Fundraising is a fantastic way of raising the money needed for an internship abroad. But it can also be a rather daunting task if you have never done it before. We asked Morgan, who is interning with and raising money for the Renewable Energy Project in Nicaragua, how he went about setting up his crowdfund campaign. Here’s what he had to say on how to crowdfund for an internship abroad:
With the project go-ahead I was ready to set off. But there was still a question of money. Sure, I had some savings which could cover me for the trip, but what about fundraising some money? It had always been something I had thought about, and increasingly so as I realised just how much of a valuable and commonly sought after skill it is in the “real world”!
It is also a very transferrable skill and I thought to myself, what have I got to lose? And that was just it, savings or no savings, you don’t lose anything by trying to raise money. You may not succeed in the end goal, but at no point have you lost anything. In fact, if anything, you will have gained invaluable experience about who people are, what they do or don’t want and a little more about yourself.
So I began by going about my fundraising page with Global Nomadic having had a pleasant chat with Jeremy, the host and CEO of the platform, and writing up the information that one might want to read about the project, why I am doing the project and all the rest. It is something to note here that one of the advantages of using the Global Nomadic fundraising platform, is that you are able to keep all the money you raise regardless of reaching a target. This is truly a fantastic aspect!
On the other hand, and this is something very circumstantial, the network around this platform is very small, hence you will not be reaching many people just by setting your crowdfunder here. Alternatively, there are the mainstream crowdfunding websites but they all take a percentage of donations and generally have compulsory targets in order to receive all your money.
In case you might want a template, mine went a little something like this:
- Brief intro: who are you and where and what are you going to do (a few sentence’s)
- What your cause is and what it’s working towards, backed up by a few facts.
- A decent history about the project itself and what its direct actions are.
- A few facts about the country you’ll be working in related to what you’ll be doing.
- And finally, where and what the money you will be raising goes toward.
So after writing this all up and a good idea in my head of all the types of people I would be reaching out to, I thought to myself “Am I really just going to ask people for money and offer nothing?”. There began my research into supporter engagement like rewards for donating and other things. I really didn’t like the idea of sending postcards for certain amounts and magnets for another. Let’s face it, people, at this level of fundraising, want to know WHO you are and trust the fact that you will carry out what you’ve said. A small issue of trust to overcome is all.
This was my thought process anyway. So I decided to make a video. And a good one at that! It was something I’d never done before and I was adamant to really get my personality across, get a laugh out of people (reward!) and inform them of what my goals were.
It wasn’t that much work considering how much I was enjoying it, but the editing time and the number of retakes I had to make of talking to the camera really added up. And there are still faults with the video! It will never be perfect but I found that it added character anyway!
So with a video I was pleased with, I was ready to post it up. I had some help from someone I had met with some social media outreach experience who recommended uploading it straight to Facebook as this was going to be my main method of publicity. At the same time, also uploaded it to Youtube so that I could have a link/URL that I could embed into the Global Nomadic page.
Boy did it work a treat! Within the first weekend I had hit something like £900 and the following weekend about £1500. From there it grew slowly and then plateaued out to infrequent donations in the following month. This is to be expected, it is almost inevitable, as I have been told by so many people who are in the business of raising money.
There are many methods of raising more money in your own time like:
- bake sales
- events with a fee
- bingo nights
- pub quiz’s
- street collection
- sponsored sporting accolades
And so on. But don’t be afraid to also ask companies about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is a compulsory fulfilment for them, it is always worth the ask. Again, you’ll be at no loss and at worst they will just say no.
All people can do is say no, maybe on rare occasions be mean, but they can’t take anything away from you. More than likely you are doing a cause for humanity’s benefit.
So there you have it, that’s how I fundraised my money. I was lucky to have done the majority through Facebook , this is because I have been able to keep a good rapport with people and maintain a large network of friends, family and colleagues I am in contact with.
I am talking about every work place, every school you attended, every sport class or hobby group and all the others that might be interested in what you have to do. In addition, our generation has access to the most powerful tool out there for communicating to people, the Internet. Learn to utilise it.
Anyway enough talk, now go ahead and do it!
Global Nomadic offers 50+ Professional Internships, Volunteer Projects and TEFL Programmes in 30+ countries worldwide. Found your project but not the funds? Now you know how to crowdfund successfully, create your own campaign today using the free Global Nomadic Crowdfunding Platform – your adventure could be just around the corner!