Are you a dental student raring to go abroad, to gain experience in your field, AND help out others? If so, dental mission trips are what you need! While it’s not all about money (we hope not, at least), making a financial plan can help to alleviate any pre-travel stress right away. And who wouldn’t want that—are we right?
There are so many options when choosing a dentist mission trip. Some examples include: dental mission trips for college students AND pre dental mission trips! With plenty of fundraising ideas for dentistry mission trips, you just need to get a bit creative. From joining in on your program’s selling tactics, crowdsourcing the funds (more on that later), and creating meaningful incentives, the cash needed will be yours in no time.
And while paying for the trip may feel like a cavity (pun intended), FundMyTravel has some great ways to make the cost doable for you. So, what are you waiting for? Read on for more useful fundraising tips and tricks for dental mission trips for college students!
6 tips for pre dental mission trips
The great thing about a mission trip is that you are truly helping others and people GET that. They really do! You have an amazing opportunity to tell a story about how you are helping others. Maybe you don’t like attention or asking for money. Don’t think of it that way! Crowdsourcing is all about telling your story.
1. Find your program and destination
Maybe you already have a program in mind (if so, congrats! Skip this section and jump down to tip #2). However, if you are still searching, a great place to start your search is by utilizing GoAbroad’s Dental programs search! Choosing a program is the first big step, because it can determine where you will be spending your time abroad, as well as the how much it will cost.
Here are a few destination suggestions to get your search off the ground!
- Say hola to Dental Volunteer Programs in Mexico
- Find yourself in the Caribbean with Jamaica Dental Volunteer Programs
- Live the adventurous life in Sri Lanka Volunteer Dental Programs
While there are so many great destinations to choose from, you’ll need to narrow it down at some point. Ask yourself what language you’d like to immerse yourself in. Do you prefer sandy beaches and a hot summer sun, or the mountains and snow? Does haggling while shopping sound like fun to you, or would you rather shop in peace? Are you looking for complete adventure or some familiarity to home? All of these questions will help to determine your perfect location.
If you’re still feeling indecisive, know that it’s okay. There are so many places in this world and we can’t possibly make it to EVERY one of them. (But we can try, of course!) Just remember, wherever you decide for your dental mission trip, you are sure to create some long-lasting and wonderful memories!
2. Determine what your costs will be
Now that you’ve finally settled on a location for your pre-dental mission trip, what will the costs be? Researching the cost of living is a great place to start. Heard of a cost-of-living calculator? It can help you put into perspective the value of your money. By understanding how much money you will need to survive on in any given month, you’ll be able to better craft a fundraising goal for yourself.
Knowing where you will be living, as well as what the food situation will be, helps to create that number. You don’t need to go out to eat every night (as much as our stomachs would love it, of course). While taking in the night life can be a great part of being abroad, getting to know the people and culture is equally important (and often better for our wallets!). So, once you finally have a realistic monthly or weekly cost for your trip, it’s time to start that fundraising!
3. Blog about it! (AKA storytelling)
Creating a blog about your soon-to-be adventure is a great way to raise some funds! Not only are you sharing your story, but you are getting others to empathize with you and come along on the ride with you. Before you start that blog, ask yourself a few questions:
- Why do you want to raise money for dental hygiene mission trips?
- What will you learn through the experience?
- What are your goals and mission for the trip?
- Who can you share your blog with?
- What would others want to hear about dental mission trips?
Your blog can be your storytelling machine. Storytelling is a fancy way of getting your crowd involved and invested in you and your dental mission trip. People who find success in fundraising are often expert storytellers. Explain why you want to go and what you will gain from it. Finding a deeper reason than just hanging with your friends will help motivate others to invest in you. Tell the story, don’t simply state the facts!
4. Utilize social media
Another great tip is to become savvy at social media. Learning how to use social media in a smart way to create a better online presence is just as important for getting any potential blog in the right readers’ hands. Not currently active on Twitter or Facebook? Get on it! Not an active user? Start posting more often! Did you know that using pictures in a post gets your views up by nearly 50 percent!?!
There are all kinds of cool facts and stats on social media out there. Use them to your advantage to really win over your network. By increasing your social media presence, you will have a much easier time raising the funds you need for your dentist mission trip. With these thoughts in mind, it’s time to start that blog, vlog, or whatever the kids are calling them these days.
5. Become savvy at #crowdsourcing
Not exactly sure what crowdsourcing is? That’s why we are here! FundMyTravel is all about telling your own story to create a successful crowdsourcing campaign. Crowdsourcing is basically a fancy word for using the internet as a fundraising tool. Sounds easy, right? It is…trust us!
Ask yourself where you can share your campaign and who you can share it with. Ideally, this will be family and friends on social media accounts, blogs, etc. As these are dental mission trips for college students, use that to your advantage. People like helping out college students, especially when it’s for a good cause! Of course, it will be fun to be living abroad, but finding that deeper reason to share with others will help your crowdsourcing campaign go far.
6. Stay on top of your fundraising status
Is your crowdsourcing campaign off to a successful start? That’s great! Keep pushing onward! As your campaign grows, it’s important to remember to be thankful to those who did give. Show gratitude. Write a personal thank you. If you’re starting to feel like your campaign is at a standstill and you still haven’t met your goal, try creating incentives to motivate people to donate. Or as we like to call them, meaningful incentives.
So, what exactly is a meaningful incentive? It’s a way to give back to your donors! There are many ways to do it, but the key is to give back to your donors and show your appreciation in a fun and unique way. It’s completely up to you on how you’d like to go about this, but some fun ideas include bringing back a fun souvenir for your donors, sharing your travel experiences through a blog, or even creating a competition for donors. Videos are a great way to get people involved too! Once you are at the destination, create a video showing the views, the work you are doing, and even a day trip you took!
Fun fact alert: Including a personal video with a FundMyTravel campaign increases odds of success by more than two times. And remember, only create incentives on things you WILL be able to follow through on. It’s not a good look asking people to donate for a prize they’ll never receive. Remember, the incentive doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming, just meaningful for you and your donors.
7. Create your FundMyTravel Account!
So, what are you waiting for? Create your account today! Additional FundMyTravel resources can be found here. Learn more about the process and how FundMyTravel works here! The basic steps include:
- Create your Campaign
- Spread the Word
- Get Funded
With a story, some incentives, creativity, and lots of determination, we can’t wait to see how far your dentist mission trip campaign will go!
Last call for dentistry mission trips abroad!
Soon, you will be living the dream abroad and drilling into those cavities in no time…(if that’s your thing and all). Why not get started on the right foot, financially speaking that is. While crowdsourcing might be new to you, it’s doable if you put in some time and effort. Plus, if you are savvy with social media, it might be the easiest way to raise some money for dental mission trips for undergraduates.
Remember, lots of people need to fundraise in order to afford a dental mission trip. It’s normal! You can successfully create a crowdsourcing campaign to fundraise without killing your bank account. While it may sound like a big undertaking at first, it doesn’t have to be if you use your keen organization skills. Start your account to find out just how easy it will be to raise money for your pre-dental mission trip! Don’t believe us? Start your FundMyTravel account today!
This article was written by Kaila Forster. Kaila is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international business and history. During college, she embarked on her first adventure abroad, studying in Chongqing, China. Upon graduation, Kaila returned to China as a marketing intern with a trading company outside of Shanghai. She is currently working as a Revenue Tax Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Kaila enjoys spending her free time cooking, incessantly bothering her cat, and volunteer teaching immigrants and refugees.