Month: September 2015

Frugal Funding: How To Save While Studying Abroad

Crowdfunding is a great platform to use to begin saving  funds for your abroad experience, but what about once you’ve gotten to your destination? By following these tips you can save money before, and during your time abroad!

  1. Choose the Destination

While you might have your heart set on a specific destination, if you are traveling on a budget research what travel destinations might be more affordable for you! Countries across Asia offer amazing beauty, history, and you can make your money last! If you have always dreamed of going to a country in Europe, work on saving, and consider choosing the more affordable countries found in that region.

  1. Apply for Scholarships

While scholarships are not always guaranteed, they are always worth applying for. Without applying, there is certainly no way you’ll receive it so it’s always worth a shot! Look into other financial aid opportunities. While loans might seem like your best bet, do everything you can to make going abroad possible without loans, first!

  1. Get a Job

Many students don’t even consider getting a job while abroad, but finding a part time job or landing another gig can make a world of difference during your study abroad. Some say that this makes going on weekend excursions or other trips a challenge, but it isn’t any more challenging than not having the funds for weekend getaways in the first place.

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Fundraising Extraordinaire: Crowdfunding as a Resume-Builder

Your crowdfunding experience should make you shine with pride. It is something that you should be able to list on your resume and discuss with confidence in an interview. Running a successful fundraiser campaign speaks to many valuable skills that can impress future employers. Don’t sell yourself short! These are just some of the marketable skills you will gain by running a crowdfunding campaign.

Financial Analysis

As you plan your campaign, you have to conduct an analysis to plan for expenses. Crowdfunding forces the campaigner to seriously determine how much money he or she needs to fundraise. FundMyTravel users must consider airfare, housing, program fees, travel insurance, and much more. Budgeting plays a role in every company, and if a budget is misjudged, this can cause serious issues. Accurately forecasting costs will earn you points with businesses and organizations who rely on precise reports to run a profitable operation.

Sales

While there may not be a formal exchange of a good or service, crowdfunding absolutely transforms the fundraiser into a salesperson. When you ask potential funders for donations, you are essentially marketing yourself. First, you are making a sales pitch; you are reaching out and asking people to invest in you and your experience. You must earn trust and credibility to prove that what you are doing is meaningful. To make the sale, you have to convince potential donors that you are worthy of their contribution.

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An Interview with Yesmeen

 

Yesmeen had a deep desire  to partake on a world wide volunteer project for six months to serve on six different projects, in five different countries. She knew she wouldn’t be able to raise the funds for this endeavor on her own and decided to use FundMyTravel to fundraise for her cause. Yesmeen ran a very  successful campaign on FundMyTravel raising 104% of her goal totaling $12,433! We interviewed her to find out what her secret to success was.

How did you find out about FundMyTravel?

When I was inspired by people in the community to crowd-fund I obviously went straight to Google to look for a platform to use. I have many friends that have used various crowd-funding platforms and the one I was most familiar with and had seen around, has a lot of campaigns funding medical-type expenses. Since I am not one to choose the “popular” route, that I like to shine light on the smaller up and coming platforms, and I was doing a volunteer/serve based trip, FundMyTravel seemed to be the best fit for my campaign.

Were you satisfied with how the platform supported you?

In the beginning, I was a bit stressed considering there wasn’t a customer service number to reach out to when I had issues. However, along the way the FundMyTravel team responded to my emails promptly and I was shocked when they added things for me on my campaign page. For example, when I was listing my expenses, there were several areas I needed to elaborate on. This wasn’t an option at first so I reached out to the team explaining my dilemma. The team listened to my concern and added an “info” logo to highlight over in which I could explaining what the expenses were for in further detail, which was so helpful. I learned a lot as I went along realizing that the platform is great and has room to grow.  My “needs” will most likely be experienced by others which will lead to long term change on the site, which is always looking for ways to improve.

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“Thanks a Million!” How to Say Thank-You to Donors

Sometimes the most difficult part of the fundraising process is saying thank you. How do you do it? A song? A crocheted scarf? Maybe you’re not too fond of your singing-voice, but your crochet-skills are on-point. Maybe you like paint and want to create portraits of all your donors. Or maybe you simply want to say thanks in person over a nice dinner. There are numerous ways to thank donors, and the style is up to you!

No matter what you think would work best, be sure to say thank you somehow. Sure, a donation is a no-strings-attached way to receive funding, but nothing is more satisfying to a donor than a personal thank-you. Donors will feel they have made a wonderful impact on your life, and they may be more enthusiastic to donate in the future after a proper thank-you! This article will outline some points to consider when preparing to thank your donors.

Consider the process:

Studying abroad is quite the long journey, and earning money is among the first steps of many. Waiting to thank your donors until your adventures are over might mean waiting months or even a year! Why not use collected materials on your journey as a way of saying “thank you” along the way? These materials can be photos, short video clips, postcards, and blog posts. Share your experiences with donors in the moment!

Donors also enjoy feeling exclusive, so addressing funders in particular would provide a personal touch to your updates.

Demonstrate new skills:

Are you learning Spanish abroad? Show off your skills by saying thank-you in Spanish or any other language you may be studying. Singing opera in Italy? Create a video message singing thank you using your incredible vocal technique. Using skills directly related to your experiences abroad is an excellent way of creating a personalized thank-you! Again, the best thank-you is a personal thank-you.

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