Another way to help finance your study abroad experience is through personal fund raising. Not only is it a way for you to earn money, it also gets your friends and family involved in your study abroad plans. Personal fundraising can be particularly helpful in reducing the costs of other international exchange programs, such as internships and volunteering, which may have fewer scholarships and grants available.
There are many different activities that fall under the category of personal fundraising, such as:
- Candy and bake sales: Selling baked goods and candy is a great way to raise funds as well as get your community involved. Get in the kitchen and make some of your favorite baked goods and either set up a stand in your front yard or go door to door and sell you goodies for a great cause! Check out this website for more bake sale ideas: http://www.fundable.org/fundraising-ideas/bake-sale-fundraiser-success/
- Auctions: Auctions can be a fun way to raise money and get others involved. You can auction off a date with your good looking brother or auction a weeks worth of baby sitting. Auctions can be silent or live and tons of fun! Check out more auction ideas here: http://www.pinterest.com/auctionboy/charity-auction-ideas/
- Car washes: Get your hands a little dirty and offer neighborhood car washes. Get your friends involved and get your neighbor’s cars cleaned to earn some money! To learn how to organize a charity car wash click the link to learn more: http://www.wikihow.com/Organize-a-Charity-Car-Wash
- Asking people to sponsor you
- Restaurant fundraising nights
- Crowdsourcing and other online resources- Now a days social media and the internet offer so many outlets to advertise your cause and have large groups of people fund your international experience. Fundmytravel.com is a website dedicated to people campaiging thier cause and allows contributors to support and fund meanigful travel. Learn more about crowdsourcing here http://dailycrowdsource.com/training/crowdsourcing/what-is-crowdsourcing.
Before you start fund raising, assess your budget and determine what your fund raising goal is.
Must Ask Questions
- What are the initial costs of this fundraiser?
- Is the product or service I’m offering in demand?
- Am I going to set prices or ask for donations?
Tips for personal fund raising
- The sooner you start, the more money you can potentially make.
- Look into matching gift programs.
- Ask as many people as possible to contribute – every little bit helps. If you’re holding a fundraising event, such as a bake sale, be sure to advertise it.
- Be prepared to explain why you are fundraising. Convince people that your experience abroad will be valuable. Why do you want to volunteer/intern/study abroad?
- For donations, ask different people for different amounts. People who are financially secure will be able to donate more. Also, remember that if your suggested amount is too low, people might not donate more than that because they don’t realize how much you actually need.
- Use technology to your advantage. Consider setting up a blog or website where people can donate.
- If you’ve asked someone to give but haven’t heard back, follow up.
- Be sure to say thank everyone who contributes. In addition to verbal thanks, you may want to send thank you notes to express your appreciation.