A Closer Look at Crowdfunding and Conservation Travel
If your goal with travelling is to connect to worthy causes and volunteer, but you don’t have the funds you need to make it happen, crowdfunding is a good option to consider.
Conservation projects are as worthy of professionals’ and volunteers’ causes as social initiatives are, and because they bring like-minded people together their happy by-products are often lifelong friendships and more good work for the planet.
Crowdfunding has served as a very good fundraising platform for many years, and online options make it an easier option than ever in the technological era. There are stories of powering almost any conceivable project with crowdfunding, and a host of crowdfunding sites that can be used to fund these dreams.
Strange But True Crowdfunding Success Stories
For anyone wondering if their idea is too silly or crazy to fund using crowds, the answer is no. Kurt Braunohler wanted to raise $4,000 on Kickstarter for a project with the self-explanatory description that people would be able to “hire a man to write stupid things with clouds in the sky.” In the end, he raised $6,820 and proclaimed memorable messages, such as “Clouds 4 EVA”, “How do I land” and “God’s Fartin’” across the sky.
Jeffery Self painfully chipped half of his front tooth away but had no dental insurance, so he started the “Jeffery Self Needs a New Tooth” campaign on Indiegogo. He raised $250 more than his $3,400 goal after begging his YouTube followers to make donations as small as a dollar, in a very engaging and personable video.
Many other fantastical stories of crowdfunding success abound. Fred Beneson was able to translate Herman Melville’s masterful Moby Dick into a text of nothing but emojis thanks to his successful Kickstarter campaign “Emoji Dick”, while Tessa Rushton used the same platform to fund her “functional beard face mask”, the 5 O’clock Shadow. There was even an Uno-style game called “Poop” which was successfully funded on Kickstarter, based, unsurprisingly, on toilet humour, that exceeded its target of $4,500 by more than 100%.
Popular Crowdfunding Platforms
Looking through the examples here, it’s easy to think that Kickstarter dominates the crowdfunding world. This certainly is among the biggest platforms, but its focus is on artists, designers and producers of any kind of creative work. Often people who invest here are promised an economic kickback or another incentive, such as a limited-edition artwork.
As robust as Kickstarter is, therefore, it is probably not the best option if you’re trying to crowdfund to get you to a conservation project. Consider FundMyTravel, the platform we are affiliated with, that allows you, in its own words, to “fundraise for meaningful travel”. GoFundMe is also a good idea, and there are several other platforms to investigate.
The idea is to connect to potential donors who are interested in helping you do good without any interest in personal reward or seeing a particular product realised. You don’t have to use a crowdfunding tool that focuses on travel alone, but it does streamline the process. GoFundMe has a Travel section, which also keeps things simple, and both these sites also have a reputation for raising funds to help with worthy causes. If you’re raising funds for a personal holiday you may also get a good response, depending on your story, but you should be able to secure your funds quite easily if you want them for helping save or preserve the environment.
Campaigning for the same trip on different platforms is not prohibited, but it can actually harm your efforts so you need to choose carefully. Backers like to see that you are close to reaching your goal; if you’re far off they may not donate. Spreading your campaign across sites can diffuse the funds you are getting so that it looks like your momentum is being lost, and it can also simply be confusing and deter your backers that way.
Whatever crowdfunding tool you decide on, you’ll be able to set up your campaign easily. Make your way to the funding website, and create your campaign. Think very carefully about what you want to say and the pictures that you want to use; this is how you’re selling your campaign to people. When you’re ready, you can distribute the links to your fundraising drive via email and social media platforms, directly from the crowdfunding website.
Fund transfer systems differ among platforms, but they are always simple to set up and use. Make sure that all deposits are encrypted with SSL transactions, so that your travel funds and personal information are kept completely safe. Updates, notes of thanks and pictures can be posted on your account dashboard, which can go a long way to motivating people to continue to make donations.
You could even consider starting your own blog or YouTube channel about the project you’re embarking on. In the technologically connected world of today, don’t underestimate the power of personally reaching out to the potentially huge audiences who will see your appeal. Once again, think very carefully about all the content that you post.
Conservation Projects to Consider
If you feel passionately about where you’re going and what you’re doing, that will translate into the crowdfunding campaign you create, and you stand a better chance of being successful. A lot of people in your position will already know exactly what their goal is, but if you don’t have a specific project in mind you should do thorough research and find one that resonates with you.
Worthwhile projects to look into include preserving Malaysian rainforests, wildlife conservation initiatives in Costa Rica, volunteer researchers on sea turtles on the island Lang Tengah off the coast of Malaysia, and Malagasy marine conservation expeditions. Choose ones that are set in social and environmental situations that will work for you, so that you can enjoy yourself and grow as a person while helping to heal the planet.
As always, make completely sure that the projects you are going to are trustworthy and endorsed by recognised authorities. The volunteer programmes at Global Nomadic will all ensure you are looked after in every way, so signing up with them is an easy way to stay safe while you embark on this life-changing journey. We’d love to hear from you, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to visit our contact page and get in touch.