The Fundraising Process

fundraising for my trip to Costa Rica by AlexWhat would you do if you had unlimited funds? I would travel the world and live the life I often envisioned for myself, among other things. What if you did not have unlimited funds? Does that mean that you cannot do the things that you want to do? Absolutely not! It is my personal belief that if one has a passion for something, then one can do anything that one sets their mind to. As cliché as that sounds, it is entirely true and here is my story as to how I made my passion come to fruition:

During the summer of 2012, my sister got accepted into the Peace Corps. I was so happy for her as it was her dream to embark on an international humanitarian experience. I’ve dreamt for years of being able to do humanitarian work. However, I knew that I could not do the Peace Corps. So, I started doing some research into other organizations that provided opportunities for international volunteering.

When I came across Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS), it all seemed too good to be true to be honest. The programs that they offered included everything! While in-country, I knew that I would not have to worry about anything. They provided accommodation, 3 meals per day, ground transportation, and a wonderful support system, among many other things!

To put my life into perspective, at around that time, I was 22 years old fresh out of university. Budget? What budget? I didn’t have a dime to my name! I was going to be starting a graduate school that fall and I barely knew how I was going to pay for that! Nonetheless, I was dedicated to enrolling into one of CCS’ programs. My sister always told me, in conjunction with my own personal beliefs, that if you want something to come true, you have to manifest it. Don’t just believe it could happen; tell yourself it already did. So, I didn’t ask myself whether I could fundraise for my program, I told myself that I already did.

To fundraise, I did the only thing that I knew how to do: sent letters to every person I’ve ever come into contact with. Not only that, I reached out to all of my parents contacts as well. What was the worst that could happen? They say no?

Even though one may expect something to happen, when it actually does, there is still that element of surprise. Given that, I was shocked when I started receiving positive responses to my inquiry! I couldn’t believe how many people wanted to help reach my fundraising goal.

I ended up raising 52% of my program fee just by sending out letters to people! Imagine if I did more things to raise money, such as hosting bake sales, I could have raised my entire program fee!

Fundraising, as daunting as it may seem, is quite doable. Especially when one puts effort into it, wonderful things can happen!

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