crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Many volunteers fund some or all of their service program by fundraising – through appeals to their friends and family members. New York teacher Kelly Malloy’s “crowdsourcing” covered her costs for two service programs – in addition to schoolbooks for students in Tanzania.  It started when she planned to celebrate her 50th birthday by volunteering in St. Lucia and raised funds on the Global Volunteers web site. Following that success, she and two friends used a combination of Global Volunteers, GoFundMe and Facebook for donations to pay their way to the inaugural service program in Ipalamwa, Tanzania. Learn more about her strategy here:


Crowdsourcing to Volunteer Abroad

Kelly’s friend, Global Volunteers Alumna Gila Shaw, advises potential fundraisers:  Tell people what you are doing, tell them you are raising money, and see what happens.”  So paying heed, Kelly shared with her Facebook friends her plans for her service program, provided a link to donate, and watched in awe as email after email came in telling her that yet another person had made a contribution. Kelly said she was shocked at the results. She said what happened when she thanked her donors publicly was even more amazing. Her Facebook friends started sharing their thank yous, and additional donations started coming in from people she didn’t even know.   

crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Kelly Malloy used social media to raise funds to travel and help Tanzanian students.


Crowdsourcing donations for schoolbooks for Tanzania students

She also planned ahead to collect donations for teaching supplies.  While serving in Ipalamwa for two weeks, Kelly taught math at the secondary school, and formed a real bond with the students and teachers. She was extremely impressed by the level of their math competency — especially given that they had no calculators and no text books. The practice is for the teacher to copy the lesson from her one textbook onto the blackboard for the students to copy on paper. Kelly learned how books, and even basic supplies such as chalk, are hard to come by in the schools throughout Tanzania.

That lit a fire under her – collecting small donations to make a huge difference. Immediately upon returning home, Kelly started a schoolbook fundraising campaign on GoFundMe and through Facebook. Within three days, she raised $1,600 to supply books for more than 100 students from her loyal supporters, and ensured Global Volunteers could purchase these supplies on programs that followed. When she returned the next year, she was beaming to see those books in the classrooms where she once again taught “her” students.

crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Kelly with students in Ipalamwa, Tanzania.  She said “Global Volunteers’ service programs changed by life.”


Learn more about crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad:

Read 6 Creative Tips for Fundraising to Volunteer Abroad.

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