Fundraising Ideas For Volunteer Abroad
You have a burning desire to ‘Give Back’ and get an education abroad, but funding the trip seems like a big challenge. If you are passionate about your cause don’t allow lack of funding to hold you back from taking the first step to getting started. Many other volunteers and students have faced the same difficulties and have found the solution through creative fundraising ideas.
We want to help make your dream of volunteering abroad a reality, so let us explore some fundraising ideas for international volunteers.
Fundraising has become a popular and fun way to raise money for a volunteer trip abroad so with just the right strategies and creative ideas you can pull off a successful fundraising campaign. But just having ideas and knowing what to do won’t make your trip happen, especially within a set period of time.
First, you have to develop the right attitude. What does this mean? It means you have to be persistent, determined and hungry for success. You just can’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t go well.
Once you have this perspective in mind you are well on your way. Ideas and strategies will flow and nothing will hold you back from landing a successful fundraising campaign.
Before How to Get Started
Before you embark on your fundraising campaign make a fundraising plan and be sure to include a budget with all the expenses you’ll incur. These expenses will include accommodation costs, program fees, local transportation, food, excursion costs, medical travel insurance, snacks, and buying a few souvenirs.
Be knowledgeable about your program: A popular saying is ‘to be armed is to be forewarned.’ Know why you are paying to volunteer. This means knowing how the money you raised will be spent. Your sponsors, family and friends will want to know how their contributions will make a difference.
Know how Jamaica Volunteer Programs is funded
Our organization is a locally owned Jamaican organization and does not receive funding, grants, sponsorships or aid from any government or international donors. We work with partner organizations that are under staffed, under-funded and unable to source their own volunteers.
This means all our expenses are covered from the fees paid to us by volunteers and other participants. The program fees paid to us is our only source of covering all the high quality services and project costs offered.
Our accommodation, transportation and all services are of a high standard and certified by our local tourism authorities. We are inspected for safety standards, food handling procedures and accommodation with the highest bedding.
As an independent company, we work with community organizations, identify their urgent needs and then source volunteers to fill these needs. The fact that we are an independent organization means we are free to respond to needs wherever they are and this is why we are successful in helping volunteers to make an impact. Now that you know how the money you fundraise will be spent, let us move on to your fundraising ideas.
The ideas below are only samples and may not work for you. Use them as a starting point to inspire you and ignite your creativity. We are here to help you so if you want letters of endorsement or any documentation to support your cause, do not hesitate to contact us.
Top 3 Online Fundraising Tips
- Create a Fund My Page: Jamaica Volunteer Programs has partnered with Fund My Travel to provide our volunteers with the opportunity to raise funds online for their volunteer trip. One of the best ways to raise funds is to show proof of your good intentions, so once you have confirmation of your application, get a JVP Sponsorship Letter. Email these documents to all your friends, family members and sponsors telling them what you hope to achieve and how they can help. Include a link to your new web page, and make it easy to donate. Remember to customize your page with your photo and passionate story.
Consider following up with emails and phone calls if you have not received responses. People are busy and have many distractions so using the phone to give more details and add that personal touch is a good way to keep the momentum going.
Want to start a Fund My Travel campaign right now?
- Start your blog: Blogging is a great way to educate and promote your cause to your family, friends and sponsors in one central location. By sharing photos, videos, writing articles and posting interesting news you can communicate your fundraising goals creatively.
Everyone will want updates on your fundraising so they can know your progress. Send these at a minimum weekly and let them know the deadlines. By doing this you might find the same donors donate more than once.
- Social media is a powerful tool:
Social media is the fastest and most powerful way to reach family, friends, sponsors and potential donors. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are among the most heavily trafficked sites online today, and if you want to promote your cause, you should be using these services.
For example, you could post videos on YouTube to create excitement and interest in your events. Or you can create a Facebook fan page where you can start a ‘cause’ – which is an online campaign to raise awareness about your Jamaica Volunteer Program’s trip. Donors who become a “fan” will have instant access to every update you make and this will keep you in constant touch.
The key to being successful on Facebook is to create attention grabbing posts that arouse curiosity, make people laugh or stir up a controversy to generate click through to your blog and Fund My Travel website.
3 Unique tips that really works
Remember as you fundraise for your trip to Jamaica, you will not be alone. Jamaica Volunteer Programs has worked on some creative fundraising campaign ideas with other volunteers and they can work for you too. Here are a few of the successful ones you may want to consider:
- Jamaica’s Reggae music has gained international fame through its first king of Reggae, Bob Marley. Music and dance are two elements of Jamaican culture that you can leverage in your fundraisers. Pre-sell all inclusive tickets for a Reggae party and play Bob Marley’s songs and other reggae music.
By pre-selling the tickets to friends, family and potential donors you could cater exclusively for the number of persons who bought the tickets. Be creative and use your imagination so it becomes a fun night. Most importantly, use the occasion to raise awareness about your cause.
- Host a Jamaican themed night event and decorate your space with colours in the Jamaican flag. Serve Jerk, our most famous food – ‘Jerk’ is a method of cooking where the meat is rubbed and seasoned with a mixture of herbs and spices called the ‘Jerk sauce.’
- Jerk, first introduced by the Arawaks and later made popular by the Maroons (runaway slaves), is one of the most popular ways of cooking in Jamaica. It can be found on the street sides and the famous restaurants, and has now become a world-wide favourite. This is your chance to show the culture of the country you are raising funds for.
Do you know any talented student or musician who can sing live Jamaican Reggae music? – invite them to entertain at your event. Remember you are not alone when putting on your Jamaican event. Get in touch with us and we will help you find the famous ‘Jerk’ sauce and recipes.
- Raffle a Jamaican Gift Basket: You want people to know about the destination you are going to volunteer, so research and learn as much as you can about Jamaican products. Many of these are the famous Blue Mountain coffee, the popular over proof white rum, and the Jamaican spices.
Create the most beautiful basket with these products and sell raffle tickets. Be sure to create awareness about your cause and advertise that the proceeds will go towards your trip to Jamaica.
College fundraising ideas
If you are a college or university student, there may be scholarships and grants to fund your trip. Contact your local school district or international department to request information about applying for a grant or scholarship.
Don’t be intimidated by fundraising, as many others have used this method to fund their trip. It is a popular way used by many others before you to make their dreams come true.
You just learned some fun and interesting ideas to make your volunteer trip to Jamaica a reality. These are just a few of the many available. Use your imagination and creativity to come up with many more. Be enthusiastic and make the fundraising fun and people will support you.
Put your shoulders to the wheel, plan ahead, be creative, and fundraise, fundraise, fundraise. Make it a success!