crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Read about how one Global Volunteer used crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad – raising enough funds to cover both the program fees and to buy schoolbooks for students in Tanzania.

“Kelly is one of those full of life, bursting at the seams with joy and laughter people who feels the world on a deeper level than most.”
– Ruth Curran, Global Volunteers board member and teammate to Kelly

Kelly Molloy, a math teacher from Long Island, decided to honor her 50th birthday by serving in St. Lucia. In Anse la Raye, St. Lucia, Kelly says she fell in love with everything both Global Volunteers and cultural immersion experiences, and found a sense of purpose that she did not know lived in her soul. In July 2017, Kelly served on the inaugural service program to Ipalamwa, Tanzania in East Africa. For both service programs, Kelly crowdsourced the program fee simply using Global Volunteers website for St. Lucia and GoFundMe for Tanzania, posting all results and thank yous on Facebook.

 “It was very easy to set up a fundraising webpage on the Global Volunteers website.”
– Kelly Molloy

Crowdsourcing to Volunteer Abroad

Last year Kelly’s friend Gila, a social media queen, advised her to simply “tell people what you are doing, tell them you are raising money, and see what happens”. On Facebook Kelly shared that she was going on this 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 then used Facebook to thank each of the contributors. What happened then was even more amazing to her. Her friends on Facebook started to share the thank yous and money started coming in from people she didn’t even know. Kelly and her two friends Gila and Amy who were going to serve in Tanzania together all used a combination of GoFundMe, Global Volunteers’ fundraising portal, and Facebook to raise all the money for their service program fees!

crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Kelly with Tanzanian students

Crowdsourcing donations for schoolbooks for Tanzania students

While in Tanzania for two weeks, Kelly taught math at the secondary school in Ipalamwa where she formed a real bond with both the students and teachers. She was extremely impressed by the level of math competency — especially given that they had no calculators and no text books. Teacher Jessica copies everything done from her one textbook onto the blackboard and then the students copy it down onto paper. And sometimes it would happen that students would copy down something wrong, and then would not be studying the correct thing. When Kelly investigated a bit more and found out each text book cost $5, she thought it was outrageous that students do not have them to study. Even such basic supplies such as chalk are hard to come by in the schools in Ipalamwa.

That lit a fire under her – such a small amount to make such a huge difference. Immediately upon returning home, Kelly started a schoolbook fundraising campaign on GoFundMe and through Facebook and within three days she raised $1,600 for books for the school in Tanzania. That means books for 100 students in Ipalamwa! Kelly will be donating this money to Global Volunteers so that the in-country staff can make sure that the money is spent on books and the children Kelly and others supported.

Kelly plans on continuing to serve on at least one service program per year, and is already registered to serve in Tanzania in summer 2018.

“Being involved with Global Volunteers’ service programs changed my life.” – Kelly Molloy 

crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad

Kelly with students in Ipalamwa, Tanzania

Want to learn more about crowdsourcing to volunteer abroad?

Read 6 Creative Tips for Fundraising to Volunteer Abroad.

You, too, can do it!

For more tips for fundraising to volunteer abroad, chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.