Budget Wizard

Explore how these ideas can reduce your out-of-pocket costs. This tool exists for your use – to shine a light on the cost-reduction methods many CCS  alums have used. Only CCS  discounts change the actual program fee due.

Estimated Program Fee:
I have access to a matching gift
I plan to fundraise. My goal is:
I am bringing a friend
Total amount I’ll cover with a payment plan
Real Out-of-Pocket Costs Remaining

$0

Get Inspired!

6 EASY WAYS

TO FUND YOUR TRIP

Your experience of a lifetime can be realized for way less than you may think. As you browse the “6 Ways to Fund Your Trip”, use our handy Budget Wizard to see the impact on your finances. After you’ve found tried-and-true ways to reduce the impact on your finances, reserve your spot for a deposit of just $350.

Cassandra Tomkin
PERU
My recipe for funding my trip:
Matching Gifts • Charitable Giving
Points Programs
Barb Gilles
GUATEMALA
My recipe for funding my trip:
Bring a Friend • Matching Gifts
Make Payments
Laura Mack
COSTA RICA
My recipe for funding my trip:
Fundraising • Make Payments
Scholarship

1. MATCHING GIFTS

Does your employer offer a matching gift program? If so, you may reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by a sizeable chunk. Matching gift programs are an incredible opportunity to significantly decrease your program fee. Even if your employer doesn't offer matching gifts, friends, family, or other sponsors might be able to double their contributions to you through their company's program.

Each company's matching gift program is unique, so we encourage you to review the details well in advance of your start date. Eligibility criteria, match percentages and limits, and timing for the disbursement of funds vary. We encourage volunteers to submit matching gifts at least 90 days prior to your program fee due date, as some companies issue matching gift contributions on a quarterly basis.

If you have any additional questions, just contact a Program Specialist to learn more!

Using matching gifts to volunteer...

In 2008, my father retired from a lifetime career with Prudential as an insurance salesman. Prudential made sure that his benefits package would reflect a wealth (pun intended) of financial perks. One of those perks was corporate matching for life. From that day forward, my father could donate to almost any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Prudential would match the donation; a pretty extraordinary package.

- Dianna, Volunteer

Read my full blog post »

View the full CCS Blog »

2. FUNDRAISING

We've made fundraising easy through the CCS Fundraising Tool—where you can create your own unique fundraising page (complete with pictures, videos, or even a blog of your journey!). So get on social media and start sharing—you'll be inspiring others by spreading the word about international volunteering while collecting donations. CCS volunteers are always surprised by the interest and responses they receive when they start fundraising! Not interested in going the online route? No problem! We have tons of creative ideas to get you started—from organizing a local event to contacting local businesses, there's no end to the ways you can fundraise for international volunteering.

FUNDRAISING IDEAS

The CCS Fundraising Tool

CCS makes fundraising for your program easier than ever with your very own myCCS fundraising tool! Once you've enrolled, customize your page by adding blogs, photos, and videos. Once you've added your own personal flavor to your fundraising page, go ahead and share with your friends and family. Your sponsors can contribute with just a few simple clicks. You'll be surprised how quickly your donations add up!

You've Got Talent

Do you have a special skill or talent? Use it to dance, sew, or entertain your way overseas! Feeling crafty? Set up an Etsy page and sell your goods for a great cause. Dancing or painting more your style? Hold a performance or a gallery event to feature your creative side. No matter what you do, tell us how you got creative and inspire others to follow in your footsteps, as you work toward your opportunity to change everything with CCS.

Blog Post: 5 Ways to Fundraise

You're an international volunteer with the desire to make an impact and have a little fun along the way. You've done your research and have concluded that Cross-Cultural Solutions is the safest, most reputable organization around. So what's next? It's time to start raising funds for your big adventure. Here are a few creative ways to get started: Read More »

Channel Your Inner Salesperson

Fundraising is a great way to build up new skills, while realizing your dreams. So channel your inner salesperson and get creative—hold a raffle with donated goods from friends and local businesses. Or, hold a reverse raffle. What does that entail? Just gather a group of supporters, and pick some items that they might not want (pie in the face, anyone?). They can bid to NOT be the big winner.

Blog Post: Adventures in Fundraising

I had made my initial deposit to CCS and was about to make my ultimate dream into a reality! The only question was how I'd save for the remainder of the fee. And then, like a pizza pie in the face, it hit me! "If I can fundraise for my clubs and sports teams, why not fundraise for an international volunteer trip?" Read More »

Reach Out at University

"Find something you are passionate about! I ran a dorm-wide Penny Wars when preparing for my first CCS experience in college. Two groups compete to win a fundraising competition. Between this, a scholarship from my university, and waiting tables at a local restaurant, I was able to raise enough for my full program PLUS airfare! It's completely possible, and makes you really appreciate the time you spend in-country that much more."
- Laura, CCS Volunteer

Go Social

We're guessing you've got quite a few friends on social media. Well, here's your chance to reach out to the masses! You'll be surprised how many people are interested in your adventure, and want to become a part of it. A bonus? Create a blog, and share every step of your journey online, as you're preparing and while you're in-country.

Skate to Tanzania

Follow Erica's lead and get creative with your skills. Erica, an avid ice skater, skated the beautiful Canadian canals for contributions to her program fee. How far can you skate (walk, run, swim) to reach your dreams?

Apply for Scholarships

If you're a student, you might be able to find scholarships that help with your fundraising goals. For your first step, check in with your university financial aid or international studies departments. Then, look at the options available right online. While these scholarships are competitive, it's yet another possibility to reach your goal.

Get Cooking!

"After I enrolled in my program for Tanzania, I had a community dinner at my house. I invited all of my family and friends to enjoy drinks with a home cooked, traditional East African meal. During the meal, I gave a presentation about my dream of volunteering abroad. Guests were happy to contribute toward my program—they saw how passionate I was and got some delicious free food!"
- Adrienne, CCS Volunteer

All in a Day's Work

Reach out to local businesses for great fundraising opportunities. Many restaurants already have programs where you can designate a day or evening during which a portion of sales can go toward a good cause (like your fundraising goal). Or, host an event at a local bowling alley or skate park. And don't forget to ask local business owners for contributions.

Get Inspired...

For even more inspiring fundraising ideas, check out the CCS webinars filled with tips from CCS volunteers on how they made their dream a reality!

3. BRING A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER

What better way to share the experience of a lifetime than bringing a friend or family member? It gets even better! You'll get a discount for each friend you bring. Get $262 off your program fee for each person that joins you on the program—up to 4 friends or family members. If you've got 6 or more volunteers interested in joining your adventure, then you're a group and become eligible for $500 off your program fee and $500 off for each person traveling with you. To qualify for the full group discount though, you must travel outside of the summer months.

Volunteering as a family:
A granddaughter's perspective

In December 2011, I volunteered in Guatemala with my family: mom, brother, and grandma. We had volunteered as a family with Cross-Cultural Solutions twice before in Tanzania, but this was the first time that grandma was coming along for the adventure.

- Alexandra, Volunteer

Read my full blog post »

View the full CCS Blog »

4. POINTS PROGRAMS

5 ways to save on your flight

So you've reserved a coveted spot on a Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteering extravaganza. Now you have to get yourself there. As luck would have it, I'm sort of an expert in the art of finding cheap flights, and I'm here to give you a few tips on how you can be, too.

- Nicole, Volunteer

Read my full blog post »

View the full CCS Blog »

If you're an avid traveler, chances are you've racked up some miles through your frequent flyer programs. Use these to offset flight costs.

If this is your first flight, remember to enroll in a program so you can use these toward your future international volunteer adventures. Don't have miles? Consider a mileage fundraiser to cover the costs of your flight.

Although mileage programs are one of the most common ways to offset the cost of volunteering abroad, there are tons of other points programs out there. Many credit card companies offer points programs that can be converted into cash. And, if you're paying a portion of your program fee directly, that's even more points (or miles) that you can use toward your overall experience.

5. PAYMENT PLAN

How I saved thousands of dollars for a big trip abroad

If you're considering embarking on a volunteer adventure of a lifetime with CCS, but need a little help raising your program fee, I've got some tips to help you get there. I know they work. Because they worked for me.

- Kelly, CCS Staff

Read my full blog post »

View the full CCS Blog »

By dividing your full program fee into manageable chunks, you'll be on your way before you know it. Is your program fee due in 6 months? Save just under $135 each week, and you have a 2-week experience in Ghana covered! Use our handy calculator to find out how much you need to save each month to get started on your volunteer adventure.

6. SCHOLARSHIPS

While scholarships are most often associated with college students, an increasing number of scholarships are available to youth, professionals, and retirees. Great places to begin your scholarship search include your high school guidance counselors, professional associations, service organizations, your university’s alumni association, and Google. Each year, CCS has a few select scholarships available. Visit our Memorial Scholarships page for more information.

Scholarships, grants, and fellowships for international programs and experiential learning opportunities are widely available to students and, sometimes, alums. Start with your academic advisor, the international studies office, and the financial aid office. Ask your professors if they know of funding through national organizations, or specific grants in line with your academic or career goals. And don’t forget to inquire about academic credit for your time abroad!

YOU CAN DO IT!

ENROLL NOW
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