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GCN wasn't just a volunteer trip but instead a life altering two weeks that helped me discover myself.

- Shannon, Age 15

Fundraising Tips – Get Engaged  

Whether you enroll on a GCN team to travel to one of our Host Communities or want to volunteer to raise funds for our GCN Project Fund, fundraising is an exciting and meaningful way to share your global cause through local action with others.

Why is fundraising important? Fundraising increases awareness about your cause and provides an opportunity for others to give, while supporting means for you to obtain financial resources for grassroots initiatives of local communities throughout the world.

To MAXIMIZE your results GCN’s offers tips for your fundraising efforts…


By setting specific objectives, you can measure your progress and develop a timeline to raise funds. It takes time and energy to raise money.


Fundraising Approaches- Before you start asking, think about the attitude and energy you hope to share.  Here are some ideas for how to make fundraising convenient for both you and your donors:

Online Approaches

Fundraising online is the new norm!  Harness Facebook, Twitter, and other on-line networking tools to raise funds. Engage the on-line communities and get your cause out there! In fact, many potential donors are willing to donate on-line with a credit card. The more flexible you are, the more money you can make. Here are three online resources to consider: is a website which partners with non-profit organizations like GCN to plan, execute and measure successful online fundraising.  Create a team or join one of GCN's upcoming teams and start fundraising.  Click here for an easy "how-to" on using thanks to a recent fundraiser (thanks Jen!)


Volunteer Forever website is a crowd-funding platform that allows volunteers to collect donations for travel expense on trip aboard as volunteer.  Check out GCN's organization page and learn how Volunteer Forever works.


Project Travel website is a peer-funding model to support educational travel for individuals and groups.  They focus on supporting student fundraisersand offer Project Advisors who have personal and professional knowledge to help students succeed in their fundraising goals.  Check out GCN's organization page and learn more about Project Travel.


Traditional Approaches

Consider using your fundraising tool as a hub as you take on more traditional approaches to fundraising.  Here are a few ideas for how to create excitement and share with friends, family, classmates, colleagues and even introduce your efforts to new people!

  • Events: Organize fun activities and charge a fee for admission: contests, concerts, black-tie galas, costume parties, dances, block parties and more.
  • Sales & Raffles: There are time honored, and classic fun methods for raising funds: bake sales, garage sales, rummage sales, car wash, raffles.
  • Fundraising matching program: Check with your employer to see if they will match your contributions.  These contributions can be applied to the GCN program fee.

Equal Exchange GCN Recommended Sale Program

Equal Exchange Fundraising offers organic and fairly traded goods, beautiful fairly traded gifts and recycled cotton gift wrap (tree-free!).  With Equal Exchange Fundraising you can support sustainability, enjoy award winning products and make a difference in the lives of small farmers and artisans across the globe.



If you don’t ask, you won’t get anything! Who do you know? Explain in simple terms, by providing examples, how their donation will make an impact.  Need help?  Here is a sample letter to get you started!


Ask for a specific amount of money.  When you say "contribution" some people are thinking $5 while others are thinking $5,000. Make it easy for them. Don't be afraid to ask your established friends for $100 or even $500. 


Show how your actions abroad have helped people and reveal to donors where their dollars have gone. Give an educational presentation to groups, show slides or send supporters a "newsletter" from overseas. Offer to send them links to your blog or pictures after your trip.


One follow-up call can make the difference between an individual sending a check and pushing a possible offer to the back burner and never acting on it. Keep a list of everyone you have contacted and the dates you contacted them. Always send a thank you note to those who had the generosity to contribute to your trip.  Explain to them how much their contribution helped make a difference for you and the community.