Crowd-sourced fundraising is a tool gaining mass attention in multiple fields now, but it can be especially advantageous for aspiring study abroad students, volunteers, TEFL participants and other passionate travelers, who otherwise might not consider going abroad a possibility.
Crowd-sourced fundraising makes the opportunity to get abroad a surefire possibility. The two things you need are a computer and most importantly, a determined drive to create and maintain a successful campaign. We at FundMyTravel can push tips and advice all the merry day long. In the end though, it’s really up to the traveler and how much effort they will put in to make it happen. This is better anyway because then the travel experience means so much more. It has really been earned by the time a campaigner reaches their funding goal.
FundMyTravel is a brilliant resource and tool, but fundraising is not a single step process and simply making a campaign does not automatically entitle anyone to funding. Here are five areas of understanding that one should harness in order to be a successful FundMyTravel campaigner:
1.) Grasp the FUNDamentals of Fundraising:
People might feel apprehensive about creating a campaign to raise funds for their travel because they feel like it’s asking for a handout. There is one very important thing to understand about fundraising- it is definitely not about just asking for money. The truth is that you are building relationships with the people who donate, and everyone involved becomes part of a collaborative project. Whether or not it comes off as a handout request, is dependant upon the way you present your campaign. If you tell a story, explain why this trip is going to be meaningful to your personal growth, and ultimately how it will be meaningful for others as a result, then funders really become investors. They are donating because they believe you will make fruitful use of their money and that is where it’s up to you to prove them right!
2.) Sharing is Caring… Sounds Cheesy, but Seriously!
Sharing your page across social media channels and lest we forget email, is one of the utmost important action pieces to creating a successful campaign. I can’t emphasize this enough. Many dedicated campaigners might share their page once every couple of days on Facebook, and feel productive. It may sound outrageous but campaigns should actually be shared at least two-three times daily, across several social media platforms. If you only have one (Facebook, Twitter or Google+) then that makes personal email messaging even more valuable.
3.) Think of yourself as the Funder
This tip will never stop helping you and it’s good to come back to every once in awhile. While you’re sharing, updating and marketing your campaign, remember to switch your perspective lens and think about the people you want to be funding your travels. You need to answer an important question for them, “Why is this worth MY time and money to invest in?” We may not want to admit it, but as human beings we can’t help being eco-centric. Even without meaning to, we all will think of our own interests and preferences first. So if you were the funder, what would catch your attention and make you want to give to this campaign? Give donors a preview of the positive outcome which will result from their support.
4.) Maintenance and Updates: What if this campaign was a contest entry to win your trip for free?
This is a good way to think of your travel campaign, and it’s not that far off in fact. When people enter an online contest to win a roundtrip flight or vacation somewhere, they don’t seem too shy or concerned about posting their contest entry all over Facebook and Twitter…The time and effort that goes into keeping a campaign page fresh with updates is essentially the work that you’re exchanging for the money your campaign makes. That’s a pretty fair trade-off when you consider the bigger picture, and the priceless experiences you’ll gain abroad.
Using Updates to communicate with your audience is extremely important because that is where you can keep the information you share dynamic. The more, new and different information you can provide about your journey, the more interest you can generate across your networks, without being annoying or redundant in your sharing*
5.) Building Trust and the Gratitude Attitude
Go back and think of yourself as a funder again. Funders aren’t going to be interested in donating to a campaign that is incomplete and inactive, simply because it’s not a smart or safe investment! Think about it- you are building relationships with the people that fund your travels, so there must be a degree of trust established here. Adding photos and connections to your social media channels are not just tricks to invade your social space or make your campaign page more aesthetically attractive; these are actually significant steps to showing that there is a trustworthy persona behind your campaign page.
As you start receiving funds, up to the day you depart for your trip, and throughout your travels, never take for granted the generous contributors who helped you fund your travels. There are so many ways to show your appreciation, so please do. And if you ever want to fundraise again, the gratitude you show in the end is what funders will remember most about your campaign and your character.
Happy Fundraising and Safe Travels, Victoria, Director of FundMyTravel
About the author
Victoria graduated with a degree in Education from Loyola University Maryland. Victoria is the new and proud Director of www.fundmytravel.com, an online platform designed specifically for travelers, to help raise funds for meaningful travel experiences.