instead of two or more, and a maximum of 20 letters.
Quintuple yikes! I’m uncomfortable with my child fundraising. Are there other options?
Our goal is to have all of our students participate in the team-building aspect of the Servathon (both during the February fundraising and the May Day of Service), but we understand that there are different perspectives on students doing it themselves. If you have reservations or questions about the fundraising process, please reach out to Mr. Westrate, Mr. Drummond, or Mrs. Ahearn by Feb 3rd, and we will be happy to come up with a creative solution!