The cost of traveling abroad may seem daunting, but you’re worth it! CFHI programs are an investment towards your personal and professional development as you move forward in school and your career. With a little planning, creativity and persistence, you can make it happen. Here are 10 great fundraising ideas to get you started.
1. Apply for a CFHI Scholarship
Did you know that CFHI offers partial scholarships for almost all of our programs? Since 2007, we have provided our participants with more than $100,000 in scholarship funding. We are currently accepting scholarship applications for 2-week Global Health Intensive Programs this Winter and 4+ week Global Health Immersion Programs. Please see our Scholarships page for more information and to download an application.
After you are accepted to a CFHI program, CFHI grants you access to create a personal fundraising page on our customized crowd-funding platform. Our tool makes it easy to share information about your CFHI program via social media and customizable emails so you can rally friends, relatives, colleagues, teachers, etc. to contribute towards your global health experience.
3. Ask About “Matching Gifts”
Ask your donors if their employer matches contributions. Many companies have a matching gift program where they will match or double the contributions of employees who give to non-profit organizations.
4. Talk to Financial Aid
Schools often have funding available for students to participate in international programs with established organizations such as CFHI. The financial aid or study abroad office is a great place to start. Remember that CFHI is happy to communicate with faculty at your university and provide documentation on our programs to help fund your global health program.
5. Do Your Research
Find out who has money for you! Get online to access great resources for funding:
- Gilman Scholarship
- Boren Scholarship
- Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship Fund
- Gold Foundation Scholarship
- Fund for Education Abroad
- Fast Web
- Foundation Center
- International Scholarship Search
- IIE Passport Study Abroad Funding
- Scholarships for Multicultural Students
- Study Abroad Scholarships
- Foundation for Global Scholar
6. Throw a Party
Who doesn’t like parties?! Host an event to fundraise for your program, such as a spaghetti dinner, pancake breakfast, or ice cream social. Take it a step further and partner with a local restaurant or bar on campus or in your neighborhood—often they will give you a portion of the night’s proceeds for your program once you tell them a bit about what you will be doing with our amazing nonprofit. Pass out CFHI brochures at the event so people can learn more about the experiences they are supporting.
7. Sell Things
Collect used books, toys, household items, etc. and have a yard sale. Bake treats or ask a local bakery to donate their product for a bake sale. For inspiration check out this former CFHI student’s awesome bake sale booth!
8. Be Selfless
Are the holidays just around the corner? Have a birthday coming up? Waive a holiday or birthday gift and ask friends and family to contribute money to your program in lieu of a gift.
9. Mind Your Business
Establish connections with small businesses in your community. If you are planning on having an event to raise money for your trip, consider asking local businesses to donate their product (merchandise, gift certificates, etc.) and raffle them off at your event.
10. Make it Personal
When fundraising, remember to: 1) Make it personal, 2) Be enthusiastic and patient, 3) Ask for a specific dollar amount, 4) Track donations and personally thank all donors, and 5) Update donors about your experiences abroad. Consider writing a blog to document your trip and inform others. Finally, explain where the money is going. Direct donors to our website where they can learn more about our Global Health Education Programs and impact. Keep in mind that well over half of the CFHI program fee goes directly to the physicians, homestays, and clinics/hospitals in the communities in which we work. This keeps our programs sustainable and supports local economies.