Happy holidays, travel bugs!
As you gear up for family time, leave from work or studies, reunions with old friends and general holiday celebrations, we have a few tips for you to consider, if you are also fundraising or anticipating an adventure abroad, in the New Year.
While it’s tempting to put any campaign activity on hold at this time, instead you may want to step things up a notch! This doesn’t mean you have to take up heaps of holiday time on the computer, but you can definitely make use of this engaging and ‘feel good’ time of the year, for increasing donation potential.
Dedicate Time to Your Campaign
First, since you have a bit of a break from your regular schedule that means you can more readily map out a half hour or twenty minutes a day to dedicate to your campaigning efforts. Have some fun and get creative to switch it up a bit. Holidays are when people get most excited to spend time with their loved ones and by association this often puts them in a more generous mood.
That being said, other non-profit organizations or supporting bodies recognize this fact too, so people are being ‘hit-up’ for donations from many different angles. This is a good fact to be aware of but don’t let it discourage you. Just keep this in mind when you are thinking about the ways in which you’ll decide to do your own outreach.
What can you do to make your “ask” different from all of the others? What is something unique about your campaign and mission for this journey, which will make it more enticing for your networks to become a part of; either by donating OR by sharing the page link with their own extended networks? Remember: what makes your campaign different and the approach you take to fundraising are the ways which you can personalize it and how you can keep it positive. (Read more about the importance of this in the Keep It On The Positive/Make a Video section of your Fundraiser’s Toolkit.)
Positivity is key because it is much more motivating to read about a traveler with a good attitude, who shows incentive and ambition, than one who displays a defeated attitude, simply asking for handouts – that’s just not the way to achieve a FundMyTravel success. But we are happy to support you and let you know what DOES work!
To be sure that you aren’t spending your holiday cooped up on the computer, get offline with your fundraising and consider the good old, well known and well loved “Pay It Forward” approach…
At other points in the year, most campaigners will set up such as “For every person who donates $25.00, I will send you a print out of my best photo from the stunning mountain views in Nepal, with a personal message on the back” or “For every donor of $50.00-100.00, I’ll make a video for you of my journey and the specific places which you helped me to visit!” These are great ideas, but during the holidays, people value witnessing others giving back and you don’t want to be the only one asking for things instead of giving!
Think About Giving
Think about the non-profits or charities, which you admire and would like to support, yourself. Consider the charities which your donor audience, may also value, and find a way to integrate these with your incentive scheme. You can “catch two fish with one net” so to speak… Perhaps for every person who donates $10.00-15.00, you can spend an hour helping out at the local soup kitchen. For those who donate $90.00 or more, you can offer to volunteer an hour and a half to two hours with their charity of choice! This approach can be especially meaningful to donors because their contribution then leads to supporting not one but two parties which they care for. If you do it this way, you can even fulfill those promises before you embark on the trip. Take photos and share them with your donors through your campaign page so that everyone can see how you stay true to your promises and are good for your word on the incentives.
The New Year
Last but not least, don’t forget about the ideals behind celebrating the New Year. It’s all about a fresh start and new beginnings, self-improvement and empowering resolutions; so think about the ways in which your potential travel experience can be associated with these values and how it may actually help your donors to achieve some of their own goals.
Just remember, it’s not only about you and asking for support of your project, but truly it’s about exchange and finding a way for everyone to benefit from the support of your project.
Wishing you safe and happy Holidays!
About the Author:
Victoria Mita graduated from Loyola University in Maryland. She spent her first academic experience abroad in Lyon, France, for which she fundraised by raking leaves, with classmates. She has valued the mission of international education ever since this first exchange. Victoria considers herself most fortunate to spend two life-affirming years working with the teams at GoAbroad.com and FundMyTravel.com. Victoria studied abroad at Monash University in Australia, worked with the Australian Trade Commission’s Education team in the U.S. and has now come full circle, working as an International Programs Representative for CISaustralia, in Melbourne, Australia. Connect with her on Twitter at FlamingoPoppins.