June 25, 2013

by Cathy Liu in New York, NY

Traveling far away for a long period of time is always expensive. If you (and your team members) already have enough savings set aside for adventure, then congratulations, money will not stop you from launching your journey. For the less fortunate, we don’t necessarily have to stop because of monetary issues, there are still many ways to raise money.

What Do You Need Money For? Do you need to buy a vehicle? Flight tickets? Lounging? Supplies? Whatever it is, do your homework and come up with a precise figure, try to be as precise as possible, our best hope to achieve the goal starts with defining it.

Do You Have to Ask for Help? Before we start on fundraising strategies and tactics to pull in sponsorships, let’s ask ourselves: do we really need to ask others for money? Can we work more and save? If this a vacation, who would care beside our family and friends? Not everybody has the skill sets required to impress others to donate money. Not everyone would be comfortable to approach strangers and receive countless rejections. It’s fine if dealing with negativity isn’t your thing, you can focus on what you’re good at and get there another way. I’m not trying to discourage, there are many ways to cross the finish line, and when we cannot succeed in pursuing others to lend a helping hand, it might be better to rely on ourselves.

Fundraising In my opinion, if most team members are inexperienced in marketing and cooperate networking, and the monetary goal isn’t very high, hosting fundraising events is the best way to go. Hosting an event which you know your family and friends would be supportive gives you the opportunity to practice telling the narrative of your journey. Most of us are much more comfortable reaching out to people we know. After people hear our stories, they’ll have all sorts of questions, it’s much better to get used to answering unprepared questions from people we know. Please host events which people would participate. Your event could be interesting and creative to attract eyeballs, or it could be something less interesting but popular. It could something interesting like an open water swimming competition, it could be creative and romantic like a photo shot sessions in a lavender field, or it could be as plain as a large dinner gathering. Host an event for whatever you do the best that guarantees participation rate, and make sure you take every opportunity to take about your expedition. Always remember, raising awareness is priceless.

Grants I guess grant writing used to be its own genre, but rules are more relaxed nowadays because of online submission. Some grants even require a video instead of an essay. Getting money from a grant is difficult because we must demonstrate that our journey is the most worthy among all candidates, but this is a one way street, there is very little if any that we would have to do for the grant in return.

Sponsorships There are plenty of good articles on how to get sponsorships for your travel. Here are some good links:

10 tips to get sponsorships

Ethos and Etiquette