If your trip is a wildlife/outdoors eco-trip, then this section is of no real interest for you–unless you are lucky enough to know people who want to sponsor your vacation!
💰 ▹ Now as a volunteer –say that– you realize that your finances don’t fully agree with the trip. Yet this is important for you to do the mission. What can you do? You can raise funds.
Fundraising is not easy for sure, but it can be fun. You’ll probably compete with hundreds of charities who have professional fundraisers on board. So showcase your genuineness and passion and remember to approach fundraising in a professional manner. As well as make sure that you have already raised some of the funding on your own to show seriousness and commitment.
Here are a few of our favorites DOs & DON’Ts tips to get you started (Source: [LP12]):
✓ Start with where you are and what you know. E.g., do you know someone in a sizable company who might sponsor you? Could you enlist your friends?
✓ Be passionate, clear and concise. Dullness does not convey the importance of a cause.
✓ Don’t waste the time of the people you approach. Be focused. Why should they sponsor you and what’s in it for them? For instance, a furniture company is more likely to be responsive to rainforest projects, a pet supplier to animal rescue, etc.
✓ Try medium-sized companies (approaching the ones in the company responsible for media communication). Provided that you are visible or have agreed to some news coverage, offer to name them.
✓ Offer something in return: e.g., a blog about them, a story for their newsletter, a talk.
✓ Ask for specific donations without being rigid about them. Asking for a specific amount will give your donors helpful benchmarks.
✘ Don’t cold call big companies. Often unsuccessful: most likely they have already donation programs in place.
✘ Don’t spam (sending to untargeted crowds). Be personal: always address people directly and correctly (having the wrong name and title of a person will get your chances of success down).
✘ Don’t just focus on cash donations: retailers are more likely to donate items as prizes for subsequent fundraising events.
Do you know that there are specific charitable institutions, whose purpose is to give away money to appropriate causes (e.g., Overseas Travel Grants, Volunteer Abroad & Study Travel Grants). Check them out: A worthy mission might be of interest to them!
There is so much more involved in Fundraising and if you’re up to it then Peter Lynch’s Wildlife & Conservation Volunteering Guide [LP12] is a very good place to start.
Also check the Cross-Cultural Solutions’ fundraising blog – they offer good tips and reference links.