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What is Crowdfunding for Travel? How Does it Work?

Looking for funding for trips to come? Consider some good ol’ fashioned crowdfunding for travel. ☆ Crowdfunding is everywhere! You’ve probably heard the wild success stories. There’s the now multi-billion-dollar Oculus Rift, which raised $2.4M for a project started in a garage, or the bizarre tale of the $55K potato salad campaign, or the super-cool tap to get honey right from the hive that raised over $13M! These are awe-inspiring fundraising campaigns…But do you know how to use crowdfunding for travel? Would you be able to put the right steps in place to get funding for trips?

Group of friends staring at the horizon with arms around each other

Hint: Your best pals are heavily involved when it comes to crowdfunding for travel.

Whether we want to call it an outgrowth of the sharing economy, or peer-to-peer at its best, or just chalk it up to the magic of the internet, crowdfunding for travel allows you to leverage an existing platform to help you make your dreams come true with the support of friends (and strangers!) around the world. There are more places than ever to post your campaigns. There are countless opportunities to share your message through video, audio, blogs, podcasts, and creative outlets. Crowdfunding means funding for trips, and whether you’re a newbie or an expert, we’re here to help!

FAQs on crowdfunding for travel

1. What is it?

Crowdfunding for travel is simply the ability to get donations from others to raise funding for trips. You post an explanation of your need to a secure site, explain what you’re trying to do, list the amount you need, share the story behind your fundraiser and the request (called your campaign), and watch people support you! Keep in mind that there are different programs, risks, and fees (we’ll talk about those later). But for the most part, it’s that simple!

2. Why do it?

Simply put, because you need to! Whether you’re seeking an internship abroad and need money to cover airfare, or you want to raise money to live on while you’re volunteering with endangered animals, or you’re looking to get some financial support to purchase a new laptop for your study abroad trip, you can use crowdfunding to get the financial resources you need. You’ll definitely want to share your request with friends, family, and within your community. However, the best part of creating a platform-friendly campaign to get funding for trips is that you’re not limited to the people you know directly!

Group of travelers sitting at a mountain summit

Don’t rule out strangers and acquaintances (and other travelers!) when crowdfunding for travel.

3. Where can you do it?

If your goal is crowdfunding, you can do so through a larger-than-ever list of options! You can share your campaign on Facebook, or use one of the big crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, or Patreon (just to name a few). But if you’re looking exclusively for crowdfunding for travel, you’re much better off going with a platform dedicated to funding for trips—like FundMyTravel! That way, your campaign isn’t lost in the long list of food truck investments, tech gadgets, and quirky inventions that tend to appear elsewhere.

4. What will it cost you and what will you get?

So this is where platforms differ—a lot! Some platforms will only pay you if you reach your established funding goal, while others allow you to keep whatever you raise. Some charge you a set-up fee, while almost all of them keep a percentage of the donations you raise. That percentage can range from 4% up to almost 10%, so it’s smart to shop around. Other things to keep in mind include overall processing fees, discounts based on campaign volume, and being transparent about those few funding platforms that double up on charges to your donors!

5. How can you set yourself up for success?

As with anything, the best way to be successful is to plan! Most crowdfunding sites will include some info to help you get started, but when it comes to crowdfunding for travel and making sure you’re doing the best you can to secure funding for trips, platforms like FundMyTravel provide comprehensive, travel-focused resource kits to help you get started. You can get practical advice on everything from writing your campaign description, to posting your video, to managing the thank-you process. And don’t forget to check out the popular campaigns for fundraising inspo.

Online funding for trips can make a difference!

Group of people running towards sunset

Crowdfunding for travel will get you the funding for trips that you need!

While we’ve only scratched the surface, the options for using crowdfunding for travel are as varied as your possible destinations! When you use public platforms to raise funding for trips, you also get to share your plans, ideas, passions, and missions with a much wider audience than if you only posted to private sites or shared with people you know. And, who knows, you might even inspire others to follow your lead.

So how should you get going on crowdfunding for travel once you’re ready? Well, if you have a location in mind and know your budget (or even if you’re just getting started with this!) you can use the available resource kits (like the one on FundMyTravel.com) to build out your campaign and prepare it for launch. And, while you’re at it, go ahead and sign up for a free account today!

Use FundMyTravel to Start Your Fundraising Campaign 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 Much Does AIFS Study Abroad Cost?

Wondering about AIFS study abroad cost? Don’t worry—we’ve got the deets. ☆ There are countless ways that you could have gotten here: Maybe you’ve been planning your international excursion since infancy, counting down to your days of freedom and exploration. Maybe it was just yesterday that you discovered you’ve completed all your required credit hours and your guidance counselor suggested a semester abroad. Maybe you’ve finally succeeded at convincing your parents how safe global travel is after years of back-and-forth. And maybe your parents finally told you that you need to seek some independence and learn about other cultures.

Coffee cups and a baguette sitting on a French bistro table

Sometimes seeking independence and learning about other cultures looks really, really good.

Whatever your journey, you’ve made it. You’re going to study abroad. You spent nights shuffling through pamphlets after evenings at study abroad panels; you’ve spent days in front of your computer screen, clicking through all the cities, countries, fields of study, and providers you could image (it can feel pretty intimidating to have the entire globe open to you, huh?). Now, you’ve finally landed on your decision: you’ve made the spectacular discovery that AIFS is the program for you. It’s got the support, the courses, and the destination of your dreams put together exactly as you always hoped for. There’s one more, kind of nerve wracking, looming question, though, hovering in the back of your mind – how much is my study abroad going to cost?

Breaking down the cost of your AIFS program

You’ve got several decisions ahead of you, but don’t sweat it—we’re here to lighten the burden and heighten the excitement. Where you go and what you do is ultimately up to you. However, there are a few factors to consider that might aid in narrowing down your options and help you make the big decision (there are a lot of places to see in the world, you know what we’re saying?).

A view of the Eiffel Tower from a French roof top

The potential views will inevitably help you narrow down your decision, too.

Getting there.

Let’s start with the (semi-) obvious: getting abroad can be expensive. The motto of most study abroad providers is, we’ve got you covered once you’re abroad, but getting there is on you. Naturally, getting to some countries and cities is more expensive than others, so that might weigh into your decision. A major perk of the AIFS study abroad cost is opting into the optional, low-cost round trip flight program. Wow, do they make it easy on you!

This benefit not only eases your parents’ minds about getting there (and home) safely, but it might mitigate some of your costs. It’s still going to revolve around where you’re leaving and where you’re heading, but you can count on an around $2000 cost for door-to-door transfers.

Oh—let’s not forget the passport and visa fees, though! For first-time globetrotters, set aside about $145 (and two months of time) to get that passport processed. Depending on where you’re headed, visa fees can also come out to as much as $100 – $200, so make sure to look into specific prices and processing times ahead of time.

What does tuition cover? And where will I live?

Getting there is just the beginning of the factors to consider…and just the beginning of all the excitement to come. When looking at AIFS study abroad cost, a few major elements are tied into the “tuition.” Housing is one of them. You can breathe easy knowing you don’t have to scan sites to find your own place or discuss leases with a landlord who doesn’t speak your language.

Choices include homestays, residential halls, or individual living. Your program itself is included, too. We’re talking classes, teachers, and on-site AIFS staff that’ll help you navigate the cultural difference, keep you safe, and serve as your international program head. In general, semester-long programs average out to around $15,000, whereas options such as January-term bring the cost down to $5,000 for a month of interim study.

Let’s talk food.

If you’re like us, the prospect of authentic food that makes your palette water probably factored into choosing your destination. How much is munching abroad going to cost, though? This is one of those factors that gets that cliche, slightly-vague answer: it depends. Some cities in Asia have street markets with entire meals for under one dollar. Some cities in Scandinavia have snacks for 20 times that. So, like we said—it depends.

But we recommend doing some research and budgeting it out, because holding back from some of those gustatory senses is not going to be enjoyable. AIFS knows that those costs can add up quickly, so they’ve got your back with a few meal plan options, too. Dining with your host family, receiving restaurant vouchers, or checking out your school’s cafeteria are all possibilities depending on your program.

Excursions.

You’re not going to travel all the way around the world and hang out in just one location, right?! (Full disclosure, it’s normal if you do—and we’re pro full-on immersion). AIFS programs often involve a range of day trips and cultural activities, sometimes to museums right in town, and sometimes to ancient ruins a few hours away.

These are an excellent way to get acquainted with your new surroundings and spend time with others in your program, all while sitting back, relaxing, and letting someone else do the planning. Some of these excursions might be included with your program cost, and others might be up to $100. They’re worth it, so saving up a little couldn’t hurt!

People crossing the street in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Our advice? Always take the excursion. It’s worth it, even if it does tag a little bit extra on to your AIFS study abroad cost.

How to cover your AIFS study abroad cost

When you start to piece together all of the expenses tied into being abroad (honestly, just living costs in general!), the number might feel a little suffocating. There are plenty of steps you can take to lessen the burden though, and we’re here to walk you through them!

AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants.

Way too many people forget to check out funding opportunities with the source itself. Whether you’re hoping for a scholarship to a particular location or a grant-match to a scholarship you’ve received from an outside source, AIFS study abroad scholarships and grants cover a range of possibilities. You might be eligible based on your destination, heritage, field of study, prior achievements, or general merit, for funds up to $5,000! Worth looking into, no?

Crowdfund with FundMyTravel.

This is the age of personal fundraising websites and we are happy to be here. Reaching out to family, friends, your friends’ families, and your family’s friends has never been more manageable than it is today. Tell your story, share your aspirations, and ask for a little somethin’ somethin’ towards making your international travel dreams come true!  

Start saving.

Eh, we know. It’s not that glamorous and it’s hard work…but once you’re eating gelato besides the Trevi Fountain or taking surf lessons in Bali, you’re going to be grateful you tucked a dollar a day into that “Saving for…” jar. Even if you’ve already applied for AIFS study abroad scholarships or grants from other organizations, having some extra spending cash is only going to be a benefit.

Afford your study abroad fees with ease!

Wing of airplane at golden hour

Don’t let AIFS study abroad cost play too huge a role in your decision-making—where there’s a will there’s a way!

We know that some of the expenses of traveling and studying abroad can be daunting, but as with any endeavor, there’s some wiggle room to tailor-make your own budget. Plus, now that you’re familiar with some of the upfront costs, you can get going on applying for grants, start saving, and get the ball rolling on fundraising!

Start Fundraising for Your AIFS Program Abroad!

7 Fresh Tips for Dental Mission Trips for College Students

Are you a dental student raring to go abroad, to gain experience in your field, AND help out others? If so, dental mission trips are what you need! While it’s not all about money (we hope not, at least), making a financial plan can help to alleviate any pre-travel stress right away. And who wouldn’t want that—are we right?

Plane wing at forefront of sunset on horizon

“That moment when you forget you’re volunteering to help change lives, because it’s changing yours.”

There are so many options when choosing a dentist mission trip. Some examples include: dental mission trips for college students AND pre dental mission trips! With plenty of fundraising ideas for dentistry mission trips, you just need to get a bit creative. From joining in on your program’s selling tactics, crowdsourcing the funds (more on that later), and creating meaningful incentives, the cash needed will be yours in no time.

And while paying for the trip may feel like a cavity (pun intended), FundMyTravel has some great ways to make the cost doable for you. So, what are you waiting for? Read on for more useful fundraising tips and tricks for dental mission trips for college students!

6 tips for pre dental mission trips

The great thing about a mission trip is that you are truly helping others and people GET that. They really do! You have an amazing opportunity to tell a story about how you are helping others. Maybe you don’t like attention or asking for money. Don’t think of it that way! Crowdsourcing is all about telling your story.

1. Find your program and destination

Maybe you already have a program in mind (if so, congrats! Skip this section and jump down to tip #2). However, if you are still searching, a great place to start your search is by utilizing GoAbroad’s Dental programs search! Choosing a program is the first big step, because it can determine where you will be spending your time abroad, as well as the how much it will cost.

Here are a few destination suggestions to get your search off the ground!

While there are so many great destinations to choose from, you’ll need to narrow it down at some point. Ask yourself what language you’d like to immerse yourself in. Do you prefer sandy beaches and a hot summer sun, or the mountains and snow? Does haggling while shopping sound like fun to you, or would you rather shop in peace? Are you looking for complete adventure or some familiarity to home? All of these questions will help to determine your perfect location.

A bird’s eye view of London

Where will dental mission trips for college students take you?

If you’re still feeling indecisive, know that it’s okay. There are so many places in this world and we can’t possibly make it to EVERY one of them. (But we can try, of course!) Just remember, wherever you decide for your dental mission trip, you are sure to create some long-lasting and wonderful memories!

2. Determine what your costs will be

Now that you’ve finally settled on a location for your pre-dental mission trip, what will the costs be? Researching the cost of living is a great place to start. Heard of a cost-of-living calculator? It can help you put into perspective the value of your money. By understanding how much money you will need to survive on in any given month, you’ll be able to better craft a fundraising goal for yourself.

Knowing where you will be living, as well as what the food situation will be, helps to create that number. You don’t need to go out to eat every night (as much as our stomachs would love it, of course). While taking in the night life can be a great part of being abroad, getting to know the people and culture is equally important (and often better for our wallets!). So, once you finally have a realistic monthly or weekly cost for your trip, it’s time to start that fundraising!

3. Blog about it! (AKA storytelling)

Creating a blog about your soon-to-be adventure is a great way to raise some funds! Not only are you sharing your story, but you are getting others to empathize with you and come along on the ride with you. Before you start that blog, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why do you want to raise money for dental hygiene mission trips?
  • What will you learn through the experience?
  • What are your goals and mission for the trip?
  • Who can you share your blog with?
  • What would others want to hear about dental mission trips?

Your blog can be your storytelling machine. Storytelling is a fancy way of getting your crowd involved and invested in you and your dental mission trip. People who find success in fundraising are often expert storytellers. Explain why you want to go and what you will gain from it. Finding a deeper reason than just hanging with your friends will help motivate others to invest in you. Tell the story, don’t simply state the facts!

Setting sun behind compass

You’re going on a dentist mission trip? That’s already a pretty darn good story. People want to hear about it!

4. Utilize social media

Another great tip is to become savvy at social media. Learning how to use social media in a smart way to create a better online presence is just as important for getting any potential blog in the right readers’ hands. Not currently active on Twitter or Facebook? Get on it! Not an active user? Start posting more often! Did you know that using pictures in a post gets your views up by nearly 50 percent!?!

There are all kinds of cool facts and stats on social media out there. Use them to your advantage to really win over your network. By increasing your social media presence, you will have a much easier time raising the funds you need for your dentist mission trip. With these thoughts in mind, it’s time to start that blog, vlog, or whatever the kids are calling them these days.

5. Become savvy at #crowdsourcing

Not exactly sure what crowdsourcing is? That’s why we are here! FundMyTravel is all about telling your own story to create a successful crowdsourcing campaign. Crowdsourcing is basically a fancy word for using the internet as a fundraising tool. Sounds easy, right? It is…trust us!

Ask yourself where you can share your campaign and who you can share it with. Ideally, this will be family and friends on social media accounts, blogs, etc. As these are dental mission trips for college students, use that to your advantage. People like helping out college students, especially when it’s for a good cause! Of course, it will be fun to be living abroad, but finding that deeper reason to share with others will help your crowdsourcing campaign go far.

Woman looking out airplane window to bright sky

Crowdsourcing may very well be the answer to how you can set off on the dentist mission trip of your dreams.

6. Stay on top of your fundraising status

Is your crowdsourcing campaign off to a successful start? That’s great! Keep pushing onward! As your campaign grows, it’s important to remember to be thankful to those who did give. Show gratitude. Write a personal thank you. If you’re starting to feel like your campaign is at a standstill and you still haven’t met your goal, try creating incentives to motivate people to donate. Or as we like to call them, meaningful incentives.

So, what exactly is a meaningful incentive? It’s a way to give back to your donors! There are many ways to do it, but the key is to give back to your donors and show your appreciation in a fun and unique way. It’s completely up to you on how you’d like to go about this, but some fun ideas include bringing back a fun souvenir for your donors, sharing your travel experiences through a blog, or even creating a competition for donors. Videos are a great way to get people involved too! Once you are at the destination, create a video showing the views, the work you are doing, and even a day trip you took!

Fun fact alert: Including a personal video with a FundMyTravel campaign increases odds of success by more than two times. And remember, only create incentives on things you WILL be able to follow through on. It’s not a good look asking people to donate for a prize they’ll never receive. Remember, the incentive doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming, just meaningful for you and your donors.

7. Create your FundMyTravel Account!

So, what are you waiting for? Create your account today! Additional FundMyTravel resources can be found here. Learn more about the process and how FundMyTravel works here! The basic steps include:

  1. Create your Campaign
  2. Spread the Word
  3. Get Funded
  4. Cost

With a story, some incentives, creativity, and lots of determination, we can’t wait to see how far your dentist mission trip campaign will go!

Last call for dentistry mission trips abroad!

Person walking into sunrise with rolling suitcase

Ready to set off on dental mission trips for college students?

Soon, you will be living the dream abroad and drilling into those cavities in no time…(if that’s your thing and all). Why not get started on the right foot, financially speaking that is. While crowdsourcing might be new to you, it’s doable if you put in some time and effort. Plus, if you are savvy with social media, it might be the easiest way to raise some money for dental mission trips for undergraduates.

Remember, lots of people need to fundraise in order to afford a dental mission trip. It’s normal! You can successfully create a crowdsourcing campaign to fundraise without killing your bank account. While it may sound like a big undertaking at first, it doesn’t have to be if you use your keen organization skills. Start your account to find out just how easy it will be to raise money for your pre-dental mission trip! Don’t believe us? Start your FundMyTravel account today!

You Can Afford Dental Mission Trips with the Help of FundMyTravel

Need Money to Study Abroad? Ask Your Network

How will you get study abroad money? By utilizing your network! ☆ Dreaming of learning Spanish in the Andes, exploring the Roman ruins in Italy, or surveying the wildlife in South Africa? You’ll cherish the memories you make for years to come when you study abroad. Nearly every university offers study abroad programs where you’ll earn credits by engaging in a real-world classroom through interactive learning. Many study abroad programs also offer internship opportunities that are related to your field of study, so you’ll gain on-the-job training while acquiring different global perspectives. You’ll also immerse yourself in a different culture, make lifelong friendships, and look more competitive for your future career.

Woman standing in front of Arco de Triunfo

Can you already see yourself here? Studying abroad is the opportunity of a life time!

Uh oh. You then feel that dark rain cloud looming over your head that whispers: I need money to study abroad. You don’t want to be one of those people who regrets not studying abroad and experiencing the trip of a lifetime because finances were an obstacle. The value of studying abroad by learning a language, developing new skills, and expanding your network truly outweighs the overall cost. Also, keep in mind that the total cost of studying abroad depends on the duration, program, country, classes, and other factors. If you’re wondering how to get money to study abroad to bridge the gap, then ask your network!

How to get money to study abroad from your friends & family

Tap into your network to pad that piggy bank and make your dreams come true with FundMyTravel! To get started, you’ll create your campaign (which is easy peasy). All you need to do is sync up your Facebook credentials or complete the registration process with a valid email address. You’ll then set up your profile and determine your fundraising goals with a campaign calculator to help you break down the expenses needed. From there, you’ll spread the word to your network via a variety of online or offline methods. With the generosity of donations from your connections, you’ll be singing badda bing, badda boom, study abroad dreams are coming true!

A group of friends on a hiking trail

Wondering how to get study abroad money? It can be as easy as reaching out to your inner circle.

Determine your fundraising goals

First, be realistic about the length of your campaign. Think like Goldilocks to find what’s juuust right. You don’t want the campaign to be too short that you don’t have enough time to spread the word, or too long that your network forgets about it. You’ll also need to keep in mind the way you want people to contribute donations: PayPal, Stripe, or WePay, as each of them have some limits on how long your campaign can be. In most cases, a few months usually does the trick and will help keep you motivated and gain the interest of others. Your network will also likely support you and be more generous if your campaign is limited to a certain time frame.

Second, decide on that special number for your campaign goal. Think about the difference in costs for studying at home versus studying abroad. The additional costs for studying abroad usually include the program fee, airfare, accommodation, and other materials. Most successful campaigns are around a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Your campaign page will also show your network the breakdown of expenses on the side of the page, so they’ll know exactly how they’ll be helping you achieve your goals.

Lastly, get creative with your campaign! For example, provide an incentive for the people who donate. You could give back to your donors in different ways by the amount they give you. If someone donates $10, send them a postcard of your trip; if a donor gives you $50, send them a souvenir; if a donor gives you $100, send them artwork, a knitted scarf, a cupcake, or other original piece made just by you. You could also let them decide what they would like to receive that is unique to the country where you’ll be studying abroad.

Man standing on a busy Montreal street

Creativity is key to raising study abroad money. Donors would love post cards from the super cool places you go!

Spread the word

After you set up your page and determine your goals to raise study abroad money, you’ll need to tell your story on your profile. Finish this sentence: I need money to study abroad because… Share what you want to experience in your study abroad country and how obtaining donations will benefit you. How will this experience strengthen career prospects? What kinds of food do you want to eat? What kinds of classes do you want to take that your home country doesn’t offer? The more detailed you are, the better. If you want to double your odds of success, create a personal video, which will help you gain trust and connect better with your contacts.

Once you’ve determined your campaign goals and created a profile that details why you want to study abroad, you’re ready to spread the word! If you’re wondering how to raise money for study abroad programs, you can streamline the entire process by sending your network a simple link to your campaign page. You’ll be able to tell everyone you know that you’re making it easy and efficient for them to help make your dreams come true. You may even be surprised by how helpful your connections are, because most of them (if not all) want you to succeed, and they’ll feel good about helping your education goals.

Technology is your best friend when it comes to your campaign and the answer to how to get money to study abroad. Luckily, you have a wide variety of online portals at your disposal in which to share your campaign and bring home the bacon. Your friends and family are a major part of who you’ll want to reach, but you have many more contacts that extend beyond first degree connections. Your network also includes your teachers, colleagues, classmates, teammates, fellow club members of various organizations, and more.

Group of friends sitting and overlooking mountain

You’re not in this alone! Reach out to friends, family, coworkers, and everyone in between using handy dandy social media.

Here’s a few online channels to help you reach a variety of audiences in your network:

  • Social networks: Facebook is by far and away the most common social networking site, and where you’ll be able to share your campaign with a large number of connections. You can also periodically post your link to keep spreading the word. Plus, be sure to take advantage of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or even a LinkedIn account to share your campaign.

 

  • Text messaging: Texts definitely will help you reach the outliers in your network of friends and family. For example, if you have connections who don’t use social networking sites very often, you can use the power of text messaging. Just copy your campaign link and send individual text messages to cast a wider net!

 

 

  • Email marketing: If you’re looking to reach out to grandpa and grandma, extended family members, or distant connections, you could create an email list and a template. Don’t forget to email your teachers, mentors, club leaders, pen pals, etc. It’s also recommended to send individualized emails to each person with their name in the greeting. A good subject line also draws their attention and images or a video can help capture their interest.

 

 

  • Online publications: If you’re a part of any volunteer organization, religious group, social group, local club, or sports team, you could also request that your campaign link be published on their blog or newsletter. Additionally, you could reach out to your hometown’s online newspaper or specialized publications to share the link to your campaign.

 

Man smiling with headphones in on a street in Stockholm

Think about who you know and who would want to support you. Then reach out and watch the study abroad money roll in!

By personalizing your messages to your connections, you’ll be more effective in the long run. Just remember, quality can be more powerful than quantity! While online portals will help you build momentum and rally support, you’re also welcome to be creative through offline methods. You can host a fundraising event via a bake sale, a garage sale, a lemonade stand, car washes, a farmer’s market, competitions, and more. You could also offer services to your network by babysitting, pet sitting, landscaping, etc. At your fundraising event, provide posters, banners, or flyers with a QR code that directs your network to your campaign page to make it easy for donors.

Work hard, show you’re taking this seriously, and they will take you seriously

Three ingredients will help you the most with a fundraising campaign: motivation, persistence, and dedication. A little patience and resilience goes a long way too! If you demonstrate these qualities throughout your campaign, you’ll show your network that you’re serious about raising study abroad money to achieve your dreams. You’ll need to put some thought into your goals, creativity into your methods, and personability into your messages. They’ll appreciate how hard you’re working, and they’ll likely reward you for your efforts. Asking for money may make you feel uncomfortable, but you’re showing a lot of courage by reaching out to people for help.

Make it rain study abroad money!

Woman sitting on mountain overlooking lake

If all else fails, FundMyTravel is 100% on your side when it comes to study abroad money!

Whether you’re looking to attain personal growth, experience an epic adventure, or develop valuable skills, the benefits of studying abroad last a lifetime. Problem: How to raise money for study abroad. Solution: A FundMyTravel campaign page! Determine your goals, create a campaign page that shares your story, and spread the word to your network with a quick link. If you’re looking to be successful with your campaign, your best bet is tailoring your message and channels to your closest friends and family members.

Finances will no longer be your biggest obstacle because your network of family and friends will help you loosen the purse strings for your study abroad trip. If you need ideas for your campaign, be sure to take a peek at the featured campaigns on FundMyTravel for inspiration. You could also reach out to others who are fundraising, or to staff for advice on logistics, incentives, and other methods to help you be successful. You’re going to make that looming rain cloud rain study abroad money sooner than you think with a campaign!

Cast that line and reel in study abroad money with a FundMyTravel account!

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.

5 Brilliant Shortcuts to Great Fundraising Emails

Do you have what it takes to write great fundraising emails? Can you make connections with your audience and inspire them to take action? If you want to produce content that converts readers into donors, it will take skill, determination, and timing–but we’ve got the information you need to produce the best fundraising emails. We’re going to show you how to write messaging that will give your campaign a boost!

Gmail on a laptop screen

Step one—click “Compose” of course! It does get a little bit more complicated from there, though.

Once you have the right content in place, you can let your words do the work to get you on your way to whatever adventure you can dream up next. Whether you’re new to fundraising or you’re working on your tenth campaign, every writer can benefit from a refresh. And while it might be tempting to just Google fundraising emails examples and replace the generic details with your own, the best way to make sure your content is high-impact is to let your readers (and potential donors) connect with you through writing.

From the subject line of your fundraising email to the closing call to action, you want to send the kind of online correspondence that will steer clear of the spam folder, inspire readers to click through, and make them feel like the time they spent reading your message was time well spent. If you can do that, you can get those same readers to support your goals and donate to your campaign–so let’s get started!

Five steps to the best fundraising emails

1. Think about your goals.

As the famous saying goes, if you want to be successful, you should begin with the end in mind. When you think about what you want to achieve through your email campaign, focusing on your objectives will help you keep your writing aims true. Great fundraising emails are goal-driven and direct. You can use different styles in your writing (storytelling, humor, empathy-driven, adventure-focused) but the reader needs two things to be clear at the end of your email: what you’re asking for and how they can help.

If you keep your goals in mind, you will be more likely to write the kind of content that helps you connect with your readers and meet the objectives of your campaign. And, those objectives could be complex—so staying goal-focused will help there, too. As an example, if your goals include raising awareness about a cause that you’re planning to support through volunteerism, keeping that goal front and center will help your messaging have greater impact.

2. Write a killer fundraising description.

This is where you build your story into a meaningful appeal. Your fundraising description should inform and inspire. Readers want to know why they should care about your cause, so make sure you take the time to make that clear. Are you off to save the whales? Are you planning to teach children or harvest crops? Will you distribute pellet stoves in rural communities? Or, are you hoping to scale mountains, feed pandas, or join a fishing expedition in Alaska?

The best fundraising emails examples are the ones that introduce the cause, the person (you!), and the others who might benefit. Then, when it’s time for a call to action, the focus turns to what the person helping you fund your dreams has to gain. Are they going to support needed volunteerism? Are they going to help someone who always wanted to see elephants in the wild achieve their dreams? Will they be feeding those in need or feeding the ambitions of an adventurous traveler? With the right messaging, they’ll be inspired to help, whatever the cause!

[Titles are important too! Check out 7 of the Best Personal Fundraising Campaign Titles]

Person writing on white piece of paper on table top

Pro tip: Sometimes the trick to writing killer fundraising emails is to draft your masterpiece on paper first.

3. Make a great first impression.

Start strong! The best fundraising email subject lines will inspire your recipients to read all the way through. If you want to get your readers to become donors, they need to connect with your content—so your goal is to get them to read what you write. This means, send your emails with subject lines that sing! This also means you should avoid clichés and make sure your subject snippet doesn’t feel like clickbait.

So what should you write? Check out online conversion experts (like HubSpot and Optinmonster) for even more high-powered fundraising message examples. Some quick and easy suggestions to get you started would include the creative use of emojis, inspiring serious FOMO amongst your readers, and even being super-direct. For example, a subject heading that says, “Yes! This is a fundraising email!” can be high-impact with the right recipient. And this leads us to suggestion number four…

4. Know your audience.

Whether your style is super-formal or super-casual, the message of your email should be consistent, even if the style and tone of your writing changes. The most important thing to remember is that any modifications you make to best connect with your audience should still produce email content that sounds like you. You might take a different approach when sending great fundraising emails to your friends than to your local community leaders, but you and your cause need to stand out no matter who is on the other end of that email address.

This is why we stressed the killer description in tip number two! If your copy is solid, then you can adapt it for a “Hey, Party People!” intro just as readily as a “Good Afternoon, Senator” intro. And if you’re confused about how to do this, be sure to do some research on sample fundraising emails. We’ve even provided you with a few we really love below this list of tips!

5. Try humor.

We’re not suggesting you put the funny stuff where it doesn’t belong. However, if you can use some appropriately placed humor to your advantage, it can really help! This is another place we would suggest taking a look at sample fundraising emails that produced results. The balance between humor and your authentic appeal can be a delicate one (and it’s certainly not going to work for every fundraising cause), but if you can add some laughter or levity you might inspire a more generous contribution from your recipient when you use funny fundraising emails!

Here’s a great example of how to make that work from a campaign to fund a food truck…written from the point of view of the truck! So, if your campaign is to go scuba diving among the Tangalooma Wrecks in Moreton Island, you could add some fun by offering to share photos of the shipwrecked treasures you find with anyone who supports your adventure. Or, write about how this is the closest you might come to being a pirate, or living the life of Jacques Cousteau. When the average person receives over 120 emails a day, the ones with punch will stand out!

A hand writing in a notebook near an iPhone

Don’t be afraid to spice up your fundraising emails—add a little bit of personality and pizzazz! Authenticity goes far.

Sample fundraising emails we love

In addition to that food truck example (anyone craving street food?), here are a few others to get you thinking big picture. Not all of them are for travel, but all of them have that ~something special~ that makes the difference.

Example #1

This fundraising email sample is one of our favorites; it involves raising money for puppies to attend kindergarten! Check out this excerpt below from one of their fundraising campaigns to see why we love their messaging, and read more campaign messages from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Whereas some animal welfare campaigns can cause people to change the channel, hit delete, or look away, this particular organization consistently proves themselves as masters of reaching their audience with humor and a gentle tug on the heartstrings:

It’s another successful graduation from Best Friends Puppy Preschool! This class will make its mark on the world (not your carpet – they learned that’s frowned upon). These furry pioneers want to change the world for homeless animals everywhere. Can they count on your help?

Example #2

It can be hard to ask for support for what might seem like the fulfillment of a lifelong obsession, but put that feeling aside and go all-in on living your dreams, just like the guy in this excerpt did! As you read, you’ll find that it’s clear that he thought about the message and its impact on his audience. We can see how he was able to get creative to address what objections some people might have in a way that was endearing with just the right amount of self-directed snark!

My name is Andrew, and I am obsessed with cats–big cats–the biggest cats…  

Since I’ve been a little kid, I’ve always wanted to see lions, and tigers, and––well, bears are cool, too––but it’s pretty much just been lions and tigers. And now I have the chance! The Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa will permit me to have the adventure of a lifetime, at a pretty reasonable rate––the only catch is that I need to get myself to South Africa. Which, as a twenty-year-old guy with a music degree living in my parents’ garage, is kind of hard to do.

But before you tell me to get a job, I want to tell you that I did! In fact, it’s all lined up––I’ll be teaching music to special needs children––but that job is also in South Africa! (Are you sensing a theme here?) So before I live my dreams, see the Jukani big cats up close, and then go on to help share my love of music with children with some special skills, I need your help.

Example #3

Some people you will appeal to for donations are being asked for their support on a pretty regular basis and fundraising fatigue is a real thing. With this in mind, one PTA mom in Texas decided to tackle that head-on and even made the national news as a result of her appeal going viral! Her appeal notice is below; as you read it, think about how you could adapt a similar style for your own cause.

This fundraising notice is being sent in lieu of sending students home with the task of selling things door-to-door, collecting money, and delivering goods. Please help us avoid that by supporting your local PTA and helping us provide students and faculty with necessary support!

Please select one of the options below. Thank you in advance for your support!

___$15 – This is the amount of money I would have spent on the cupcakes I would have purchased to avoid baking for the bake sale we aren’t having.

___$25 – I do not want to hit up my friends and family for donations or purchases, so this is the money I would have spent buying pizzas, cookies, snacks, or ugly wrapping paper.

___$50 – I do not want to walk, run, swim, or do anything with the letters “thon” in it. Here is the money I would have spent on my registration and the “free” t-shirt for the event I am not forced to attend.

___$75 – I do not want to attend any fancy balls, casino nights, or galas. This is the money I would have spent on dinner, drinks, dry-cleaning the clothes I would wear.

___$100 – I am giving you $100 to leave me alone for the rest of this year.

Writing great fundraising emails isn’t rocket science!

A Macbook next to crumpled up pieces of paper

It might take a few rough drafts to create great fundraising emails, but that’s all part of the fun!

There is a skill to writing copy that converts, but it’s not complicated. It just takes time, thoughtfulness, and some practice! From the best fundraising email subject lines to tips for using funny fundraising emails to connect with your audience, we’ve given you some tools to make your writing stronger and more impactful. Now it’s up to you to use that information in the best way possible for your particular goals.

Whether you use one of our fundraising message examples or come up with the perfect template on your own, delivering the best fundraising emails requires you to be honest, direct, authentic, and inspiring. Then, once you have the best content in place, you will want to distribute that content to the largest and most relevant audience possible—and make sure you leverage that even further by sharing it in the most dynamic way. Check out the resources available on FundMyTravel.com today!

Use FundMyTravel to Start Your Fundraising Campaign 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.

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