In the last post, we began touching on the different types of campaigns seen across FundMyTravel and what works for them, as well as what doesn’t. We’re picking up where we left of and diving into a couple more campaign categories which have left a pretty big impression on the crowd-funding community- particularly the meaningful travel community…. Click here to read Part One of this post and get the most out of these insights within there full context.
Professional Development- Gaining International Experience, Work, Teach, Intern
Without question: if your CV or resume has international experience on it, you will go into a different pile, as the prospective employers are reviewing and organizing applications for the job. For some areas of work expertise, it is more important than others but at the end of the day, we aren’t becoming a globalized market place; we already are one, so it’s beneficial for a company to recruit globalized team players.
These types of campaigns already have a bit of a head start, because the network reach for someone campaigning to get professional experience overseas, reaches fairly far and wide, particularly as a lot of campaign viewers can empathize with the desire to work abroad. All of that being said, it is a constantly competitive marketplace and always will be, so make sure you set yourself and your campaign apart by explaining what is different about it and why this experience is a rare opportunity. It’s also extremely important to note the fact that you’ve worked hard and have rightly earned this opportunity. (If you actually haven’t worked for it or earned it, then you may wish to think again before starting a campaign, not trying to be harsh, but honesty is the best policy- no one is “entitled” to asking for hand-outs.)
Answer to “Where is the Value Add?”
The value-add here is beautifully obvious. There are so many transferrable and essential skill-sets that come with working and living in another country. It’s of great benefit for any potential employer to gain a culturally sensitive asset and enhance the scope of a business’s perspective with the addition of an internationally experienced worker. A few of those skill-sets may be: adaptability, initiative and intrinsic-motivation, a second language proficiency perhaps, understanding of different cultural values, ability to work with others as well as independently- The list goes on…
Social Good- Volunteering, Development Work, Community Fundraising
Social Good campaigns are those, which already have the interest for another party in mind and at heart, so by nature they are not as self-focused as some other travel campaigns. That being said; there is nothing wrong with a bit of self- involvement for the project at hand, and if there is an established personal connection at play, that can make the campaign even more meaningful for potential contributors.
Some campaigners on FMT have raised funds for a community that they visited previously, and others have done so for places they’ve never been to. In other cases, we’ve seen school groups raise funds for schools in developing countries, which they never will visit but they continue to support and correspond with from afar, so while these may not really be “travel” campaigns, they’re still welcome as fundraising projects, created to connect people across borders and to improve the local resources or standards of living. These are extremely meaningful campaigns and ones which we are happy to host on FundMyTravel, but it’s necessary to point out that even with a social good campaign, the funds don’t just come streaming in without efforts made to communicate the campaign presence outward.
These campaigns are actually some which benefit the most from the “incentives” concept. When a supporter gives to a campaign like this, the emotional investment factor is a big one. There are heaps of good causes and charities raising funds every day for different projects around the world, so people become and need to become selective about which ones they will get involved with and support on an annual or continuous basis. If you want your cause to be a part of their selection, it’s essential to make those personal connections or explain your own, for those viewing your campaign.
One way to make your connections feel more real to others is by providing contributors with a piece of the local culture or community, which they will be supporting. That could be in the form of a photo of the local people and a story about where they’re coming from, a postcard from the area, if you are able to visit, maybe even a thank you letter from the people who are being supported. If you are traveling to see the community yourself, take photos with the group and post them, email them or share them with your supporters in some way- Explain who exactly it is that they are supporting, how the funds are being used, when and where they are being used, etc. These types of updates are absolutely priceless for everyone involved.
Answer to “Where is the Value Add?”
The value here is in those connections… It’s the best part about travel. Establishing and reinforcing the fact that no matter where a person is from, what they celebrate in their culture or beliefs and what kind of environment they grow up in, what resources they do or do not have; the fact remains that there are core things which connect us all, despite so many differences and it’s a miraculous thing when we get that feeling which remind us that we are one. When all is said and done, it can be pretty simple in the big picture: Treat people the way you’d like to be treated and the chances of that practice coming back to you, being paid forward, grow expansively, but you never can be sure of it unless you try.
In 2013, there was a devastating Typhoon which swept through the Philippines, in the Eastern Visayan region, especially. We had a few campaigns on FundMyTravel, which raised funds for the affected areas, to support their recovery from the disaster. A year later, I had the honor of returning and seeing a number of different places on the island, which had been horrific scenes during and after the Typhoon.
The photo above shows a tree which was uprooted during the storm and thereafter turned into a memorial, as well as a place of thanks. There are signs of appreciation from the locals hung off of the tree’s roots, for different people and organizations around the world who contributed funds and support towards the local relief efforts.
These girls were walking by as I was taking my photos and I was thrilled to learn that they wanted to be in the photo. It was a lovely moment of mutual appreciation and respect for one another and our cultures.
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.