Squads Abroad is a 501c3 non-profit organization under our parent company Global Brigades, a Platinum Level Guidestar member for Financial Transparency. Since 2004, our organization has collectively mobilized more than 70,000 international volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities around the world.

First Time Fundraising? Succeeding at Fundraising in 5 Simple Steps

Written by Taylor Clouse

On April 21, 2020

Written by Julie Meyers, CFRE, MA – SA Fundraising Advisor

While we may become overwhelmed and stressed as we dedicate ourselves to tackling the current crisis around COVID-19, we are also renewed with hope as we look forward to the opportunity to resume the important work we do. In looking towards this brighter future, we are even more driven towards our mission to help under-resourced communities accomplish their health and economic goals. One incredibly important aspect of reaching these goals is through fundraising.

As we prepare to continue our work during the summer months, we could be tempted to succumb to even more stress. You may be traveling to a new location, learning the basics of a new language, and maybe even fundraising for the first time. While your work ethic might be steadfast, the preparation involved can seem insurmountable. But have no fear, we’re here to pull you out of your slump and help you to realize that you’ve got this! Check out these simple and encouraging tips to help you navigate fundraising for your upcoming summer Squad.

Step 1: Be Prepared 

Before you start fundraising – make sure you’re prepared to get out there!   Complete these 4 important tasks before you leap.

  1. Always know your individual and group donation goals. You want to be able to answer anyone who asks without hesitation.
  2. Be sure to have your MySquads page completely set up. Share your story passionately and impactfully.
  3. Make your own business cards or flyers to direct people to your page. You’ll want to have something you can leave behind after you ask for support.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the fundraising packet provided by Squads Abroad to learn best practices and strategies.

Once you have completed these tasks, you are well on your way to continue on to Step 2!

Step 2: Be SMART 

You can—and should—dream big and be bold in your fundraising efforts! And, there is great news here: you have a very specific and very achievable goal provided to you by Squads Abroad.

After knowing your fundraising goal, create a SMART goal with it. You and your Squad can work together to figure out how many people you need to ask to fundraise, and at what amounts, to make the goal achievable. 

Realistic doesn’t mean boring, it just means you can be strategic in your work! Happily anticipate what you’ll be able to accomplish once you’ve reached your fundraising goal. Imagine being the first person on your team to finish your fundraising or imagine raising so much that you can help other students with their goals. Get excited because you have the chance to make such a positive impact. 

Step 3: Make Fundraising A Priority

Sometimes you need to finish a previous task before you can start something new. In order to reach your goal, you may have to complete, postpone, or decide not to do other things to have enough capacity to commit to doing your fundraising. Don’t procrastinate fundraising, we want you to get to it!

Since fundraising is a top priority, and you have a firm deadline from Squads Abroad, don’t just say “I’ll get to it.” Make time on your calendar to plan and accomplish it. Whether you need to dedicate an entire day each week or an hour each day, make an appointment with yourself and keep it. 

It is always okay to reschedule if you need to, but only let yourself get away with that once! Otherwise, you haven’t committed and made fundraising a true priority.

Step 4: Face the Fear

Let’s be honest, this all might seem a little bit scary. You might be afraid to make mistakes or admit you don’t know something. You might even be a little afraid to ask for donations. But what you need to remember is that you are not alone. Don’t ignore your fear—face it. Work to better understand what’s scaring you and then address your fears one at a time. The good news is, we’re here to help guide you through the entire process, and you’re fundraising for a good cause

  • Are you scared of someone saying “No”?
  • Are you scared that you have to get EVERYTHING RIGHT the first time?
  • Are you afraid of asking?

After you’ve recognized your fears, don’t dwell on them for too long. Instead, shift your focus to why you shouldn’t be afraid and think about all the reasons why you will succeed. Consider the difference you are making, the greatness within you, and all that your fundraising will make possible, not just for you, but for your fellow students and the people you’re empowering around the world.

Recognize that you already have many abilities, experiences, and assets that you can draw on. Know your fundraising goal and see that goal in your mind. When you receive your first emphatic “yes”,  you will most definitely begin to believe in your heart—I’ve Got This!

Step 5: Ready, Set, GO!

Having one enormous thing to do can be daunting. To increase the odds that you’ll be successful when you start something new, it is best to identify the steps that you need to take. Lucky for you, the fundraising packet available from Squads Abroad breaks down every step!

We will be cheering you on along every step of the way!  With your packet and your fundraising tools in hand, you will be able to tackle your fundraising strategically and impactfully. If you ever find yourself faltering, take a breather. You can reach out to us at fundraising@squads.org with whatever questions or concerns you have and then you can go back to your fundraising with renewed determination.

The finish line awaits.  You Got This!

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Squads are passionate groups of volunteers who mobilize abroad to create positive change. Each Squad type has a skill-based focus area that support the education, health and economic development objectives of community partners. Faculty choose their dates, duration (typically 1-2 weeks), and their site location from one of our six program countries.
 
Upcoming Faculty Ambassador Trips

Squads are passionate groups of volunteers who mobilize abroad to create positive change. Each Squad type has a skill-based focus area that support the education, health and economic development objectives of community partners. Faculty choose their dates, duration (typically 1-2 weeks), and their site location from one of our six program countries.

Squads Abroad is a 501c3 non-profit organization under our parent company Global Brigades, a Platinum Level Guidestar member for Financial Transparency. Since 2004, our organization has collectively mobilized more than 70,000 international volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities around the world.