However, it's expensive.
I've learned that fundraising, especially for service trips, is one of the best ways to help ease the expenses of traveling.
Today I went to the SHH Fundraising Summit at George Mason University in Virginia. SHH (Students Helping Honduras) is the organization I went through for traveling to Honduras several weeks ago over winter break. I was fortunate enough to apply and receive a scholarship for the full cost of the trip (minus airfare and the country exit tax), so that I did not have to do fundraising for this specific trip, but if I want to return in the future, and seeing as how I do want to, I will most likely have to fundraise in order to afford it.
So todays conference was a great way to brainstorm ideas for fundraising and learn about starting an SHH Chapter at La Salle University.
I went to four of the eight presentations:
1.) How To Retain Membership For Your University's Chapter of SHH
2.) Expanding Your University's Chapter of SHH
3.) Fundraising Tips: Fundraisers That Work, and Fundraisers That Don't
4.) Giving a Fundraising Speech
The other four that I did not have time to attend were:
5.) Raise $600 In Two Hours: Letter Writing Campaigns
6.) Hosting a Successful Skype Chat
7.) Organizing a Service Trip
8.) Raise $40 An Hour By Selling SHH Coffee
Of the four presentations that I did have time to attend, I'm going to post an overview of the ideas from each one in a series of 5, starting with this post as my introduction.
Fundraising is difficult; it is time consuming; it takes a lot of effort, energy and patience. However, it is extremely rewarding. Whatever the cause, fundraising can be a great way to unite your group and create a fun bonding experience if done with enthusiasm and charisma. Although it's tough to fundraise, staying positive and being smart about decision making can make for a pleasant and successful experience--one that group members will enjoy and remember.
I've done a lot of fundraising over the past three years, and I've learned a lot of good and bad things to do. Going to these presentations was a great way to compile others' experiences with my own in order to form new ideas for future fundraising. I've actually enjoyed doing the majority of the fundraising that I've had to do--which is a good thing seeing as it's something that I'll probably be doing for the rest of my life with my tentative possible career choices for my future.
As for SHH, today marked the beginning of our 100 Day Fundraising Campaign to raise $200,000.
$100,000 will go to the Education and Empowerment Fund.
$50,000 will go to a Children's Home.
$50,000 will go to an income generating business center for Villa Soleada.
It's a huge goal, but one that is 100% achievable. There are, as of right now, 34 colleges, universities and high schools pledged to raise money for SHH. It's incredibly empowering to know that we are all working together for this common goal to help the people we all love who live in Honduras in Villa Soleada.