Category: Fundraising 101 (page 1 of 8)

The Definitive Ranking of Fundraising Websites

When you’re looking to make money and raise funds, it helps to remember that all crowdfunding resources are not created equal! While all of them allow you to crowdsource funds, some have posting fees, some take a percentage of your earnings, some charge your donors a donation fee, while others only let you keep the money you earn if you reach the full one-hundred percent of your fundraising goal. So how do you know which is the best fundraising website for you? Well, let’s take a look and examine our list so that you can make an educated choice!

best fundraising website

What is the best fundraising website? The answer will have a lot to do with what you’re trying to fund!

Keep in mind that some of the best crowdsourcing websites are quite specific in terms of allowable projects and causes, while others are much more open in form and format. If you’re hoping to raise enough money to launch your oh-so-amazing taco sauce, the best fundraising websites for you will be quite different than if you’re trying to earn funds to cover the costs of traveling to Singapore to teach English. However, all crowdfunding sites have some elements in common, so we’ll start there to help you decide what’s best for you.

15 of the best fundraising websites

1. FundMyTravel

Why? The features of FundMyTravel are super straightforwardand include everything you need to do in order to start your fundraising campaign, spread the word, and get funded! With free set-up, a comprehensive tool-kit to get you started, and a flat fee of 5% from all donations made, there are no hidden fees or surprises. Payment processors might collect their own fees—but FundMyTravel makes it easy to get your meaningful travel project off the ground! 

What? This crowdsourcing site is among the very best fundraising websites for individuals who want to raise money for meaningful travel abroad programs, ranging from adventure travel to volunteerism and interning abroad. If your goal is to raise money to experience travel-related opportunities, you don’t want your campaign to get lost in the shuffle with all kinds of other projects and causes. Plus, you get to share your campaign widely (and for free!) with all kinds of other like-minded folks. What could be better than that?

Where to find it? https://www.fundmytravel.com/

2. Kickstarter

Why? Kickstarter just celebrated its tenth year in business, and claims to have helped tens of thousands of creative people find funding for their projects. They now operate as a benefit corporation with a charter to do “good” works. They report that over 16 million people have backed a project, and that over 4.4 billion dollars have been pledged to date. They have an extensive handbook, and while fees from processors vary, the projects are all-or-nothing (meaning you only get the money pledged if you reach one-hundred percent of your goal)—less the 5% fee that they will take off the top.

What? Kickstarter is among the best fundraising websites focused on specific fields: art, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film and video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. They have rules for creators focused on their charter as a benefit corporation.

Where to find it? https://www.kickstarter.com/

3. Indiegogo

Why? If you have a product you’re trying to take to market, this is one of the best crowdsourcing websites you can choose to get a high-profile reach. Primarily focused on three categories (tech and innovation, creative works, and community projects), this is a good crowdsourcing option for those in need of some support for their campaign. The fee structure is based on the overall value of the launch (there are no fees pre-launch), and the total amount Indiegogo takes is 5%, while the credit card fee is 2.9% (plus a percentage of the total fund). However, if you started your campaign on a different platform, your fee is 8% plus fees.

What? The focus for this crowdsourcing site is to support entrepreneurs and new technology from the earliest stages of development, from concept to prototype to production to shipment. The backers on these projects are expecting to receive the items they back, but there are no guarantees. The quality team at Indiegogo will get involved if they observe poor business practices on the part of the entrepreneur. 

Where to find it? https://www.indiegogo.com/

4. Patreon

Why? Patreon is among the best fundraising websites for individuals doing creative work and content production, and is ideally suited for podcasters, video creators, musicians, visual artists, writers / journalists, and creators of all kinds. Patreon takes most of the fees from the donors (taking it off the top of their pledges), but they do have different tiers of membership for creators that offer different levels of support in exchange for increased fee percentages. For example, a basic membership takes 5% of overall funds, while a premium membership will cost you 12%.

What? Funders can pledge any available amount per content element, or per month, and provide the creators with funding based on the volume of content that gets produced. Patreon provides a great way for your social media followers to contribute to your cause (whether personal or professional), or just show appreciation for your talents! Based on that social media focus, Patreon is also one of the most app-friendly, with integrations for everything from BackerKit to Zapierhelping you expand the reach of your campaign.

Where to find it? https://www.patreon.com/

5. GoFundMe

Why? GoFundMe offers free fundraising for people and causes. By free, they mean that there is no platform fee; however, the payment processing companies that work with the platform do charge fees, typically 2.9% plus $0.30 per dollar received. They also advertise having the first and only donor protection program in the industry, which should help your donors feel more secure about their ability to make a sizable pledge. The lack of a platform fee makes this one of the best fundraising websites available…but don’t forget to factor in those processing fees!  

What? In terms of what GoFundMe is best for, they have a series of featured categories, including medical fees, memorials, emergency needs, nonprofits, education, and animal causes, but they’ve also opened up individual funding options for everything from faith to newlywed costs to competitions and even a category they call “wishes.”

Where to find it? https://www.gofundme.com/

6. Crowdrise

Why? Crowdrise was established almost ten years ago, but was recently acquired by GoFundMe. Thus, you can expect to see some possible changes ahead integrating Crowdrise with other GoFundMe campaigns, even though the platform is quite different. Meaning, while this is not the kind of site you would think of as one of the best fundraising websites for individuals, if you’re trying to raise money for a non-profit or a cause, this is a great option for you! The fees range from free (plus processing fees) for basic membership, to 5% (plus processing fees) for a more full-service option. 

What? For right now, the audience is specifically geared toward online social fundraising (from campaigns to events) that support non-profit groups, with options for campaigns ranging from peer-to-peer fundraising to runs, walks, cycles, and other kinds of “thon” type events (yogathons, danceathons, etc.)—and even car washes and bake sales. If you want to host a fundraiser for a known non-profit (or raise funds for a non-profit you start yourself!) this would be one of the best websites for fundraising you can use.

Where to find it? https://www.crowdrise.com

7. Chuffed

Why? Chuffed is a new kind of crowdsourcing platform in that it offers its users an “academy” experiencetaking them through the basics of crowdfunding from concept to thank you notes after the campaign. What makes this one of the best fundraising websites for individuals is that the entire process is free for the person / cause soliciting funds as all fees are paid directly by the donor. This means that the donor selects the amount they are comfortable giving, and then pays a fee on top of that amount to process the payment. So, if they pledge $25, you will get the full amount, and the donor would pay closer to $30 to cover the fees.

What? The Chuffed Academy program is itself funded by individual donors, philanthropic organizations, and government grants, allowing the donor fees to defray processing costs so that the savings gets passed on to the user. However, not every user is eligible to use the platform. Fundraisers need to complete the academy and provide answers to questions that determine eligibility. Want to know if you or your cause is eligible? Start here and find out.

Where to find it? https://chuffed.org/us

8. RocketHub

Why? Rockethub has been providing fundraising options since 2009. Voted one of the best crowdsourcing websites due to its ties with emerging nations, it has a partnership with the US Department of State and has the endorsement of people like Bill Gates. The platform offers two primary platform models (with their own fee structures) for fundraisers to use. The campaigns are created in RocketHub and then shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If the project is fully-funded, you keep all of the funds, less a 4% platform fee and a 4% processing fee. If the project is partially funded, you keep the funds—but in this case, less an 8% platform fee and 4% processing fees.

What? Known for its partnerships with other agencies, governments, and corporations (including car companies and network television), RocketHub has created a model for direct-to-fan social media networking and fundraising. If you’re looking to launch a start-up, this could be a great fit for you, as the ELEQUITY community within the platform offers feedback from other successful entrepreneurs about your campaign in addition to support from donors.

Where to find it? http://rockethub.com/

9. CircleUp

Why? CircleUp is one of the best fundraising websites available to start-ups and entrepreneurs…if your business makes the cut. Technically, they are a technology company, providing funding to start-ups, entrepreneurs, and organizations that are attempting to bring a product to market or launch a company. Primarily, they help individuals and organizations raise money (through funding and credit) to get from idea to launch. 

What? They work with fundraisers and donors to crunch big data, providing interested investors with analytics about how likely your company is to succeed. If your numbers look good (including analysis of market share and the competition), they will help promote you, and share their enthusiasm for your company with their network. They’ve worked with some pretty impressive start-ups; for example, if you’ve eaten HaloTop ice cream or Miyokos vegan cheese, you’ve experienced one (of many!) of their supported brands!

Where to find it? https://circleup.com/

10. LendingClub

Why? LendingClub is a way to crowdsource a loan for anything you want, from travel to personal loans—even credit card consolidation. While not technically one of the best fundraising websites, it often it appears in lists of the best best crowdsourcing websites because of the option to post a need, consider offers from lenders, and accept as many (or as few) as you would like. The rates and fees vary, depending on the offers and amounts, but for many people, crowdsourcing a loan can be a more flexible and more appealing method of getting funds than going through a traditional bank or credit company. 

What? While LendingClub is geared toward loan funding, if you’re in the business of trying to raise money in the long-term and have some funds to spare in the short-term, you can even sign up to be an investor and cash in on someone else’s need to raise income for your own. Just make sure you read all of the getting-started materials before you make a commitment, as the terms are typically pretty strict.

Where to find it? https://www.lendingclub.com/

11. MightyCause

Why? MightyCause appeals to people and organizations attempting to raise funds for established nonprofits. Positioning themselves as an alternative to PayPal donations, they provide two tiers of fundraising support: a starter plan for free, and an advanced plan for $99 per month that includes data integration and a CRM (customer relationship manager) program included, making it easier to follow up with donors after the campaign.

What? As with other fundraising platforms geared toward nonprofits, MightyCause may not be the best website for fundraising, but they do allow for individuals and organizations to run high-impact campaigns without the overhead that fundraising projects can sometimes require when it comes to brand management, payment processing, advertising, and general outreach.

Where to find it? https://www.mightycause.com/

12. EquityEats / InKind

Why? EquityEats has recently rebranded itself as InKind. Focused on start-ups for restaurants and food projects, if you’re launching a food project, the idea is to provide credit to guests and patrons who support your venture while the InKind team offers you all kinds of support, and (this is why they are always on the best website for fundraising lists) even provide up to one million dollars of interest-free financing to businesses they believe in. That’s a lot of lettuce!

What? Again, it’s not really for everyone, but definitely for foodies and restaurateurs. This crowdfunding platform works with you to give you credits (in the form of bonuses) for dining from their list of funded projects, while also providing incentives for food business owners. They also put their money where their mouths are and provide a series of case studies to help you better understand how they help food start-ups succeed.

Where to find it? https://www.inkind.com

13. Ulule

Why? Ulule calls itself one of the best crowdsourcing websites for makers. They focus on direct funding to individuals and are among the all-or-nothing funding sites. This means if you set a fundraising goal and don’t reach it, Ulule will return all of the money your backers pledged to you, and will charge you nothing based on their commission model. However, if your campaign is successful, they will charge you 6% of the total raised, plus processing fees; and, since they are a global community, you will also have to pay any currency conversion fees and VAT (Value Added Tax) for the funds coming from countries that require it.  

What? Focusing on creatives and appealing to the maker community, Ulule tries to position itself as one of the best fundraising websites for individuals. This is particularly true if you’re in one of their hot categories, which range from music, film, writing, and art, to heritage studies, education, and charities, plus technology, game development, and personal projects—which could be anything!

Where to find it? https://www.ulule.com/

14. Facebook Fundraising

Why? Odds are that if you’re on Facebook, you’ve already been invited to donate to someone’s birthday fundraiser for a charitable cause. As you likely know, you can support political actions, social justice causes, animal welfare, and so much more, just by checking your newsfeed and making a couple of clicks. Set-up is fairly simple and you can customize your fundraiser according to your needs. There are no fees for monies raised for established nonprofits, but fees for personal causes vary according to where the fundraiser lives. If you’re in the United States, that means you will pay 2.6% plus a fee of $0.30 per dollar raised.

What? If you’re interested in raising money for your own projects, just remember the goal is to find a way to make your campaign stand out. With over 2.3 billion users, it might be tempting to think of this as one of the best crowdsourcing website options available…but remember, your reach is only as far as your actual contact list. 

Where to find it? https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/

15. Fundly

Why? For individuals (using a Facebook account to sign up) or for established nonprofits, Fundly ranks among the best crowdsourcing websites due to its multi-tiered approach to supporting its fundraisers and members of its fundraising community. Using a blog and video-heavy approach, Fundly offers options for quick, easy fundraising with a simple set-up process and no start-up fees. There is no minimum raise, and you can keep whatever you make, but there is a 4.9% fee on all donations, plus a 2.9% processing fee, along with a $0.30 charge on every dollar per transaction. 

What? Fundly prides itself on being mobile-friendly and media-rich, so if you’re a person who enjoys blogging, Instagram, videos, and multimedia messaging, this could be the perfect platform for you to explore. They also include tips about how to get news coverage for your fundraising campaign, and a separate bit of resource-guiding on designing and selling swag to maximize your funding potential, as well.

Where to find it? https://fundly.com

A checklist for the best fundraising websites

best fundraising website

What exactly makes the best website for fundraising the BEST? There are a few key factors to pay attention to.

So how can you tell what the best website for fundraising might be for your particular cause? While there are many (many!) more options than those listed here, we’ve identified fifteen good choices for you among the best crowdsourcing websites out there. So what should you do next if you’re trying to figure out what is the best fundraising website? We suggest that you review this next checklist of six questions to help you narrow down the best match for you so that you can get started on your fundraising goals!

1. Does the platform have low fees?

The fundraising options we mentioned show a wide range of funding fees (from 0% up to 12%, not including processing charges), but there are some platforms that will keep up to 30% of your overall fundraising total, once you factor in fees. The best way to prepare yourself? Read the fine print—all of it—and if you do have the option to use a donor-pays cost option, make sure your donors are aware of how (through clear communication on your part) that extra amount they pay will help you get to your goals!

2. Is it easy to sign up?

Some platforms let you sign up with something you’re already using (like a Facebook profile or other social media connection), while others will ask you to provide all kinds of up-front information prior to letting you join their site. Keep in mind that you should act according to your comfort level (and use common sense about providing personal or financial information!), but the best fundraising websites will make it easy for you to get started because they want to provide you with the support you seek.

3. Are there successful campaigns you can view for reference?

On some of the very best crowdsourcing websites, like FundMyTravel.com, you can see examples of successful campaigns and read testimonials from users. This is an important feature to look for. While campaign platforms are likely to sing their own praises (and not to say that’s not legit when it is!), the users, donors, and campaigners are the ones most likely to give you the straight story on the experience. And yes, there will always be those big stories and crazy outliers (like the guy with the $55,000 potato salad on Kickstarter!), but the true test of a platform’s success is in its every day ability to help people like you raise the funds you need.

4. Does it meet all of your needs for totals, fees, and timelines?

Make sure you add it all up. When you factor in the platform fees, processing fees, opportunity to keep whatever you make (or not!), and the total number of days / weeks required to create a campaign, post it, run it, and collect on it, are you within a reasonable overall timeline for your project goals? If you’re hoping to raise enough money to take a winter volunteer expedition to Egypt and it’s now June, is the window of set-up and operations (and funding!) going to work? And if not, what’s the next best website for fundraising you should consider instead?

5. Is it a proven option for raising funds?

Testimonials and success stories are super-important, but so is the platform’s track record. If over 10,000 people have posted campaigns and you find that 10 of them have amazing things to say, but the other 9,990 campaigns were not funded or ended up falling short, you will want to consider how significant a reach this platform might afford you. Make sure you look at the overall percentage of funded projects when making your decision, and keep in mind that any reputable example of the best crowdsourcing website choices on these lists will post that information right up front!

6. Is it backed by anyone / anything you wouldn’t otherwise support?

Now we’re getting personal (and possibly political), but with crowdsourcing being a great way for founders and investors to make money, it’s become a lucrative business to get into. Some of the more popular sites are very up-front about where they get their money from (and what they do with it), but for others, you might have to do a bit of digging.

For example, if you want to go and save endangered wildlife and volunteer for animal welfare abroad, you’re likely not going to accept funding from sources that are at odds with your passions or your ethics. The best fundraising website options will be transparent about where their money comes from, so that you can make sure you’re comfortable with it, too!

In short, make sure that you view all angles of your fundraising goals so that when you look at your comparison charts and notes, if you were asked “what is the best fundraising website for you?” the answer would be simple, well researched, and clear.

Now you know the best website for fundraising…go use it!

best fundraising website

You’ve got your cause and you’ve got your goals. Now get out there and fundraise!

As you can see, some of these crowdsourcing sites function primarily as lenders, while some serve as bonus-providers. Many of the best fundraising websites offer rewards to the participants while others are pure donation sites, focused mainly on raising funds for your cause. Whatever type of platform is best for you, there are countless options for you to choose from, so remember (we can’t stress this enough!) to do your research and look at the big picture!

But if your goal is to raise funds to travel abroad—whether for study, volunteering, adventure, interning, teaching, or even taking a gap year—we think the best fundraising website you could pick would be FundMyTravel.com. The set-up is easy, the resources are comprehensive, and the fees are super-reasonable. Plus, you can share your campaign with the world in any way you choose, and you’re not limited to specific platforms or social media types. Even better, your travel goals will not get lost in a sea of gadgets and food trucks…and you can even learn from others about the tips and tricks that worked best for them. Pretty sweet deal, right?

[Make Your FundMyTravel Account—and Get Started Today!]

andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

How to Write a Fundraising Story + 6 Compelling Examples

Looking for examples of compelling fundraising letters? We’ve got ‘em for ya—plus the 411 on why fundraising stories matter. ☆ Let’s just put this out in the open: it’s hard to ask people for money, especially when it’s a hefty chunk of change. Luckily, FundMyTravel distributes contributions among tons of people (#crowdsourcingFTW). This makes reaching fundraising goals more attainable.

Thank goodness we don’t live in a world where we rely on a single patron to fund all of our hopes and dreams! Crowdsourcing makes it more attainable, but how do you actually go about asking people for money without making things awkward? Enter: fundraising stories.

woman writing on tabletop near globe

Get comfortable and get a cup of coffee. It’s time to find out how to write a fundraising story.

Great fundraising stories may be unicorns in a herd of horses, but they don’t live in an unattainable mythical realm. That being said, you may need to do some soul searching to find your perfect ivory stallion.

The best examples of compelling fundraising stories are the ones that come from the heart and connect with potential donors’ emotional sides without making them feel sorry for you. If you want to have a successful FundMyTravel campaign, you need to know how to write a fundraising story that will knock people’s socks off…and we have just the tips for you!

Why are compelling stories important to your fundraiser?

Connecting to emotions leaves a lasting impression, and stories are the easiest way to do that. Fundraising stories are more than a quick “hello, I need money and this is why, thanks bye”. They have a narrative. They draw people in and give them a reason to learn about you and your travel goals. 

Stories live beyond your initial fundraiser. They are an opportunity to extend your journey beyond reaching the monetary goal. Crowdsourcing is cool because it turns an individual’s goal into the goal of an entire community.

Every person who chips in becomes more than an investor—they become part of your story. They want to know what happens next on your journey. This is the perfect opportunity for you to incentivize donors with special newsletter updates, blog posts, or even a snapchat story feed.

Tips for how to write a fundraising story

1. Be authentic (aka…be yourself!)

We know you’re already pumped about your next meaningful travel experience, but how are you going to get others on board? Your story is the ticket to ride into the beautiful sunset of travel bliss. The best fundraising stories tap into raw emotion and authenticity. We’re only human, after all; we adore a good story.

Make a list of your goals and dreams for this trip and sprinkle that magic fundraising dust all over your story. Share your history! How did you learn about this project? Why does it resonate with you? Don’t just copy + paste why X organization is good for the world; why does their mission drive your travel?

Connect to your reader’s humanity by sharing personal details and experiences, but don’t turn it into a sob story. You want to travel to do some good somehow, right? Lean into that aspect. You may want to volunteer with orphans or sick elephants, which is devastating, but talk about the great work you’ll be doing in that arena rather than dwell on the sad parts. Positivity will get you places. You need a plane ticket, not a sympathy card.

You don’t need to look far to know how to write a fundraising story, because the story is inside you. Yes, we know how cheesy that sounds, but it doesn’t make it less true. It’s easier to read a book that’s already open. 

2. Be honest about why you’re fundraising

Don’t be slim shady; let people know why you’re asking (nicely) for money. State the obvious, then elaborate on the details. Obviously, you need a little help with the cash situation. But what else? 

Maybe you’re a student who is trying to keep on top of loans, but has a dream to do medical research abroad. Maybe you just quit your job to find yourself, and you are drawn to humanitarian work abroad. Or maybe you just don’t have enough saved to cover the cost of your ticket to Thailand, but you’ve been planning on studying abroad for a semester and just need help to go the extra step.

Fundraising stories that outline specifics of what the money will cover are going to be more successful.  Why? It feels good to help others. If people see that their $30 donation paid for your visa, they get a tangible, warm, fuzzy feeling that they made a difference. Be straight about why you need the cash, and what the money is going towards. Transparency is key.

3. Be short and sweet

Writing a fundraising letter doesn’t have to be a full time job. Yes, you should take time and be intentional, but please don’t send out a novel. Fundraising stories should be short and sweet. Like Lil’ Sebastian. Or a corgi. You’re writing for the internet now, and believe us when we say your audience is a sea of skimmers.

Get to the point (#minimalism, yo). Yes, you need to include your beautiful soul-story and dirty details, but don’t bury the lead. State the facts early! 

Use simple yet powerful language. Keeping it approachable and skimmable will draw a wider audience, so don’t use ridiculously big words that make people stop reading and pull out a dictionary. 

Some formatting tips:

  • Call attention to details with bold words
  • Try a bulleted list to break up text
  • Keep paragraphs under 7 sentences
  • Pad your key info with white space

4. Be assertive with your ask

This is one of the hardest parts of writing a fundraising letter, but one of the most important. You need to actually ask for money. 

It’s important to be assertive with your ask, but that doesn’t mean aggressive. You need to be clear in your fundraising letter that you’re asking for money so people know how to help out. Right off the bat, the reader should know you’re asking for money. Then, weave in your story and goals. Finally, tell them how to contribute:

“By donating $25 dollars you can help me reach my goal of planting 300 trees in Tanzania. Follow the link to my profile on FundMyTravel and click donate”. 

This fundraising writing sample makes it clear that you’re asking for money, and explains exactly how to do it.

We get it, it’s awkward. But if you go about it graciously, stay humble, and be honest about why, people won’t judge you for it. Trust us…we’re in the business of asking people (nicely) for money. 😉

5. Be gracious—add gracias 

Saying thank you goes a long way. Fundraising stories that end with gratitude are more likely to win people over because it shows that you really appreciate the extra help. You get to prove that you’re not a greedy little goblin just trying to cash in on a sweet vacay.

We already know you’re a good person since you crave meaningful travel experiences, so your heart is already in the right place! We bet saying “thanks” will come very naturally to you, so this should be easy peasy.

5 examples of compelling fundraising letters

1. Help Sana get to Japan

Hello. My name is Sana Erskine although I hope most of you already know that.

I’m raising money to go on an educational trip with Midtown International School to Japan for a fresh new cultural experience. This will be my first international trip without a parent. While I’m doing all I can to raise money for this trip, I just can’t do it without you.

Why do I want to go to Japan?

To start with, I’ve wanted to go to Japan since I was 10 years old and hope to live there one day. In preparation, over the last 2 years I even started teaching myself Japanese using foreign language apps on my cell phone. My interest started out for superficial reasons like my admiration for anime and vocaloid. However, as I learned more about Japanese history and culture, my fascination for the island grew.

For example, did you know Japan was until recently (relatively speaking) completely isolated from the world by a government policy called Sakoku (country in chains)? Sakoku didn’t let anyone leave or enter Japan under penalty of death.  When the country opened to the world an interesting culture was revealed.

There are a few things that are unique to Japan that I hope to experience should I receive the required donations:

  • Delicious rice cakes called Mochi, that are mostly eaten on the Japanese New Year but are available year-round.
  • Shintoism are three different sets of characters used in writing.                       
  • Ikebana (the art of arranging flowers inspired by Shintoism)               
  • Waka (a form of poetry)                                                                         
  • Nanga (painting with less color)
  • Hopefully, while I’m there I can learn some art tips and get a better grasp on drawing human and animal anatomy.
  • Language immersion, including slang, so I can have regular conversations with my Japanese peers.

To show my appreciation, I will send each person who donates a piece of my original artwork. I assume you know that art is my passion and I want to share a little bit of me with all of you.

All the art is digital so you can save it to your favorite device or print and hang it.

Thank you again for your support.

Sana

Why we like it

  • Makes the “ask” straightforward and gracious
  • Short and sweet
  • Bold text to draw your eye to the call to action
  • Bullets help break up the text (#skimmable) 
  • Creates personal connection: why Japan is so meaningful to her
  • Invites people to be a part of her story by sending them original artwork

2. Reiza’s Pursuit in Greece

Hello my name is Reiza and thank you for taking the time to visit my fundraising page 🙂

I am travelling to Europe for the second time for a whole month and this time through Greece (my dream destination). My original flight date, April 24 was rescheduled which led to me being able to rebook my flight within the 7 day mark for no charges.

I have decided back in 2018 that after I complete Uni I will save up, pack up, and contribute to a disadvantaged community. How timely that this just presented itself out of nowhere and I knew right away that I wanted and will do it. Rather than adding more countries to my trip I’ve decided that I wanted to volunteer instead. I turned my dream holiday into an opportunity of a lifetime. Hit 2 birds with 1 stone, right?

I have chosen to volunteer in Athens, with an organisation called Our House. I spent a month researching and finding the right community I wanted to be part of and I believe this is the right fit. The organisation is very well rounded and as much as possible, they focus on all the things needed by the refugees.

They host feeding programs every night in 2 locations, they deliver supplies to refugee camps, accompany refugees to the hospitals, give them haircuts, regular home visits, and the most important of all…they find shelter for the refugees that are left on the streets of beautiful Athens. They’re very hands on and present and I resonate well with that.

At the age of 22 I’ve travelled to 25 countries. I realized I have been really fortunate. I’ve seen so much of the world, have a place I call home, food in my belly, an education. Many of the displaced people in Athens do not have this. My primary goal is to help anyone in need and ensure their well being, comfort and safety.

I want to make use of my knowledge and passion for the world and life in the best way possible. In the past year me together with my brother and cousins have organized a few feeding programs for children here in the Philippines and being from a third world country myself, I know and see how it is with my own two eyes.

This will be my first time on a long haul trip alone, and this experience will be both challenging and hopefully incredibly rewarding for me. My parents are worried, yes but they see how passionate I am about it and understand. I also asked Scoot airlines if they could help me out and waive the 7 day mark so I can stay longer and help more and they gladly moved it with no charges.

I am here because I want to do this solely on my own without the help of my parents, for once. I am 22 and it’s about time. I also believe it will be more meaningful this way. My expenses for the holiday part of the trip I’ve already dealt with (visa, plane tickets, insurance, whatnot) so the funds will go towards my accommodation, vaccinations, local travel expenses, and most importantly the housing and supply needs of the refugees. Since I only have 20 kilos at the moment an extra 20 kilo luggage for clothes that I was hoping to bring and donate would also be substantial.

To raise funds for my volunteer trip I will be:

  • Selling my old clothes bags and shoes on Carousell
  • Using the money I earned from Youtube
  • Taking on sideline jobs from my Mom  

Thank you for any donation that you can make, big or small. Your contribution will help me make a difference to those in need and I promise to keep you posted about my fundraising and the trip itself. 

Thank you!

Why we like this fundraising writing sample

  • Talks about how she’s raising funds in other ways
  • Her story connects to your emotional side; draws you in 
  • Her history with travel + interest in volunteer work = clearly thought out, worth your financial support
  • Talks about what she already has funds for and outlines what your contribution will be going towards 
  • Ends with a thank you

3. Child Care Project – Uganda

This fundraising story was written in German and English.

Hey there!

In case you know me personally, you probably already got a snap from an over-excited me talking about my Uganda trip. In case you don’t know me, I’m glad you somehow made it here. For everyone that is not just interested in the project, but also wants to know who I am, I wrote a little introduction.

I’m 16 (17 by the time I leave in August), talk a little too much, laugh a lot and would love to drop out of school right now to go and save the world. I usually spend my summer holidays traveling with my mum (and my brother), go out with my friends, swim in public pools, try to get a tan and end up gaining around 5 pounds, from all the ice cream I eat.

As much as I love my summers, I really wanted to change up 2019’s.

Actually do something meaningful. “Be the change I wanna see in the world.”

So I decided I wanna go overseas and volunteer in a project. Looking for volunteer options is almost a little like scrolling through tinder, there are so many options at some point I just hoped for that “this is it / “I’ll marry him” kinda moment.

That’s when I stumbled over the Child Care Project – Uganda. It was love at first sight!

The Child Care Project offers children of all age groups, ranging from the really little ones to those that are almost my age, a safe place to be. Around 30-50 kids come here from Mondays to Fridays to laugh, learn, play and eat. They really get to be a child, free of all worries.

The daycare is open all day and provides a meal for every child. For many of the children this is the only meal they get a day.The daycare is not only important for the children, but their parents, especially their mothers. Knowing their kids are safe allows many women to go to work (KALiARE Frauen-Projekt) and earn money to provide food for their families. 

Karmalaya has many other projects in Central Uganda that all tie together so if you want to know a little more about the project or organization here is the link to the website, or my email in case you want to ask me directly: smiszori@gmail.com.

I am grateful for every dollar you decide to donate, in order to allow me to help out in the Child Care Centre in Uganda for four weeks in the summer (August) and who knows – maybe it is your dollar that provides a hot meal for one of the kids.

Why we like this fundraising writing sample

  • She writes in a very approachable/relatable tone
  • Talks about why she’s passionate about this travel experience 
  • Breaks up text: skimmable 
  • It’s short and sweet
  • She expresses gratitude “for every dollar you decide to donate”

4. OCEAN 2 OCEAN, Running Across America

Our oceans are dying and time is running out. Every second breath comes from the ocean and we can no longer stand by and watch as we destroy our most precious resource. Especially when 80% of all plastic in the ocean comes from us on land.

That’s why this summer I’m setting out on my biggest expedition yet, a five month-long journey to become the first person to run across America on recycled shoes.  

The Journey:

On July 26th, I will begin my Ocean2Ocean run, covering 3,000 miles and 13 U.S. states, from N.Y.C to L.A., from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Beyond the physical demands of running such a long distance, the goal is to engage with as many communities as possible, to create awareness about the ocean plastic pollution crisis and ignite a national conversation of what each one of us can do to make a change.

The Problem:

Plastic has become one of the most produced man-made materials and it is everywhere. Plastic waste is quickly accumulating around the globe in cities, in landfills, on some of our most pristine shorelines, in the open sea and even in the deep sea.

If we don’t stop our consumption habits, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. And as of today there are already more micro plastics in our ocean than stars in our galaxy. It’s affecting our water, our corals and our marine life. Studies have found that close to 95% of seabirds are ingesting this ocean plastic and researchers have found plastic in rain samples and in the air that we breathe around the world.

These are just a few statistics that highlight the urgency of acting now.

Outreach:

Along our journey, I’ll be hosting educational presentations at schools and universities, organizing events such as zero-waste workshops, documentary screenings, street and city cleanups and run-alongs (plogging) with running clubs and athlete organizations.

During this expedition, we will also be producing a series of videos to document this journey and the people we will meet along the way. By producing weekly videos, we will include portraits of sustainable initiatives  as well as updates on my running adventures.

By running 20 miles a day, 6 days a week for 5 months, I want to show that anyone can make a difference if they take the first step. Whether that step be to run across America, to reduce plastic consumption, or to make a single donation.

How You Can Help:

In order to make this expedition happen, we need YOUR help. Along with our sponsors, we need to raise an additional 30,000 USD in order to make this project a reality.

Other ways you can help, include forwarding this campaign to friends and groups concerned about plastic pollution, which would be a HUGE help. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

Join us in our fight against ocean plastic pollution.

Together we can make our oceans great again!

Why we like this fundraising writing sample 

  • Clearly outlines PURPOSE of travel 
  • Explains in details what your contribution will do
  • Breaks up the story with images, headers, and graphs, making a longer fundraising story easier to digest
  • Includes a call to action
  • Ends on positive even though the subject is kinda a bummer (oceans dying and whatnot)

5. Study abroad to Germany, Holland, and Denmark!

Hello Everyone!

This campaign will help provide funding for my Study Abroad trip this coming May to Germany, Holland and Denmark. While there, I will be traveling to study Architecture and Landscape Architecture. This experience will expand my views on different techniques and styles of Architecture as well as an opportunity to study historical sites and their design techniques. It will also give me a chance to study Landscape Architecture by providing an opportunity to visit numerous famous gardens. 

On this trip, I will have the opportunity to complete a required credit for graduation from University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s College of Art and Architecture. I will travel with 19 of my peers as well as two faculty of UTK. I will be given a few “free-time” opportunities to experience the different cultures and lifestyles in Germany, Holland and Denmark. This trip is quite costly, however, and I would greatly appreciate any help people are able to provide. I am so excited for this once in a lifetime chance and to be able to grow as an architect and share my experience with all of you!

Why we like it

  • Sometimes less is more: short, sweet, simple
  • States her purpose for travel, her goals for the trip, and the reason she’s asking for help
  • She includes a way to extend the narrative (“share my experience with all of you”)

6. Changing Lives in Thailand

Hello, 

To those who know me well, it’s no surprise that I am going to Thailand this summer to volunteer in an elementary school. I am thrilled to have found a program that combines my passion for teaching and my love of Thai culture. This trip means so much to me because I believe that education can change people’s lives, and the sad reality is that not everyone has easy access to quality education. While I can’t change the world, I can make a difference in one community by contributing my time, energy, and knowledge to students in Thailand. But I need your help to get there. 

Beyond just exploring a new place and having fun, I chose to go to Thailand because I studied abroad there during my undergrad. Before going to Thailand, I never thought much about the country. I ended up going because it was affordable and totally different from any place I’d ever been. Spoilers: it stole my heart. The people are so caring and welcoming, the language is beautiful, and the countryside is stunning. 

My passion for providing education to communities in need made me interested in this program. While abroad I will be:

 

  • Teaching English
  • Supporting teachers 
  • Learning about education systems in Thailand
  • Connecting to more volunteer opportunities
  • Spreading the word on realities of underfunded schools around the world on my blog

On this trip I expect to grow, be challenged, and learn so much about myself. But I can’t do it alone! Every little thing helps. Here are some of the ways you’ll be supporting me:

  • $25 will get me to the airport
  • $50 will pay for the visa
  • $60 will help me pay rent
  • Sharing my FundMyTravel link will help spread the word! 🙂

While I’m abroad I’ll be sharing my story at EducationMakesMeThaiSmile.blog and sending special video updates to donors.

This trip is the best real-world experience I could ask for. It is a way for me to gain new perspective, push myself to try something new, and make an impact on a community in need. I know I’ve made it to where I am today because of the amazing people in my life such as yourself, and I hope you will join me in this next step.  

With gratitude,

April Ludgate

Why we like it

  • Connects her story to her passion for travel
  • Includes an ask right off the bat
  • Breaks up paragraphs and includes bullets
  • Outlines details and specifics on what money could go towards
  • Extends the narrative on blog, includes ways for donors to get special perks 
  • Asks nicely; says thanks

Writing compelling fundraising stories will get you more donations!

open notebook with pen next to green plant and cup of coffee

These examples of compelling fundraising letters will prepare you to write your own fundraising stories!

Now that you know how to write a fundraising story, you know how easy it is! Sure, it’s intimidating at first, but that’s life, right? You don’t have to look far, because the story is you. Your hopes, dreams, and goals. All you need to do is format that in a way that encourages people to support you and your journey. 

Travel is a beautiful thing, and money should never come between you and a life changing adventure. FundMyTravel is here to get the word out and make your journey go smoothly. Don’t miss out on more tips and tricks to get your dream trip off the ground.

[Sign Up for Our Newsletter for More Fundraising Tips!]

Fundraising 101: What is Online Fundraising?

“What is online fundraising?” you may ask. Don’t worry—we’ve got answers. ☆  Online fundraising…. While the term may sound daunting at first, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Here at FundMyTravel, we believe anyone can succeed at it! Thanks to this thing called “the Internet” (ever heard of it?) figuring out how to fundraise online is no longer something that can only be achieved by professional marketers.

Woman in yellow sweater typing on laptop

You can learn how to fundraise online in no time!

Sometimes we make things sound more complicated than they really are. While learning about a new topic can definitely be confusing and intimidating, it’s also the fun part. Plus, we are making it our goal to make online fundraising as easy as possible! So, what is online fundraising, you ask? Let’s dive in together! 

What is online fundraising?

Gone are the days of going door-to-door hoping your neighbors will purchase your chocolate bars, cookies, or t-shirts. Using FundMyTravel, GoFundMe, and Fundraise.com (just a few awesome fundraising sites to choose from) you can raise money from the comfort of your own home. Yup, you read that right. You don’t even have to leave the comforts of your couch! 

With technology at the tip of our fingers, you can create a campaign to raise money (see: crowdsourcing!) for whatever it is you may need (travel, education, medical costs, volunteering, mission trips, etc.). The reasons are endless! By sharing your personal fundraising campaign with family, friends, and even strangers on your social media sites and email, you can raise money while saving a huge chunk of your time.

[What is Crowdsourcing for Travel? How Does it Work?

Sounds too good to be true, huh? Let’s talk about why online fundraising is one of the best options out there

Woman working in cafe on laptop

Online fundraising will save you time AND stress.

Why choose online fundraising?

Have you ever seen a link on Facebook asking for you to donate money for a volunteer trip or to help raise money for a sick pet? If so, you’ve witnessed an online fundraising campaign in action (and great examples of how to fundraise online!).

A major reason to choose online fundraising over the more traditional bake sales and car washes is the time that you will save by creating an online campaign. It’s so much easier to reach a wide audience online. How many neighbors’ doors do you think you can knock on and pitch your fundraiser to in the time it takes to share a link? Not many! So what is online fundraising? A pretty awesome time-saver, actually.

While it’s easy to talk about how easy online fundraising is, let’s take a look at some examples of current fundraising websites to get you brainstorming. 

  • FundMyTravel (duh!). This is the perfect platform for that mission trip or volunteer experience you’ve been dreaming of! Tell your story, share photos, and rake in the donations.
  • Kickstarter. Have a creative project or new-fangled invention you need funded? Kickstarter is a great website to check out.
  • GoFundMe. Possibly one of the most popular sites currently, GoFundMe helps people raise money for medical, memorial, education, and charity purposes. 
  • Causes: Created as a funding platform to support causes closest to your heart, you can use this platform to donate to issues such as domestic violence, endangered species, environmental conservation, and more.

As you may have already caught on to, people are creating online campaigns for all sorts of stuff. Want to volunteer helping sea turtles in Costa Rica or study abroad in China? Do you need some extra dollars for medical bills or have a great business idea you’re ready to make a reality?

[7 Little Improvements to Make to Your Online Fundraising Campaign

Whatever it may be, there is an online fundraising platform for it. Just as FundMyTravel caters to online travel fundraising, most sites will have their own niche area. While those are just a few examples, there are plenty more out there to cater to your specific online fundraising needs.

Pros and Cons

Woman working on laptop on bed

One major pro: fundraising from the comfort of your couch. You don’t even have to put on pants if you don’t want!

Of course, there are pros and cons to everything in life, and online fundraising is no different. We’ve created a list of what we have found to be the pros and cons of online fundraising. 

The Pros

  • Easy to learn. Learning how to fundraise online is easy! If you commit just 20 minutes (or less!) to creating your campaign online tonight, you could be raking in donations by tomorrow morning.
  • Fast and efficient. Traditional fundraising events (such as going door-to-door) can be very time-consuming and cost-heavy. Online fundraising can cut your time commitment in half. 
  • Larger audience. Online fundraising can surpass nearly all geographic limitations, creating less barriers for getting your word out. Feel free to open up your fundraising market to the other side of the world!
  • Attracts new supporters. The World Wide Web is a great place to attract new people to your campaign, especially millennials and Gen Z.
  • Less financial risk. Online fundraising campaigns have little-to-no financial risk. Most sites will only take a small percentage of the donated amount for operating costs, leaving you free to use the rest. 

 

The Cons

  • Less of a personal touch. Door-to-door fundraising and old-fashioned benefits have the perk of face-to-face interaction, thus adding a more personalized feel to fundraising. 
  • Donor fatigue. With so many online campaigns out there, donors might start to feel bombarded. 
  • Requires a tech-savvy donor. You may be missing out on donors who are not tech-savvy or who aren’t active on social media (we’re looking at you, grandma and grandpa!).

[5 Brilliant Shortcuts to Great Fundraising Emails]

Take your new knowledge and go forth!

Pair of hands typing on laptop

What is online fundraising? We hope your research has paid off!

Now that you’re equipped with the whats and whys of online fundraising, you’re ready to make your mark! Starting a campaign is easy and only requires a laptop and a compelling story. What do you want your donor to know? What audience are you trying to reach?

One more thing: As you continue down the path of online fundraising and take it to the next level, you may discover “storytelling” and all of its benefits to your fundraiser. It’s an important component because without a convincing story donors may be hard-pressed to hit that “donate” button. But don’t worry—we’ve covered that as well.

What is online fundraising? Finding the answer to that question may be the first step to reaching many of life’s financial goals. Whether you are looking to study, volunteer, or just need help with other bills, learning how to fundraise online will earn you skills that keep giving for years to come!

[Sign Up for the FundMyTravel Newsletter for More Useful Fundraising Tips and Tricks!]

kaila forsterThis article was written by Kaila Forster. Kaila is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international business and history. During college, she embarked on her first adventure abroad, studying in Chongqing, China. Upon graduation, Kaila returned to China as a marketing intern with a trading company outside of Shanghai. She is currently working as a Revenue Tax Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Kaila enjoys spending her free time cooking, incessantly bothering her cat, and volunteer teaching immigrants and refugees.

7 Savvy Tricks to Saving Money While Teaching Abroad

Saving money while teaching abroad is possible! You’ll be stunned how far a little preparation goes. ☆ Teaching abroad will be one of the most rewarding and exciting adventures you’ll experience in your life! You’ll make a difference in the lives of others, broaden your perspectives, and gain valuable skills for your career. Not to mention, you’ll be learning the local language, reveling in sweeping landscapes, and experiencing the delicious foods. The overall value of teaching abroad outweighs the total cost, but you might be wondering how (or if) you’ll be saving money while teaching abroad.

View of Ko Chang, Thailand

Saving money while teaching abroad…here? You baht!

Rest assured that many before you have taught abroad and saved lots of money with the right planning and preparation. Think about what you’d like to achieve while teaching abroad, make a plan, and stick to it. Plus, take advantage of local resources for advice and recommendations to save money while abroad. If you play your cards right, you’ll save more money teaching abroad than you thought was possible. Yuan for a good time by saving money while teaching abroad? Well, you’re yen for a treat with these 7 tricks!

7 tricks to saving money while teaching abroad

1. Choose an affordable destination

When considering where to teach abroad to save money, consider the cost of living abroad in that country and the estimated teaching abroad salary. Additionally, don’t forget to consider the perks like housing stipends, TEFL certificate program, free meals, health benefits, flight reimbursements, and more. Your best bet for the best countries to teach English and save money? Countries in Southeast Asia, such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam will help you to save thousands per month. Cha-ching! Rice paddies, dumplings, and pho never sounded so good. 

Some of the other best countries to teach English and save money are in Eastern Europe (like the Czech Republic and Turkey) and in the Middle East (like Oman and Saudi Arabia). These countries are willing to pay decent salaries because English teachers are in high demand. You’ll love the immaculate castles, mosques, and beaches in many of these locations. From learning Arabic or Chinese, to experiencing tropical weather or deserts, the cultures and languages will help you get out of your comfort zone and make memories to look back on for years to come.

View of rice terraces in Vietnam

A lot of the best countries to teach English and save money are affordable-meets-beautiful. Sweet!

2. Create a budget

Google or Excel spreadsheets will be your BFF when creating a budget! Take into account your monthly income from your teaching abroad salary and necessary expenses for housing, utility bills, insurance, groceries and personal goods, transportation, etc. Don’t forget about your disposable income — AKA “fun money” for going out because you’ll need to treat yo’ self after a long day of grading every now and then. Once you see everything written out, you’ll have a visual picture of where your money will be going. 

Don’t forget to consult with other fellow foreign teachers living in the area to see where to shop and what companies to use for utilities. They’ll also likely know the best banks for foreigners and how to avoid high ATM withdrawal fees. They know from firsthand experience and can give some helpful recommendations. Be sure to talk to your program coordinator or supervisor to make sure you know how you’ll be getting paid and how often you’ll get paid. The hardest part will be sticking to your budget and making a few sacrifices here and there, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

3. Get TEFL-certified

Recognize the saying, “it takes money to make money”? Earning your TEFL certificate will be a sound investment! You’ll gain the start-up training you need to be an effective and confident teacher. Most of all, you’ll qualify for higher-paying jobs in many countries when employers see that gem on your resume. Hundreds of TEFL certificate programs are available online and abroad, and nearly every program will help you find a job after you graduate. 

You could even apply for a scholarship for a TEFL certificate to save some money. You’ll also be able to see if teaching abroad is something you’d like to do, and you’ll have the golden ticket to teach in many areas of the world. The teaching markets in southeast Asia and the Middle East value a TEFL certificate much more than other areas in the world as well, so you’ll be earning money riyal quickly.

View of Hanoi, Vietnam

Upon completing TEFL certificates in many locations, you’ll usually be provided with job placement assistance. It’s almost too easy, right?

4. Live with a host family

One of the best ways to save money on room and board while immersing yourself in the culture is by living with a host family. Your host family may not speak English well, but they’ll speak your language when it comes to delicious home-cooked meals, community events, and local discounts for teachers. They’ll also have good recommendations for where you should shop, what places to avoid, and what customs to keep in mind. 

With many programs, host families will make one or two meals for you a day. Not only that, but you’ll have ample opportunities to practice the local language with them for free or as an exchange deal. If living with a host family isn’t your style, try it for a few months to get a good sense of the community and other accommodation options. You might be able to find an Airbnb where you can share it with roommates (or other teachers) and pay monthly with no contract.

5. Shop at local markets

More than likely you’ll find some flea markets and food stands just around the corner from where you’ll live. Some of the best tasting foods and beautiful clothing won’t come from a corporate store. Not only that, but you’ll save money by buying local foods instead of eating out. If you’re looking for handmade clothes to beef up your wardrobe or fresh fruits to fill your fridge, you’ll love all the options available. 

The locals in many countries are willing to negotiate for a good deal, so don’t be afraid to get a little thrifty to save a buck or two. Just be sure you have cash in the local currency, and it’s helpful to shop with a local to get the best deal and learn the tricks of the trade. You’ll also be helping the local economy while meeting more people in the community. Need to practice language skills? You can also do that for free at local markets. Talk about a two-for-one deal!

Market stall in Thailand

The sights, the spices, the sensations, and the SAVINGS will stun you when you shop at local markets.

6. Tutor students in your free time 

Who doesn’t have a side hustle these days? With many teaching abroad placements, you’ll teach around 20 hours a week in the beginning. Why not work extra in the spare time you have? You might as well take advantage of the skills you’ve gained in the classroom and tutor students privately in your free time for some extra dough! Many students will need help with doing their homework, studying for exams, and practicing conversational skills. 

You might also be able to take on extra classes or substitute for other teachers once you feel more comfortable in your new environment. You could also consider teaching online for students who live in other countries. Plus, you can consider teaching other subjects or age groups to expand your skills and gain more experience. Your teaching abroad salary will likely cover all the necessary expenses but the money you make from tutoring will help bulk up your savings while teaching abroad!

7. Create a FundMyTravel account

For our final trick for saving money while teaching abroad (*drumroll please*), create a FundMyTravel account! Getting started is easy, especially with a goal in mind. After you’ve signed up, you can reach out to your network with a campaign in a variety of ways online and offline. With a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of determination, your friends and family will be more likely to give back when they see how hard you’re working and how much you want to teach abroad. 

The funds can help cover startup costs with administrative fees, flights, travel insurance, teaching materials, and much more. Your campaign can also help you create a “rainy day fund” to cover unexpected costs while teaching abroad. If you’re unable to defer your student loans for a period of time (in many cases you can), the funds can also help cover student loan payments for a month or two until you get rolling with your teaching abroad salary.

It’s possible to save money teaching abroad—you can baht on it!

Girl swinging on Thailand beach

Feel free to kick back and relax! Saving money while teaching abroad doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Whether you choose to commit to one of these tricks or you’re a master of all seven, you’ll be saving money while teaching abroad! The best thing to keep in mind is to get a little thrifty while teaching abroad to save on extraneous expenses. Try walking, riding a bike, or taking the metro instead of taking a taxi.

Practice the local language with locals at language exchange clubs instead of spending more on lessons. When you’re out with friends, try to find a good deal on drinks and food. However, don’t deprive yourself of a fun time or a soothing espresso every now and then. A FundMyTravel account can come in handy for those necessary expenses, so you can save and enjoy yourself more!

[Create a FundMyTravel account and you koruna save money while teaching abroad!]

Sydney LutzThis article was written by Sydney Lutz. Growing up as an “army brat,” Sydney could not help but develop a thirst for traveling. She has visited all 50 states as well as England, France, Canada, Germany, and Australia. Sydney graduated with a master’s degree in public communication and technology in Colorado, and taught abroad for a year in Quito, Ecuador. Her favorite things to do include studying Spanish, practicing yoga, and travel writing.

The 12 Best (and Most Creative!) Fundraising Ideas

Looking for creative fundraising ideas? You’ve come to the right place, pal. ☆ The spirit of giving has never been stronger. We’re out here standing up for our principles and our peers, advocating for ourselves and for others, exploring and executing new goals, and raising money for the causes we care about. What a time to be alive, and what a time to be a humanitarian!

Group of people at a party on lake

Is there a name for when a group of humanitarians come together for rad (and unique) fundraising ideas? Either way, it must be LIT.

While all this is welcome news, it also means that making your fundraising idea stick out is that much more of a challenge these days. Is there a mission you’ve been passionate about since childhood, or a cause that’s recently claimed a place in your heart? Raising funds to give back in some way—be it to your local library or to an international NGO powerhouse—is a noble action worthy of the best fundraising ideas out there.

You deserve to make your fundraiser a success, and we want to let you in on some of the most unique fundraising ideas so that your mission can get the attention (and the moolah) it deserves.

The most creative fundraising ideas we’ve got for you

We know how overwhelming it can be to build an idea, finance it, and spread the word. So we’re keeping you in mind with these suggestions. We’ve got some creative, some straightforward, some complicated, some effortless—and all filled with bountiful opportunities for your own personal touches and your ultimate success.

1. Fashion show

Calling all models! If you’ve got friends who like to be the center of attention, why not give them the opportunity to strut their stuff down the center of the stage? Make the cost free to yourself by asking local boutiques to borrow their clothes and showcase their brands, and charge for tickets at the door. Plus, there are so many ways you could spin this into even further unique fundraising ideas: get your friends to do an open mic night, a battle of the bands, or flip the script and make it a male beauty pageant. Show ‘em what you’ve got! 

2. Puppies in the park

This fundraising idea has benefits all around, for man and man’s best friend alike. Locate a nearby animal shelter that’s willing to participate for the day, and sell tickets to folks looking to come pet some cuddly creatures. The costs will be minimal to you, and might even be beneficial to shelter workers who want to see their underloved animals get some extra affection. Everyone can enjoy a day with puppies where the largest expense will simply be compassion and love. Can we get an, aww.

3. Online fundraising 

In-person fundraisers have innumerable benefits, from interpersonal interactions to promoting local businesses to collaboration amongst colleagues and friends. Strictly online fundraising campaigns have quite a few benefits, too. Personal fundraising sites such as FundMyTravel grant the opportunity for on-going fund collection, versus a one-time event, so you don’t have to stress about the turnout. Plus, it’s one of the best fundraising ideas because it gives you the chance to write out your story, spread it far and wide, tug on some heartstrings, and contribute towards your monetary goal quickly.

Open Macbook on table top with cup of espresso and iPhone

Online fundraising is hassle-free and easy to do—AND it can be as creative as you want!

4. Car wash

Ok, ok, this isn’t topping the charts of creative fundraising ideas, but it’s a go-to for a reason—it’s cheap, and it works. Summer is the ideal time of year to be outside with a hose anyway, so why not make some money off of this essentially cost-free activity? Grab some soap, sponges, and give yourself a theme. How about…‘90s surf party, Bahamas beach blast, or modern pop? Play some music, decorate some signs, and raise some easy, fun money for that cause of yours. 

5. Candy grams

These are a heartwarming way to raise money and spread some cheer surrounding any holiday season. You’ll be able to cheaply buy some goodies in bulk, and then sell them to gift-givers with a specialty note to their loved ones. Cinnamon hearts around Valentine’s day, gelt around Hanukkah, candy canes for Christmas, or something playful like bags of chocolate gold coins for St. Paddy’s. You can be serious or silly, but if your audience is down for your theme then you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time.

6. Paint night

This is one of those unique fundraising ideas that might be a bit more costly but still completely worth it. Wine and paint studios are popping up everywhere, so you might be able to convince one of them to rent their space to you for free, or at least at a discounted rate! More into DIY? Buy canvases, brushes, and paint in bulk, and charge a small entry fee. Better yet, gather your friends to sell their creations at a neighborhood sale afterwards and double your profits!

Group of people covered in paint at a party

A paint night is probably one of the most creative fundraising ideas…and one of the messiest too. Protect your phone!

7. Cook-off

For as many cooking shows as are on television these days, you could contribute that many spin-offs to your own cooking shenanigans. Consider buying all of the ingredients and putting participants to the challenge of using them all. Or maybe you’d like your friends to independently buy and create their specialty dish that can be part of a paid neighborhood potluck or judging contest. Keep it simple with deserts or boast a three-course meal for outside parties to enjoy. The approach is yours—bon appetite

8. Raffle

This is amongst the best fundraising ideas for a few reasons. It can be hosted year-round, it can be a long-lasting campaign, and it can serve as an opportunity to promote local businesses and save you some cash. Businesses love to have their name associated with charity, so hit up restaurants for gift cards or your favorite shops for donated items. You can sell raffle tickets for a dollar or more, and rake in the benefits for your fundraiser. The winner will win the item, the business will win some clout, and you’ll win funding thanks to your successful strategizing. Win, win, win. 

9. Cookbooks

Take a base of innovation, a dash of personalization, an ounce of hard work, and voila, you’ve got one of the best fundraising ideas out there. Piecing together your own recipe book, either by collecting one from each of your friends, by giving away all your family secrets, or by finding some of your personal favorites, can make for a delectable fundraising idea. The cost is low (beyond binding the book—but you can go digital!) and you can sell these back amongst your friends, your family, or your colleagues. We suggest going for holiday themes and positioning this product as heartwarming and useful holiday gifts!

People talking and cooking in a kitchen

Also, don’t underestimate the power of a sick cheeseboard and good wine. People will come from far and wide for that stuff.

10. Board game tournament

This is one of those creative fundraising ideas that could be completely cost-free. If you’ve got a space to host and a bounty of board games, then make a big, competitive, lively night out of it! Even if your game supply is lacking, you might consider asking each one of your friends to contribute their favorite game, or you could keep it simple and stick to cards. Charge an entry fee, provide some snacks, create a dope party playlist, and let the games begin. 

11. Penny wars

This one is fun and simple—especially if you’re in college dorms, have high school homerooms, or are part of a collaborative and energetic office environment! Create teams as you see fit, and challenge your housemates, classmates, or colleagues to create the most successful penny jar. Each penny is a point, and everything else is a negative. The competition will ramp up at no cost to you—other than those dollar bills you use to blast out your opponents’ scores.

12. Bake sale

Sometimes the most creative fundraising ideas are to keep the endeavor simple. Baked goods are never going to go out of style, but they’re also never going to get boring. This could be brownies at your school, or it could be croissants for a Bastille Day celebration (because, why not?). The undertaking and the expense is up to you, but don’t knock this fundraising idea until you try it. Truly, if there’s one surefire way to make your fundraiser a success, it’s tempting people with sugar.

Elaborate cake on a platter

If you’ve got the skill…flaunt it. And then fundraise with it.

Unique fundraising ideas will help you reach your goal!

You’re prepped with some key takeaways for how to produce a fundraising hit. You’ll want to keep the costs low (we’re trying to make money, not lose it!), you’ll want to involve family and friends (hello, what fun would this experience be without them?), and you’ll want to activate your community as much as possible (mutually beneficial—everyone wants to be associated with do-gooding!). 

Of course, once you’ve landed the perfect fundraising idea for you and you’ve started to piece together the necessary components, you’re going to need to spread the word. Building a FundMyTravel page where your guests can see your story, keep track of the event details, and purchase their tickets is an absolute necessity that will kick your fundraiser into action. So don’t wait…get inspired and get going with one of these unique fundraising ideas!

[Make an Account on FundMyTravel and Start Fundraising Today!

samantha harperThis article was written by Samantha Harper. Samantha’s quest to learn about her family heritage in Prague ignited the travel flame within her. A Wisconsin native and Pitt alumna, Samantha’s insatiable appetite for the world led her into an International Relations master’s program in Italy. Still not feeling like she’d seen enough, she finagled her way into spending a summer in Spain and teaching for a year in Thailand. She is (temporarily) settled in Washington, D.C.

   

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