A Guide to Crowdfunding for IVI Volunteers

Want to volunteer abroad, but keep putting it off because you don’t have the cash? Then read on, because thanks to the interwebs and the power of social media, there is a way to make it happen sooner!

The Benefits of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding allows you to reach more people far and wide Raffles, BBQs and other forms of fundraising are still relevant (and often very effective) ways of making money, and they can have a great impact for local communities (eg football clubs,
dance troupes, local schools) because they physically bring people together.
BUT… these days we have friends and followers from both near and far… and it’s often the friends that you DON’T see so often that will chip in the most, because it’s a way that they can support you without being physically there.
Crowdfunding allows you to reach these people.

Crowdfunding allows your friends and followers to come on the ride with you

Remember… people WANT to help you, they want you to succeed, and they want to be part of the experience. Some of them have a big heart and a desire to help others, but can’t physically volunteer themselves. They may have small kids, elderly parents that they care for, can’t take time off from work, have a health issue that prevents them, etc. So they would
LOVE to help you get there!

Crowdfunding can get you to your goal quicker

Raffles take time. Fundraising dinners or BBQs have to be planned and promoted well in advance. But a crowdfunding campaign can be launched within 24 hours (or less!) and we’ve seen thousands of dollars raised within a matter of days.
You can do it from your couch.   There’s no need to buy supplies, approach local businesses, or spend time canvassing! You
don’t need to put on shoes (or get out of your yoga pants!). As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can run this from anywhere, and from any timezone.

Simple steps for a successful campaign

Choose a platform that will give you a payout even if you don’t reach your goal. We recommend GoGet Funding because their fees are low and you can access the donations straight away (before the campaign even finishes) which is convenient when forking out for travel expenses like airfares.
A note: Factor in the platform’s fees (each platform will take a small percentage of your money raised). Paypal may also take a cut, if you are being paid through them. Each platform is different. So read the fine print – you may need to ask for a little more than you need (approximately 2.5-6%) when setting your donation target.
Run a short campaign We recommend 2 weeks – 3 at the most. This may strike fear into your heart and make you wonder “how am I supposed to raise the money in such a short time?” but studies have shown time and time again that short campaigns are the most effective. People will always think “I’ll donate next payday” so you need to create some urgency to get them over the line.
You can always extend it later! Most crowdfunding platforms will allow you to do this (check that yours will allow this before signing up). Write a killer sales page – Follow these steps for a crowdfunding page that converts.   Make it visual!  The more photos, the better. If you have pics of people (especially kids), that’s great. Your readers want to see the faces of the people that they’re helping – it gives them a human connection.
If you can manage it, add a video of yourself talking about your plans to go overseas and help. Some people would rather watch a video than read a whole sales page, so it’s important to cater to them too. Videos WORK. They don’t need to look professional – just grab your smart phone and have a go.

Outline the problem

Start your copy with an introduction that’s emotional and attention grabbing. For example, if you’re helping with a diabetes project in Fiji, start by talking about how many people in Fiji have diabetes, how fast it’s growing, and where it’s headed in a few years from now. If you’re raising money to help refugees, find some numbers of how many people are displaced in refugee camps, what the conditions are like, and what the current projections are for numbers in the near future.

Outline the solution

Let your reader know that they no longer need to feel helpless. They can be part of the solution, even from their couch. Let them know what small but meaningful part you plan to play in helping improve the lives of these people.
For example, “Together with a team of nurses, nutritionists and allied health practitioners, we aim to do 1000 health checks and educate local communities about diabetes prevention” or IVI are sending a team of health practitioners to the region to assist the locals in eradicating skin diseases, by providing better sanitation and acute antibacterial treatments” or “Together
we aim to improve oral hygiene by delivering toothbrushes to kids in vulnerable communities, and conducting toothbrushing and oral health classes.”

Let your reader know that this is why you need THEIR help.

This is where you mention how much money you need. For example “I’m asking for $2000 in order to fly to Fiji, stay for 2 weeks, and be part of the team that’s implementing these vital programs.” Outline EXACTLY how the money will be spent.
Complete transparency is essential if you want to gain trust (trust = dollars!). So tell your readers all the details and break down the costs. Some examples are:
● Flights
● Travel insurance
● IVI volunteer fees
● Paypal and crowdfunding fees
● First aid and medical supplies (eg dressings, antiseptic creams)
● Medical gear (eg stethoscope, blood pressure cuff)
● Safety equipment (eg gloves, wet weather boots)
● Travel gear (eg sleeping bag, mozzie net)
Don’t be afraid to ask for everything that you need. Let your reader know what you will do if there’s leftover money (eg buy supplies for a local school or donate it to a community group).

Have a clear call to action

This means asking for the donation now. An example might be “click the “donate now” button
and let’s do this!” or “Click here to donate now.” Ask. For. The. Money. (It’s ok to ask!)

Step into what you’re doing with confidence.

Believe in your cause. If you are 100% behind this, and truly feel that what you’re doing is worthwhile, this will come across in all your communications.

 

Need some inspiration?

Here are some examples of successful campaigns:

Help Me To Bring Healthcare to Syrian Refugees

Help me buy food and supplies for refugees in Greece

Help us bring education to remote island kids in Fiji

These are Jules Galloway’s own campaigns, and you have permission to cut-and-paste sections for your own campaigns if you would like to “borrow” the copy.  Tell people you will keep them posted on social media.  Let them know how often they will hear from you, promise to share photos, and if you have a blog, let them know there will be posts coming.

Share, Share, Share!

And then share again. Facebook and Instagram doesn’t always show your posts to everyone, so keep posting, and ask others to share too. Don’t stress – you’re not spamming people, you’re giving them a chance to help and be part of something – it’s not like you’re selling fake Raybans or dodgy weight loss supplements. People WANT to know about this!

Make it easy for people.

Marie Forleo once said “the most obvious marketer always wins.” Change your Instagram profile to include a link to your crowdfunding website (then you can say “hit the link in my profile to donate”). Include the crowdfunding link in every social media post (it’s easier for people to donate if the link is right there). It may seem super obvious to you, but try and look at it with fresh eyes. Would a person seeing it for the first time know what to do? Sometimes you need to spell out the steps for them. It may feel like you’re being “Captain Obvious” but most people are time poor and they appreciate being shown the
steps.

Now, go out and start raising money!!!

Got questions? Hit Jules up at julesgalloway@gmail.com and she will me more than happy
to assist.

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