So many people and places around the world are in desperate need of help and relief. You might feel compelled to volunteer money, time, and energy, but lack the means for a donation or international travel. That’s where international crowdfunding can help. By reaching out to your network of friends and family, along with sympathetic donors around the world, you can raise funds to improve the lives of people near and far, through both hands-on service and long-distance support. Beyond the money you raise, an international fundraiser can be a place for supporters to offer encouragement as they follow your journey. Say hello to international fundraising.
How to use international crowdfunding
1. Volunteer abroad
Are you looking to volunteer in another country or take part in community service travel? International crowdfunding could help you raise funds from your home country, as well as the country you visit.
Volunteers often discover that crowdfunding brings people together and helps forge new relationships. One great example of such a fundraiser is, Keep City Plaza Open: Refugee Hotel Athens. Organized by a group of international volunteers, this campaign will provide a safe and dignified alternative to dangerous and overcrowded refugee detention camps in Greece, which host more than 65,000 refugees from Syria and other locations.
For a deeper dive into the world of international volunteering, see our post Why You Should Volunteer Abroad.
2. International medical mission trips
YouCaring was founded by friends who returned from a mission trip looking to continue their giving—mission trip fundraising is in our DNA. International fundraising is a great way to build the emotional and financial bridges you need to make your medical mission trip a success. In addition to raising money to cover the cost of travel and other needs, your YouCaring fundraiser page becomes a place to post updates during your mission.
One example of a medical mission trip is the fundraiser Medical Mission in Tanauan, Batangas. Organizer Tina Maninang exceeded her fundraising goal by more than 60%. She raised $1,615 to join a medical nonprofit providing medical supplies including vitamins, pain relievers, antibiotic ointments, and more to the residents of this town in the Philippines.
To find out how you can give back on a medical mission trip, see our post Making an Impact With Medical Mission Trips.
3. Teach in a foreign country
While you’ll find many paid opportunities to teach in a foreign country, some of the most underserved communities lack any kind of formal established program or school to serve them. This is where crowdfunding can help—allowing you to raise the funds you need to reach these communities and teach those who need it the most.
One example is Jenna Lewis – Empowering Women in SE Asia. Jenna is raising funds to continue her volunteer work in several countries in Southeast Asia. She will be teaching language and job skills that can help young girls avoid a life in prostitution.
4. Help a family in need
It can be incredibly gratifying to help a specific family and see the tremendous difference you’ve made in their lives. In his fundraiser Help Build ‘A Home For Ashima’ in Kathmandu, Nepal, Kiran Kreer has raised more than $12,00 to build a safe, solid home for a family in Nepal affected by the recent earthquake. The money has helped the family begin construction on a sustainable home and guesthouse, which will provide ongoing income.
Choose an international payment processor
As you complete the setup of your crowdfunding campaign on YouCaring, one of the decisions you make is your choice of payment processor—WePay or PayPal.
Processors by location
- WePay accepts donations made via all major international debit and credit cards from around the world—but can send funds only to individuals and organizations based in the US or Canada.
- PayPal accepts and sends payments just about anywhere in the world. It’s very popular both in and outside the US.
For international fundraising, PayPal might seem like the obvious choice. However, if you’re based in the US or Canada and choose WePay instead, you could see a boost in the number of credit card donations made to your fundraiser—of those who start the process of making a donation on our site using a credit card, up to 50% more people finish the process with WePay than with PayPal.
We’ve posted a more detailed breakdown of the differences between WePay and PayPal in Which Donation Processor is Right for Your Fundraiser?
- WePay accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards. To receive funds, fundraisers in the US must either have a US bank account or request a check sent to a US address. Canadians must have a Canadian bank account to receive funds.
- PayPal is available in over 200 markets around the world. The company has translated its website and app into many languages, making it easier for international supporters to send money. PayPal supports many currencies and automatically converts donations to your currency of choice.
Beware platform fees
Whenever payments are processed on a website, including YouCaring, third-party payment processing companies such as WePay and PayPal are used—and these companies take a small fee for every transaction they process. On YouCaring, all three processors charge an industry standard 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. YouCaring does not receive these funds.
One of the things that distinguishes YouCaring from other crowdfunding platforms is that we don’t take a percentage of the funds you raise through our free fundraising model. Other sites often charge a platform fee. They take a percentage of all the money you raise on top of the percentage taken by third parties that process payments. Sometimes, payment processing fees and platform fees are bundled together and presented as a single platform fee.
For a more detailed breakdown of fees on different crowdfunding platforms, see our post Which Fundraising Site has the Lowest Fees?
Build bridges with international crowdfunding
Whether you’re looking to volunteer abroad, go on an international mission trip, teach, or help those in need any number of other ways, an international crowdfunding campaign can offer the support you need to make it happen. If you haven’t already started your international fundraiser, start your campaign today.