Excited about your journey to volunteer in Africa but scared about raising funds to input into the community you visit?
Here are some great ways to ask your friends to donate without begging, hassling them or putting yourself in their back pocket.
- Appeal to their highest or lowest level
A recent study conducted at the University of British Columbia has found the answer to raising funds from your friends without shaming yourself. The study showed that participants were encouraged to cooperate with raising funds by as much as 50 per cent if they were publically threatened or promised glory and honour.
That gives you two possible avenues to take to win your friends over. You can shame them, or honour them.
Which you choose will depend on the friend and their feelings!
Your tactics do not need to be extreme and thanks to social media, you have active, worldwide platforms at your service, perfect for shaming or honouring those who deserve it.
- Be Sincere
Feel sheepish when it comes to asking people face to face to donate money? Emails are a great way to get a sincere message across, especially to work mates. Emails allow you to go into some detail (be careful not to drown them in facts), for people to read in their own time.
Be sure to share your reason for getting involved, what do you want to get out of it? You may find that someone who doesn’t share your views on the politics of volunteering, might be interested in sponsoring you and your personal journey.
Send emails first thing in the morning to get people’s attention before the day gets hectic and people are not thinking about home time.
Having emails as your go-to means you can have relaxed and easy conversations with people about your planned trip to volunteer in Africa without either of you feeling nervous about a hard sale at the end.
- Let them set the dollar amount
You might have a target of X number of people donating $X amount to reach your goal, but let them decide how much they’d like to invest. Money is a personal thing, each person has different incomes, financial obligations and wealth values.
By allowing them to choose the amount you will be holding true to their personal boundaries, no matter what they might be.
Say thank you to every dollar, even if it is only one dollar, and don’t worry about your Xs, consider your targets an average. If someone asks how much you would like, you can be honest and say, “If I get 30 people donating $30 I’ll reach my target. I’m simply asking people to give as much as they feel comfortable giving. Every dollar will make a difference.”
You can ask them as well to go without something like a take away coffee for that week and put whatever they would have spent at the coffee shop into a donation envelope. You can create a poster or campaign that highlights that the people in Africa never get….(coffee, cakes, chocolates) and ask them to go without a treat for a week and donate the money saved to education, clean water and health.
- Keep an open mind
When it comes to asking for assistance we are tempted to think, “This person will and this person will not.” And be selective about who we approach. The truth is there is no way to tell who will and who won’t until you start asking them.
People are surprising so keep an open mind, ask everyone you know and see what kind of conversations open up.
Remember these two things, you are raising money for a worthy cause – a cause you believe in, people are not going to hold that against you. Secondly, your request is obligation and pressure free. They are welcome to say no if they want to, it’s not personal.
- Get connected
You are willing to donate your time and money to volunteering in Africa because you are deeply connected to the cause and the outcome. Others might not necessarily be so connected, yet.
Share your passion and work on some invitations to connect with you and also stay connected through the experience.
Be okay about getting emotional, your emotions are what is driving your, so share those as well to connect with people on a deeper level.
Hold an event (it can be casual, a BBQ, a picnic, whatever you like). Share information about why the money is needed and how it will be spent but also on your journey so far, what have you learned, what have you overcome, what have been the difficulties you have had to overcome.
Make it a fun social gathering, even though the topic is heavy, you are all working together to bring about change, it’s a celebration!
Keep everyone updated with how you are going and where you are at with your project so they have a personal connection with where their money is. Your journey becomes their journey, which is satisfying and rewarding.
- Give back
Find something you can offer (draw on your current skills and abilities to add some extra incentive). Use this to encourage bigger donations.
Aim for ways you can donate your time (rather than anything that will cost money)
Examples might be:
- Cook dinner for them
- Babysit so they can go out (or take the kids out so they can stay in)
- Wash their car
- Mow the lawn
Again, use your strengths (if you can’t cook to save yourself, do not offer to cook!). Keep in mind chores or activities you know they have been putting off and offer to help out to get their goals met – they will be happy to return the favour.
Now you know how to raise funds without being annoying, its time to get out there and be a Change Maker. Remember, the money you raise goes directly to the communities you work with in Africa, and helps them to break the poverty cycle.
– Jess Charlotte