Is a lack of funds preventing you from fulfilling your dream of volunteering in Africa? Then Billy Beltz, co-founder of Volunteer Forever has a solution for you. There are myriad reasons to volunteer with an organization like African Impact and have the chance to provide a positive impact on local communities and conservation efforts in Africa. In fact, when you consider what kind of life-changing experience it could be, the question soon becomes: “What’s stopping you?” If it’s a financial obstacle that’s holding you back, there’s good news to share!

At Volunteer Forever, we’ve created a fundraising solution to help harness the collective support of your network and allow volunteers to raise funds for their trip abroad! The platform allows users to create a campaign page that conveys their story and fundraising needs in a simple, yet powerful way, and provides them with the tools to promote the campaign to their extended network. This is basically what many people refer to as ‘crowdfunding.’ If done correctly it can allow people to reach exponentially more donors than they ever would have through traditional fundraising methods.

Want to get started?

The first step is to create a campaign page on Volunteer Forever, but creating your page is the easy part – the success of your fundraising campaign is determined by what you do afterwards!

Here are 7 tips to ensure you optimize your funding campaign:

  1. Tip 1: Provide a good first impression
  2. Tip 2: Tell your story
  3. Tip 3: Share your page
  4. Tip 4: Ask your contacts to share your page
  5. Tip 5: Create blog posts
  6. Tip 6: Thank donors publicly
  7. Tip 7: Share your page again. And again

Tip 1: Provide a Good First Impression

Because you may not be speaking to some of your donors directly, your profile page must present a strong first impression for your fundraising project and goals. Include all of the information on your profile that potential donors will want – your itinerary, a purposeful budget and most importantly, the details of the organization and project you plan to work with.

Tip 2: Tell Your Story

Your campaign page should be much more than the basic facts of where you’re going and how much money you need to raise. People respond to stories, so make sure your page explains yours. If you’re volunteering, why are you choosing to serve and what do you hope to achieve? Also, one of my favorite phrases is  “Don’t give TO me, give THROUGH me”, so I encourage you to use that in all of your messaging – it’s a great way to remind people what their donation is really going towards.

“Don’t give to me. Give through me”

Tip 3: Share Your Page

Spread the word among everyone you can! This may include family, friends, past teachers, co-workers, community members, or even just people that you know on a Christmas-card basis. A good first step is to use the “Share” widget on your campaign page to promote the page through email, Facebook and Twitter.

Tip 4: Ask Your Contacts to Share Your Page

Don’t limit your outreach to just people you think have the money to donate. One of the most powerful benefits of our crowdfunding platform is that it makes it easy for others to share your page and reach an exponentially larger network. So when you share your page, ask people to share it with their contacts as well! If you don’t ask they may not even realize how they can help.

Tip 5: Create Blog Posts

Use your blog section to tell the full story of your volunteer abroad trip and keep everyone updated of your progress. Are you doing anything to prepare for your adventure? How do you feel about your upcoming trip? Write a post about your training regimen or research work.

Tip 6: Thank Donors Publicly

People love recognition and this is your chance to give them well-deserved praise! Make it public so that everyone can see that someone has contributed to your campaign – this will help get additional donations from others. Also, when you thank your donors make sure to ask them to help you spread the word among their contacts as well.

Tip 7: Share Your Page Again. And Again

You will be much more successful in raising funds if you continue to share your campaign multiple times. People may need several reminders before they take action. And use your campaign timeline to create a sense of urgency, especially towards the end.