Several IE3 interns have fundraised part or all of their program fee. Fundraising is not only a way to help pay for your educational experience but provides an opportunity to energize others about your upcoming international experience, to educate them about the organization for which you will be working, and to develop awareness regarding needs and issues around the world. Interns who successfully fundraised were diligent, organized, and pursued several donors through a variety of methods. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
There are many online resources about fundraising. IE3 suggests you begin by researching fundraising ideas and developing a plan that will work for you.
Hear from Marc A. Pitman, the author of Ask Without Fear! and founder of FundraisingCoach.com, a website dedicated to practical ideas for fundraising more effectively. FundraisingCoach.com features a page specifically oriented to new fundraisers and provides step-by-step coaching.
While this site is mostly orientated towards non-profit organizations, it includes articles, seminars, tools and tips (all free!) that will help you to jump-start your online fundraising efforts.
WorldTeach is a non-profit organization that partners with governments and other organizations in developing countries to provide volunteer teachers to meet local needs and promote responsible global citizenship. WorldTeach has developed an amazing online fundraising guide to help their volunteers raise funds. We suggest you explore their resources as well as other non-profit fundraising guides.
Social Media is another great way to reach donors. Many campaigns have successfully used social media to reach millions of people across the world and bring notice to their message. Here are two great articles that demonstrate how the LIVESTRONG and OBAMA (click on "The Social Pulpit" link for full report) campaigns used social media to their benefit.
You may consider starting your own Facebook Cause, or creating a personal web page on Firstgiving. These are both great options for individuals fundraising for their own cause. One IE3 intern collected several hundred dollars by asking friends on Facebook to donate a $1 to help support their international internship experience.
Recently several new online resources have popped up that allow you to raise funds for study abroad via the internet. Several of them also link directly into social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. However, it is extremely important to read the "fine print" before moving forward. For example, myTab allows you to create a travel wish list to which friends and family can donate; however, they offer limited international airfare, do NOT allow you to use your raised funds on another site, and do NOT offer refunds of monies raised. Another option is gofundme. Student's have had better success and flexibility with this option, but please note that they do charge 5% on all donations.
Many of our greatest success stories are from students who have prepared well written fundraising letters targeted to university departments, student organizations and other groups such as churches, social service organizations and even family members. Click here to view a great sample letter written by a former IE3 intern.