hanna with Students (1)Have you ever wanted to go abroad and make a difference? Did it ever seem a little out of your reach financially? Today, young people have more debt than ever before, making going abroad seem next to impossible.

But it doesn’t have to be.

With a little elbow grease and ingenuity, going abroad is entirely possible! Below are 5 ways you can fund an experience of a lifetime, like our internships in Uganda!

  1. Scholarships

Get those fingers to typing and minds to work! Scholarships are available to pay for full to partial programs, flights and more. Many scholarships go unclaimed and foundations and private donors love to see their funds put to good use! You may have to write an essay or two, depending on the requirements of the scholarship, but it’s a small price to pay when considering the possible benefits. Plus, you’ll develop your writing skills. Let’s just say it’s a professional win-win. Not sure if you qualify? Apply anyway, you may be the candidate they’ve been looking for.

Check out the Warren Campbell Scholarship if you want to serve in Uganda starting in January -March, or September – November. Link below.

http://www.isla-serve.org/scholarship

Check out these websites for more scholarships for students wanting to serve or study abroad:

http://www.scholarships4students.com/

http://www.studyabroadfunding.org/

  1. Good Old-fashioned Support Letters

Support letters are a tried and true fundraising tactic. Like graduation announcements, support letters are sent to friends and family announcing your plans to serve abroad. You give a little update about yourself and your personal goals and how the chosen opportunity aligns with those goals. You will want to include information about the organization, country where you are headed, and the financial breakdown. The last paragraph will ask for financial and/or moral support. Add a pre-stamped envelope and a reply card, just to make the process as simple as possible. There are great examples of support letters all over the Internet.

  1. GoFundMe.com

GoFundMe.com is the modern version of support letters. Rather than relying on receiving support in the mail, you, and everyone who follows your cause, can see how close you are to your goal. Make a social media post linking to your page, and ask your friends and family to spread your net far and wide. This site also allows you to make regular updates, which is essential to fundraising! You always want to keep your supporters in the loop. Supporters want to see you accomplishing your dream, not wondering what happened to you after you received their help.

  1. Collaborate with Local Businesses

Create a flyer giving information about your cause. Make sure to talk to the manager or owner. Make a case for yourself and ask if they would be willing to make a small donation or hold a small fundraiser in their place of business. Some restaurants and chains have fundraising opportunities that offer you part of the profits on a specific date and time with a presented flyer. Research the businesses you most frequent to see if you qualify for company fundraisers.

5) Organize/Host a Community Sale.

Have some things you just don’t need anymore or know someone who does? Have neighbors, family, and friends donate used items to your cause. Not only will you earn a little cash for your cause, the community has a chance to get to know you and see your fundraising in action.

IMPORTANT things to consider:

  • Ensure that all of your donors feel in the loop
  • Write a donor a personalized thank you note immediately upon receiving a donation
  • Write an update letter right before you leave for your trip, describing your trip expectations and ways in which you are preparing yourself
  • Upon your return, write a final letter summarizing your experience and how it helped you reach your personal goals, or better yet, give an insightful presentation and invite your donors to attend and learn about your experience.
  • Most importantly, do not let your donors feel used. Be cautious about asking for support after a donation has been made.

*Do you know other tips and tricks of the trade? Have a questions? Please let us know in the comments below!

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