5 realistic ways to raise funds for mission based travel

Photo of 5 realistic ways to raise funds for mission based travel 1/1 by Manu Sharma

It’s heartbreaking for an entrepreneurial heart and a bright mind to be kept from making that dream journey they have always dreamt of. If you aren’t a rich kid, or earn loads of money on the side, there are a few ways to feed your venture without having to give it up for a reason as miserable as a lack of money.

Now there are big old fancy ways they have all over the web. Crowd-funding, presentations, on-line marketing where you write up stuff, put it up on-line, market like a maniac and hope people will pay up for your dream and your hard-work. Although I have no doubts about the inherent kindness that exists in people, I find that to be one of the hardest routes amongst other options available. Here I bring to you a few realistic ways to get money for that mission trip you are dying to take:

Case study/ B-plan/ any competitions
If you are driven, have a mission; you are talented enough to compete and win. There is absolutely no dearth of competitions offering monetary prizes all over the country, at any point of time.

These competitions range from small skill based events like painting, counter strike games, photography and stock simulation games to harder, better ones like case studies and business plan competitions. And they happen in almost all universities in the country.

All you need to do is do a basic Google search and work your skills at winning.

Use all of that money earned for your dream trip.

Quick tip: Greed up; research like a maniac for any, I mean any (prestigious/ non-prestigious) competitions with money prizes and participate. It is the easiest way to earn money and also adds to you credentials.

Corporate sponsorships
This is a lot more hard work and harder to score. I remember trying so hard and getting no results. If you are lucky enough, and your mission is relevant enough to the corporate, he/she just might agree.

Get working on a proposal document; definitely try to make an event of your travel instead of keeping it a journey for personal growth and hope someone relates to it enough to give out money.

What is much better is to be affiliated with an organization already, maybe a travel start up, or an NGO addressing your mission’s objectives or a part of a college fest. Why this will help? Because you will be able to offer both the parties more than just “your-trip-for-a-cause”. You give the institution an event to host, and you give the sponsor an event to advertise; a win-win for all involved.

Quick tip: Prepare a fancy proposal for your mission trip, try to be associated to an organization rather than run the campaign solo. Focus on providing both the institute and the corporate an ROI they would be interested in.

University funding/ your college trustees
Well, if you are a student, you are in luck. Your university will be glad to give out money to get their elite student to go get their dreams and make a good name, both for yourself and for the university.

And it isn’t simply your university, your own college has a treasurer/ trustee group who is responsible for allocating funds, they hold the authority to contribute some of that budget to a mission like yours; it just depends on how well you sell.

Here, you will be writing a request letter and a proposal mentioning the impact you will create, with your credentials and how this will highlight the good learning and growing your college and university inculcates.

Quick tip: Score well so they like you, prepare a very formal proposal, be quick about it because you are not the only one asking for the money and they always have limited budget.

Crowd funding Websites and Work-away camps
I could not have left this one ignored even if I do not believe in it as much, having never tested it. In spite of me never having tried this one, I believe it has to be of some use if it is that popular. And then a friend of a friend used it and has managed to raise a significant sum!

So your strategy has to be to divide your expenses into two heads, stay and travel, while the crowd-funding websites like fundmytravel.com and gofundme.com help you fund your travel expenses; the work-away camps and couch-surfing programs take care of your stay and food in return for some service you give out to them. This service may be as small as helping with a farm/ restaurant or as important as teaching.

What do you need? You need badass marketing skills to score the crowd-funding you need and you need time to invest in the work-away camp you go to so that they let you stay for free.

Quick tip: Keep a thriving Blog ready in case you may need to leverage it for advertising. Join workaway.com and follow them religiously for any new projects around the country you plan to travel to.

Freelancing + Earn from talent
Totally unrelated to your immediate mission; this is just to ensure supplementary income. You write well? You can get tons of quick content writing jobs that pay per article. You have technical, designing related skills? Find a freelance designing assignment for a new website. You paint? Well, paint copies of your most admired work and sell to all those relatives who made indirect jokes about you gifting it to them. You sketch? Everyone would love to have a pretty portrait of them, or better still, get one sketched as a gift. For this one, you will have to be entrepreneurial enough for this one is an initiative based, networking and sales task!

Quick tip: Join Fb groups like Writing/ freelancing jobs, PMIT, start-ups, Media movements and tons more etc. Keep an eye out of any opportunities. Sign up for Freelancer.com and such. Get yourself a healthy, thriving, growing blog ready in case you need the platform for sales/ job acquisition.