A global service or study abroad experience is an investment in your future and an opportunity to make an impact in communities around the world. We know that such an experience can be expensive. Program costs, flights, passports, and other things can add up quickly and often scare away students and parents. But, there are many ways to help reduce the financial costs of an international experience. Fundraising is a less traditional method for paying for your experience, but it can make a huge difference! Like any other investment, fundraising for your global service or study abroad program requires planning, management, creativity, perseverance, and commitment. But the academic, personal, and professional rewards will last a lifetime! And 100% of the contributions you receive are yours to spend however you want on the program.
Get creative with your fundraising!
There are so many options available to you when it comes to fundraising, so think outside the box. In the end, the more effort you put into creating and disseminating your campaign, the more money you can earn!
Some options for fundraising include:
- Reach out to community groups (Rotary, Kiwanas, Lions Club, churches, etc.) in your hometown or college town – offer to do a presentation when you return
- Newspapers or radio stations in your hometown may be willing to contribute if you offer to write articles or submit audio stories while you are abroad
- Connect with local agencies and foundations
- Learn about options through professional organizations you or your family may be involved with
- Reach out to fellow students in your clubs, organizations, fraternities, or sororities on campus
- Hold a silent auction, raffle, or trivia night
- Host a car wash, bake sale, or yard sale
- Ask your family for funds instead of gifts for holidays or birthdays
- Connect with alumni
- Host a competition among your friends – most loose change donated; board game tournament; bowl-a-thon; pie-eating contest; karaoke or open mic nights
- Compile a list of contacts you can reach out to for funding support
As you put together a fundraising campaign, it is important to keep in mind the following:
- Understand your program costs
- Determine your financial needs and resources you already have
- Develop a plan for fundraising – tap into as many resources as you can.
- Set up your campaign
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.