Volunteering abroad, exploring new countries and travelling through remote areas can leave quite a hole in your pocket. Curious about ways to patch this hole in advance? This article provides you with ideas on how to fund your volunteer experience. Furthermore, we guide you through all stages that have to be completed for starting your very own successful fundraising campaign.
Unfortunately, gaining new life experiences and supporting social projects isn’t always cheap. In addition to the general living costs in the respective country you may have to pay program fees to cover for accommodation or transport. Even if you think you can’t afford your favourite program, don’t let financial obstacles affect your decision! To ensure that you’re able to take the chance to participate in your desired project, we provide some ideas on how to gather the required funds by starting your own fundraising campaign. Another option is to apply for a volunteer grant or scholarship.
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Be one step ahead!
Before you start your own fundraising campaign for your volunteer experience, you should take these steps first:
- Get an overview about your finances and your financial goal by calculating all your expenses and your required amount
- Plan your fundraising campaign by setting a schedule: Create a project plan with exact dates for each event to get all the resources that you need in time
- Make a list of possible donors and friends, who might support you
- Provide your own story by creating a letter, that you can use for your donation inquiries. You’ll find some ideas concerning the content of your letter below
Inspiring ideas for your fundraising campaign
Think locally and get your community involved! Either in your hometown or in your current city you can find multiple ways to fundraise. One promising thing to do: negotiate with local businesses. Ask them to donate a percentage of their profits at a specific day. Present your idea in local bars and promise the owner to get as many people in this bar as you can on that day.
Besides addressing local institutions, offer your help to the elderly community as well. Tell them about your volunteer plans and help out with grocery shopping or cleaning. Usually they have a good network that you can profit from.
Use the interest of regional media in local stories and contact newspaper and radio stations to let them know about your plan to volunteer. But keep it short! We recommend a maximum of 500 words and the attachment of expressive pictures. Concerning the content, try to answer the common W’s- Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Tip: If you’ve created an online presence as well, include the link at the end of your text. As many newspapers do online publishing, they may include your link in their online version of the article. Besides involving local media, use the power of social media and incorporate your community on Facebook or Twitter and get visibility by keeping them posted about every progress you make. Additionally, start to write a fundraising blog to share your story.
You’re a student? Perfect! Your university is probably the best place to start. Almost every institution houses a department that deals with numerous options (like grants) to stay abroad. If you talk to the people in responsibility, they will surely find a way to sponsor your trip.
But be sure to talk to several departments. If you’re lucky, each department leader knows external ways to apply for further scholarships. Therefore you raise your chances of being financially supported.
Are you an expert in knitting, crafting or designing? Then open up an online shop to sell your handicrafts or things you don’t need anymore. To increase your product variety, ask friends or family if they can contribute to your shop by donating replaceable belongings. Sell your stuff on Ebay or use the facebook-shop option as an alternative.
Either way, share it with your community to push your objective further ahead. If you prefer the direct contact with your customers, get a table at a flea market instead. But do not just sell; be sure to tell your volunteer story even here. Instead of selling things, it’s also possible to do vice versa by becoming a mystery shopper. This task offers you a great opportunity to raise money in no time.
Crucial steps for a successful fundraising campaign
These steps are crucial for the success of your campaign and will help to get the most out of it. When writing your request, be sure to answer every question that potential donors might be interested in:
- Where do you want to go
- How much money do you need
- Why do you intend to go and
- In what way can they contribute to a better cause
How to create your own fundraising campaign?
Volunteer World isn’t just a platform for comparing different programs; it even supports your fundraising campaign and therefore your social commitment. Just follow these steps:
Donations are automatically sent to your account – no waiting till you hit your full goal. You can also use your FundMyTravel page to track your offline support.
Easily share your campaign through built-in social media and email buttons. This is one of the most important things you can do to boost your donations.
Tell people your story and get them excited about your trip! Be sure to complete your campaign by adding photos and videos as well as posting updates.