If you’re on the hunt for the inside scoop about medical mission trips for nurses, you’ve come to the right place! ☆ Are medical mission trips for nurses free? We don’t blame you for asking. All do-gooders want to get out there in the world ASAP to start making a difference without having to worry about how much it’s going to hurt their savings account. Unfortunately, we have some tough news for you…Turns out there is such a thing as “too good to be true”. Most things in life aren’t free, and an exciting international adventure is just one of those things.
The availability of medical mission trips for nurses for free
There are always costs associated with volunteer nursing abroad (flights, housing, program fees, living costs, usually all of the above) which end up falling on the volunteer’s shoulders. And for good reason! Organizations need to direct their resources towards the issues at hand. By asking you to contribute in some way, these organizations and communities can continue to run these programs for the greater good—it’s all in the name of helping the community!
The short answer is: you will not find many (if any) free medical mission trips for nurses. And this is not a bad thing! Most of the best medical mission trips for nurses do have a cost attached, but we have some tips to get you and your stethoscope overseas! Here are 8 ways to fundraise for the cost of medical mission trips for nurses abroad.
8 ways to cover the costs of medical mission trips for nurses
1. Sell your stuff
Time to clear out the clutter! You’ve heard the saying, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. This means that you must have something you can sell for cold, hard cash. Electronics and gently used clothing are some of the things you can sell quickly to turn a profit. You can also get rid of household goods and furniture that you no longer use.
In the age of social media, it has become easier and easier to sell your stuff. You can even do it all from your phone! Online marketplaces and apps can be a one-stop-shop for almost anything. You can also go the old fashioned route of holding a garage sale or selling to a consignment store. Either way, the savings can add up quickly when you start getting rid of the things you no longer need!
2. Ask for direct donations
Engage with your community, family, and friends. They will be your biggest support in this process! Don’t be afraid to get your fundraising campaign out there, and ask for donations directly from those around you. You can’t just expect people to hand you money for no reason! When you approach people with a compelling story and goal, they are much more inclined to help out. Most people enjoy donating directly to a cause, especially when they know what their money will be going towards. Use this to your advantage, and tell them all about your mission trip plans!
Most people also like to donate towards causes they can personally identify with. For example, if you are going on Catholic medical mission trips or Christian medical mission trips for nurses, you can ask members of your church to help your cause. Another good way to suggest a donation is to ask friends and family to give you money in lieu of a gift at special events or birthdays.
3. Look for sponsors, scholarships, or grants
This is probably the closest you will ever come to a free trip: free money! There are organizations, companies, and schools that offer partial or full funding for those who are trying to go abroad. It takes research and time to apply for monetary awards, but it is so worth it. It is the best way to ease the strain on your wallet, while chasing your volunteer abroad dreams.
It gets even better if you are a student! You can find scholarships for medical mission trips for nursing students. If you are no longer in school, you still have a shot! Many companies sponsor volunteer trips that have a mission that aligns with their company goals.
4. An old classic: host a bake sale
There’s a reason why this old classic is on every fundraising list. It works! Nothing gets wallets open faster than some delicious sweets, especially when it is for a good cause. The best part is, baking ingredients are quite cheap. Once you put in your time and some elbow grease, you can make a decent financial return. Time to whip up some chocolate chip cookies and Grandma’s famous brownies!
If you can get your friends in on the baking, even better. The more variety, the better! Make sure to choose a good time and place to sell your goodies to make the most of your efforts. The key to a successful bake sale is volume! There is only so much you can charge per treat, so the more people you can convince to come to your bake sale, the better. Each little sale will add up.
5. Or host any type of fundraising event, really!
Everyone loves a good reason to get together with friends and family, and rally around a shared interest—especially if it is for a good cause. A successful fundraising event can be a huge source of funding for medical mission trips for nursing students. And there are tons of possible ways to host an event, of any size and type!
Here are some ideas to get you started: A game or trivia night is easy to plan and super fun. If you have friends with any specific talents, you can host a talent show or concert. Hosting an auction is an awesome way to collect money while also giving your donors a tangible gift (and many businesses are more willing to donate products rather than money). One last idea is to host a dinner party or BBQ; food really has a way of bringing people together! You can collect money as part of entry fees or publicize suggested donation amounts for more casual events.
6. Offer donor incentives
People love the idea of helping a good cause, but let’s be honest—they also like feeling like they are getting something in return! This is why you should offer some type of incentive to your donors. One way of doing so is by selling a product. This can be something you create, like bracelets or other crafts, or something personalized like T-shirts or water bottles with your own meaningful saying or logo on it.
The incentive can even be on a much smaller scale, as long as it is something to make people feel appreciated for their donation to your fundraising efforts. One great example is offering to send post cards and photos from your trip. It creates a great connection and people can see exactly where their money went!
7. Pick up odd jobs
The list wouldn’t be complete without this one! Whether it’s for a fun vacation, or for medical mission trips for nurses, picking up odd jobs is a tried and true way of earning more money for the journey abroad. In today’s gig economy, this has never been easier! There are tons of apps to help you work on your own schedule. You can also get a part time job in your community. Lastly, you can offer to help out around your neighborhood for a few extra bucks (mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and petsitting are a few ideas that come to mind!).
8. Start a crowdfunding campaign online on FundMyTravel
Last, but definitely not least: start an online crowdfunding campaign. This step should be on everyone’s fundraising list! FundMyTravel is an online fundraising platform specifically for travelers. It is the best way to tell your story and streamline all of your donations to one place. Having an online fundraising campaign keeps your fundraising efforts neat, tidy, and easy. On your online campaign, visitors can read your story and donate, all in the same place! And you can share your campaign across all your social media channels to get your word out there.
Medical mission trips for nursing students don’t have to break the bank!
Medical mission trips for nurses provide both personal and professional benefits. It’s the best way for nurses to take advantage of the chance to travel, as well as learn about unique medical needs in another country. Many of the best medical mission trips for nurses operate across multiple countries and within various different fields of nursing to suit your interests and specialties.
Nursing abroad teaches you how to be a better and more well-rounded nurse, all while giving you the chance to help those who are in need. Embarking on a mission nursing trip is a worthwhile experience, and it doesn’t have to break the bank either!
So, are medical mission trips for nurses free? Maybe not, but it’s important to remember that when you pay to volunteer abroad, it is for a good reason. It means there is that much more funding going towards the issue that you are volunteering for in the first place! With these fundraising tips, you’ll be packing up your scrubs and nursing abroad in no time.
This article was written by Jasmine Harding. Jasmine recently graduated from Western University with a degree in Media, Information, and Technoculture. She lived in 5 different countries before she turned 7 years old, but she claims that none of them “count” since she doesn’t remember them. She can’t wait to actually live in 5 different countries! In her spare time, you can find her playing with cats or watching food documentaries on Netflix.