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Friday
Jul122013

5 tips for fundraising to volunteer overseas

Have you ever wanted to travel and see the world while engaging meaningfully with local communities and using your skills to assist those in need? If so, participating in an international volunteer project may be perfect for you. And with all of the volunteer projects that Frontier offers around the world, the question soon becomes “What’s stopping you?” If it’s a financial obstacle, there’s good news to share:  At Volunteer Forever we’ve created a fundraising solution to raise funds for your trip abroad easily and effectively. 

Image courtesy of Melody Tap, Madagascar Marine Conservation & Diving

The Volunteer Forever crowdfunding platform allows you to create a campaign page that explains your story and fundraising needs in a simple yet powerful way, and provides you with the tools to promote the campaign to your network of friends, family and others. If done correctly it can allow people to reach exponentially more donors than they ever would have through traditional fundraising methods.

The first step is to create a campaign page on Volunteer Forever. But creating your page is the easy part- the success of your fundraising campaign is determined by what you do afterwards! So here are 5 tips to ensure you optimize your fundraising campaign:

1. Make Your Story Compelling. Each person has their own motivation for volunteering abroad, and this is your chance to communicate why you’ve decided to engage in this form of meaningful travel. People respond to stories, so make sure your page explains yours in an engaging way. Talk about what you plan to do while you’re abroad and how you’re going to add value to the host community. Also, describe why you need the funds. Include all of the information on your profile that potential donors will want - your itinerary, a purposeful budget and most importantly, the details of the organization and project you plan to work with.

2. Share Your Page. Spread the word among everyone you can! This may include family, friends, past teachers, co-workers, community members, or even just people that you know on a Christmas-card basis. A good first step is to use the “Share” widget on your campaign page to promote the page through email, Facebook and Twitter. Also, data shows that people tend to donate more to campaigns that are already 30% funded. You may start with your close family and friends and collect some initial donations before spreading the word to everyone else.

3. Ask Your Contacts to Share Your Page. Don’t limit your outreach to just people you think have the money to donate. One of the most powerful benefits of our crowdfunding platform is that it makes it easy for others to share your page and reach an exponentially larger network. So when you share your page, ask people to share it with their contacts as well! If you don’t ask they may not even realize how they can help.

4. Thank Donors Publicly. People love recognition and this is your chance to give them well-deserved praise! Make it public so that everyone can see that someone has contributed to your campaign- this will help get additional donations from others. Also, when you thank your donors make sure to ask them to help you spread the word among their contacts as well.

5. Share Your Page Again. And Again. You will be much more successful in raising funds if you continue to share your campaign multiple times. People may need several reminders before they take action, and so you’ll need to re-engage your donors often to get them to donate. Send follow-up e-mails, text messages, and phone calls. Post and re-post your link on Facebook periodically and let your donors know that your campaign only has XX days to go! Using your campaign timeline to create a sense of urgency towards the end can help.

Good luck! 

Billy Beltz
Co-Founder & CMO
Volunteer Forever

Volunteer Forever makes it easier for people to find and fund their volunteer abroad trips. The website features program reviews to help volunteers discover and select the right overseas placement, as well as a unique crowdfunding platform that allows users to tap into the power of their extended networks and raise funds for their trip more effectively. To learn more visit www.volunteerforever.com.

To discover more about opportunities to volunteer abroad check out Frontier, a non-profit NGO with over 300 projects in 57 countries around the globe.

Join the Frontier Community online with FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

See more from volunteers on Flickr and YouTube.