Volunteering abroad can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of a lifetime. At first sight, you might find the fees to apply for these volunteer abroad programs a bit overwhelming! While you are already looking to give up months of your time and energy, you are also expected to cover travel costs, accommodation, and the additional administrative expenses of the program. Don’t let this get you down if you don’t have enough money. You could totally make it by raising money for your volunteer trip.
Crowdfunding is a great way to make your dreams a reality. Here are 7 tips to help you successfully raise funds for a volunteer trip:
#1 Share your reason for volunteering
You have decided to go on a volunteer trip for a reason. Maybe you would like to help an orphanage, build a school in a developing country, or help a non-profit make a difference for those in need. Everyone has a unique and engaging story behind their volunteer trip. So, the first thing you might want to do is to share a reason of what you are going to volunteer for and why it matters to you. Tell your family and friends what your goal for the trip is and how their donations will help you achieve it.
Tip: Tell a visual story by sharing images and videos of your volunteer plan, where you are going and what are your trip details. It’s a well-known fact that our brain uses our face as a source for collecting information and believability. That’s why even a video of you telling your story on a cellphone will do the trick! On our crowdfunding platform, campaigns with a video on average double their donations.
#2 Create a personal blog or website
You can easily create a website or personal blog for your fundraising purpose as well as for sharing your photos and posts about your experiences. Quora, Blogger, WordPress, Weebly – a lot of free blog hosting sites are available that let you create a free blog. Having your own blog or website will help you share your story and reach more people who are interested in your cause and will be able to support you financially. First impressions do matter and you want people to believe that they are helping a real person and giving their money to a worthwhile cause. It is an impressive way to get new supporters involved in your volunteer program. Therefore, if you truly wish to spread the word about your volunteer trip abroad, start blogging today.
Tip: You can run a full fundraising campaign on your blog with FundRazr. The platform allows you to embed a campaign’s widget on your website, so people can donate and interact with your cause without leaving your site. Moreover, you will be able to regularly update your donors with news and results of your trip.
#3 Create an online fundraising campaign
The Internet has made the world a collaborative place where people get together for a variety of reasons, one of which is to make the world a better place to live in. So you’ve got a great chance to impress people with your volunteer program and intentions. There are a lot of crowdfunding platforms for philanthropic causes. Choose from those that have social media integration to get your cause maximum visibility. Check out FundRazr that was designed for fundraising on Facebook. You will reach your friends, friends of friends and beyond. The result? You will raise more money.
It’s easy to start! Tell your story in words and images, share it over your social media channels and ask your friends and family for help.
#4 Bring your friends and family into play
Most of us are lucky enough to have family and friends who love and support us. Share your fundraising efforts with them. Show them that you are serious about your volunteering to convince them to participate in your trip plans. Make a list of 10 friends and family members who will be interested in your mission and results of your volunteering, tell them about this trip, ask them for first donations. Don`t skip this step! Building your foundation of fundraising efforts will get the ball rolling. Beyond that, get them involved and excited about sharing your volunteer journey with their networks over social media to start reaching a broader group of potential supporters of your trip.
Tip: Email is a great way of reaching out to your friends and family. Explain your mission, be honest and transparent in your message to each person to make him/her feel connected to your cause and passionate about helping you raise money.
#5 Offer incentives for donations
Your supporters will be glad to get something small in return for their donations and support. This could be as simple as sending them a postcard or a magnet from your destination, or telling stories about your experiences once you are back. It will remind them about their involvement in your cause and encourage to share more.
#6 Take advantage of Social Media
The real power of social media comes by engaging your family, friends, community and supporters. It is the easiest way to promote your cause, website or blog. Even if you don’t have a mass of followers, it’s important to start building a community on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to reach out to your potential supporters.
Share the details of your plan to volunteer abroad, what you hope to achieve, photos of your destination, blog posts about your preparation and experience.
#7 Don’t forget about matching donations
Many employers are willing to match an employee’s charitable donation. Make sure to ask your employer whether there is a program like this – it can double your donations!
Finally, don’t forget to say thanks!