Using your social networks, also known as crowdsourcing, to source is a great way to gain monetary support for your trip abroad. Many of us feel bad or guilty when using these social networks for supports, but keep in mind that the people that belong to these networks are the ones that know you best and are more likely to support your endeavors and adventures. When trying to appeal to these networks there are key things you should keep in mind and consider:
Write a compelling donation letter:
- Keep it positive!
- Explain why you are passionate about your program abroad, how your academic and professional goals relate to the program, how much money you are requesting, and why it is important for people to donate.
- Make your campaign more than a need for money. Help potential donators understand why going on this trip is important to you, what you hope to accomplish while abroad, giving them a positive preview of your trip. Tell them your story so they feel a part of your adventure.
- Think like a donor: what would you want to know in order to give money to someone’s campaign?
Create a video about your program, what you’ll be studying, where you hope to travel, etc. Add photos of your host country and some facts about the country
Create incentives and rewards for donors: offer to send items from abroad, create personalized gifts or videos, etc.
Distribute your campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and email to friends and family. Complete strangers may even contribute to your campaign, but you’ve got to make it worth their time!
Share your story! The more you share, the more earning potential you have. Don’t send the link out once via social networks. Make sure you send it out at least once or twice a day!
Update, update, update! Let your audience know that you are active in your efforts to raise money and reach your goals that only can be met by going on your trip.
Be thankful. Let your donors know that their support means a lot to you! Send them individual thank you notes and post photos and updates while you are abroad so they can see that their support is making a difference.
These tips can help you build a positive and successful campaign to support your trip abroad.
Many other resources exist to assist you with this process, such as the following online crowdsourcing sites*:
- Facebook “Causes”
*Make sure you understand the fees and stipulations of each site before you create a fundraising account as they vary considerably from site to site.