Some of the things that might stop you and/or your family from doing a fund-raising campaign is a fear that you’ll be bothering people, a fear that other people will feel obligated, a desire for you to pay for it on your own, etc. Don’t keep this experience to yourself — be generous! Others want to make a difference in the world, too! Give them the opportunity and let them make the decision. By fundraising for your experience, you are not only making the trip a possibility for you, but you are also spreading awareness. Getting others involved is the best way to make a difference! One of the blessings you have been given is to live in a wealthy country, surrounded by people with resources, who although may not have the same desire or time to volunteer abroad, are still interested in making an impact. Working hard pre-trip to meet and exceed the minimum program donation will make your experience that much more rewarding…
When you register for an Outreach360 trip, you will automatically be given a personal fund-raising page that you can use to raise 100% of your minimum program donation and more! We find that the most effective and efficient way to raise funds is to send emails to friends and family asking for their support. A sample fund-raising letter you can edit is included at the bottom of this page.
Set a Goal
Set objectives for what you would like to raise. We encourage you to look not at just “what’s required to participate”, but “what’s possible” if you really stretch. For example, could you and/or your team raise $5000 to build additional classroom space? We are confident that you will feel great if you really go all out in this effort.
We encourage you to start the fund-raising process early and give yourself plenty of time to be successful. When you Register, you will be given a personal fund-raising page that you can use to raise support. Starting early will give your donors time to consider making their donation and will leave you with time to prepare for your experience rather than worrying about last-minute funding.
Make a List of Potential Donors
Potential donors are all around you. Write down names from yours or your parents holiday card list, coworkers, classmates, local organizations, foundations and companies in your area. Also, take time to see if the company you are currently working for (or your parents) will grant you a matching gift. Everyone is a potential donor, and although not all of the people on your list will respond, it never hurts to ask. Don’t limit yourself; think big.
Many donors don’t know what is an appropriate amount to give. Some might be thinking $10 while others are thinking $100 or more. Express to donors what your fundraising goals are for your trip and give them options to donate. A donor is much more likely to give if they are presented with an option rather than a “yes” or “no” decision. You may even want to outline your goals for the additional funds you are trying to raise.
Acknowledge Your Sponsors
Be sure that you acknowledge your donors for the difference they have made. Donors will also want to know about your experience and the tremendous impact you have had; be sure to share your experiences with your donors through stories and pictures once you return. All U.S. donors that donate online will receive a tax-deductible receipt via email. Any donors that send in checks to our main office will receive a tax-deductible receipt at the end of the year.
It probably won’t take you more than an hour to e-mail a fund-raising letter family and friends; we find it the most effective way to raise funds. However, be creative with your fund-raising ideas. There are many great options to raising funds, and we encourage you to think outside of the box. Involve your church, dorm, service organization, etc in a fund-raiser: a yard sale, spaghetti dinner, casual day, pancake breakfast, etc. Offer four hours of personal service (running errands, babysitting, shopping, yard work, etc) to everyone who donates $100 or more: They will know you are serious about the trip!
Grants and Scholarships
If you attend a university, check with your dean of students or volunteer center about possible grants for international volunteer work. Check out our Scholarships and Grants section for more information.
We find that the most effective way to raise funds is by inviting family and friends to donation. There is a sample letter below. It doesn’t take long to send an e-mail to 30-50 family and friends; this process will probably not take you more than an hour. Be sure to include a link to your personal fund-raising page.
Be creative with your fundraising ideas. There are many great options to raising funds, and we encourage you to think outside of the box. Below are some ideas:
- Involve your church, dorm, service organization, etc in a fund-raiser: a yard sale, spagheE dinner, casual day, pancake breakfast, penny war, etc.
- Offer four hours of personal service (running errands, babysitting, shopping, yard work, etc) to everyone who donates $100 or more.
- Ask a principal or boss for support. See if your professors will allow you a few minutes at the end of a class to announce what you are doing and ask for support from your classmates.
- Make collection jars for your work or other local businesses.
- Contact local restaurants about partnering to receive a percentage of sales for a night. Check out Restaurant Fundraising Made Easy for a list of participating restaurants.
- Organize a Zumba-a-thon, Salsa Dancing Night, or Fitness Boot Camp night. Ask a friend or local instructor to donate time to lead the activity of their expertise, and ask for a donationat the entrance.
- “5 Dollar Friend”: Asking friends to donate a simple $5 will add up “Poco a Poco” (likle by likle!), and is a simple ask to allow your friends to support you.
- Clothing Exchange: Invite a group of friends and neighbors to bring excellent condition clothes/shoes/ home décor items that are no longer wanted to a night in which everyone can go “shopping” among the selection. Ask for a donation for the value of what gets taken home – a great way to raise money, and for everyone to get a new wardrobe!
- Encourage friends and family to donate as a part of a “Virtual Coffee Break,” and forgo a trip to the coffee shop and donate that money instead. We do ask that you not engage in raffles or other activities that could be construed as gambling. We also discourage elaborate black tie events, or other activities that require a large pre-event expenditures. Tax deductions will only be given to those donors whose check or credit card payment is made directly to Outreach360. Please contact us if you have questions!
Matching gifts are a great way to double your fund-raising impact. You may be able to take advantage of your companies matching gift program, or possibly the company of your spouse, parent, relative or friend. We encourage you to use the search feature below to see if one of these companies offer a matching gift program. We encourage you to begin researching these companies early as the company specification may affect whether or not the funds are in on time to count towards your volunteer trip. Please click here for more information about the minimum program donation. Please contact us if you have any questions about our matching gif program. Please contact the companies Human Resources or Personnel office to verify the availability of their matching program and the guidelines. You may need to fill out forms for your company to process their matching donation and you may need the following information from Outreach360:
- Orphanage Outreach, Inc. dba Outreach360
- Tax Identification Number: 58-2197227
- Address: Outreach360 | 7954 W Fetlock Trail | Peoria, AZ 85383
- You will receive a tax deductible receipt via email that you should attach with your documentation.
If you have any further questions about the matching gift program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do with Checks?
Checks should be made out to “Outreach360.” Checks should be sent to you for consolidation and forwarded to us. Send in your checks every two to three weeks, so the donor is not wondering what happened to their check. Send all checks to: Outreach360, 7954 W Fetlock Trail, Peoria, AZ 85383. Place your name on the outside of the envelope.
- All payments made to Outreach360 are donations and tax deductible. As such, the donor no longer controls those funds. Donations are not refundable, as that would jeopardize our tax exempt status. If your trip needs to be cancelled for ANY reason, we will credit you those funds toward a trip taken within the next 12 months. But donations will not be refunded.
- If you want a confirmation that your letter arrived in our office, please purchase delivery confirmation from the post office.
- You should see your donation reflected on your personal fundraising page once we receive it.
- Checks need to be made out to “Outreach360” in order to receive a tax receipt from Outreach360.
- If people write a check directly to you, or give you cash, they will not receive a tax receipt from Outreach360.
- We will send a thank you letter, tax receipt, and newsletter to all donors at the end of the year. We suggest that you also send a personal thank you letter after your trip.
- Funds raised above the minimum program donation are not refundable, and will be used to fund a variety of Outreach360 program needs.
Outreach360 is a grass-roots volunteer organization where international volunteers and donors work to transform the lives of children living in economically disadvantaged areas by providing them with critical educational opportunities. THANK YOU for being a part of Outreach360, and for dedicating your time and energy into creating educational opportunities for children.
Sample Fund-Raising Letter
Please edit this e-mail so that you feel good about sharing it, and then e-mail it to 30-50 family and friends:
Dear Friends and Family,
I have decided to donate my time volunteering with the non-profit organization Outreach360 in [INSERT COUNTRY]. Outreach360 has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1994, and in Nicaragua since 2010. Since 1994, over 22,000 short term volunteers have joined Outreach360.
Outreach360 volunteers work in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The need for quality education in developing countries is huge. The lack of educational opportunities results in entire neighborhoods of children growing up unprepared for college or qualified for a job.
Each Outreach360 volunteer has two significant roles: to donate important volunteer time while in the in country, and to help raise funds necessary to help fulfill Outreach360’s mission.
As a volunteer, I will be working at an educational learning center for disadvantaged children. Volunteers primarily teach English to the children at the center. English is an important skill in Latin America, providing educational and work opportunities. Often, the first question an employer will ask at a job interview is “Do you speak English?”
As a fund-raiser, I am helping to raise funds to not only cover my expenses, but to also provide the program funds for the program: construction, maintenance, equipment and supplies, and more. I have already paid for my airline ticket, and donated $100 of my own money toward my expenses. My goal is to raise an additional $2000, which is due __. I invite you to become involved in partnering with me in this effort. With your donation, we will be able to make a significant difference in these children’s lives. Outreach360 is a small organization, is not government funded, and relies on the tax-deductible donations of individuals.
This trip means a lot to me. For each $100 donation, I will provide four hours of personal services – baby sitting, personal errands, yard work, internet research, etc.!
If you are willing to help, please make out your check to Outreach360 (a tax-deductible 501-C-3 organization: U.S. federal tax id #58-2197227), and send it to me at my address so that I can forward your check onto Outreach360, or use this link to my personal fund-raising page to make a donation:
If you have any questions, please call me at (111) 111-1111 or e-mail me at email@example.com. You can also call Tom Eklund, President and CEO of Outreach360, at (602) 375-2900. Outreach360 also has a very informative web site: www.outreach360.org.
Thank you so much for your help. Any amount that you are able to donate will be greatly appreciated!