To approach this topic effectively, the best way to break it down is by campaign type. I don’t know about you, but to that introduction, the cheeky other side of my brain responds “Well, duh- the site is called FundMyTravel, aren’t they all Travel campaigns?” And I must reply again that, in fact, there are even distinct variations within our niche, exploration area of the crowd-funding realm.
Of course, any campaign that is done well, will be done personally, which is to say that, there will be a plethora of differences among all the campaigns on FundMyTravel and on any other platform for that matter, but when it comes to this site, you can typically associate your campaign with one of the broader categories below, so for each of those we’ll discuss a couple of the best practices for your strategic approach to succeed.
Educational Travel- Study, Exchange, Short Course, Personal Learning, Study Tour
For this type of campaign it is especially important, as momentum picks up around your trip and the fundraising activity, to remember for yourself, and frequently remind campaign viewers that the end goal/result of this whole thing is focused towards enhancing your educational experience- and doing so with something more “hands-on” in the “real-world.” The ultimate result being that you become a person who has, not only applied themselves and gained from their higher education on the academic side of things, but one who considers the big picture with a more worldly lens. As cliché as the whole “Global Citizen” thing can sound, it’s a genuinely more significant attribute to have, each day that our world does in fact “become flatter.”
Everything is interdependent and affected by the differing actions, markets, policies, movements, and traditions that are practiced or currently developing on an international level, so it’s terribly important to be aware of these things and there is no better way to do that, than to learn it in person and in context. The connections you make with other internationals along the way are also going to be a huge part of your education and growth, and it’s something that you simply wont experience if you spend the lot of your university experience, limited to one place and only inside of the classroom. Remind your campaign viewers about these facts.
Answer to: “Where is the Value Add?”
There’s no denying that it is a self-focused endeavor at the start, so it’s better to just acknowledge that out right. This IS about improving YOU, by learning, experiencing, hearing, seeing, trying new things but in the grand scheme of it all- that personal improvement will end up shaping a more considerate and thoughtful person, which in the end will affect everyone else that you encounter in some way… You’ll make the choice of whether it is for the better or not, but it’s an easy guarantee that the networks you aim to attract in support, will be able to identify if you’re the person who will make the most of this experience and therefore be worth contributing to. It’s a good question to ask yourself at the start though… Would you give to your own campaign? Why or why not?
Independent Travel- An exploration for Self -Improvement is not Selfishness
Right, so all of the aforementioned is actually relevant to this category as well, and the rest of this post will proceed in similar fashion, ideally making the article a pretty comprehensive tool for anyone to use, if they are looking into making a campaign. That being said, there is something all independent travelers should know if they are making a campaign to go off on an adventure, which is unassociated with a more “official” theme.
Whatever your mission is for this journey, let it be known! Do not, and I repeat, do not make a travel campaign, “just for the heck of it” to see if anyone out there might stumble upon your campaign and just decide to contribute randomly. This may sound ridiculously obvious, but you would be surprised at how many times this actually happens and to no avail for anyone.
Whatever the reason is for your going on this expedition; if you’re hoping to get other people involved in funding it, they also need to get invested emotionally. Explain what your goals are for this trip and what you’re aiming to accomplish. Why it is something you want other people to be involved with supporting and why wouldn’t you just work, save up and do it on your own. There is a bit more pressure with these types of campaigns, in terms of ‘justifying’ what makes your travel plan special and significant enough, that it’s worth other people’s time and money to contribute. There have been a number of incredible campaigns across FundMyTravel, where truly remarkable people have truly remarkable stories worth giving to. Remember not to sell yourself short. ‘Go hard or stay home’ you might say… If you’re going to do this then put your all into it and plan it ahead with a proper video and updates for your followers. It may end up being the transformation of a lifetime…
Answer to “Where is the Value Add?”
The value-add is going to be heavily dependent on what you are hoping to achieve, on a more specific and personal level. It’s about the unique opportunities that you will be able to provide, as a result of this journey- not only for the people you engage with along your travels but also for the people who get involved through the campaign AND for those who you meet in years after the fact. There is no question that travel inspires a different type of self-reliance and growth, unique from any other type of experience, but the value and measure of that growth will depend on how you approach it.
Be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of this article, which will be published tomorrow. Part 2 will be diving into a couple more campaign categories which have left a pretty big impression on the crowd-funding community.