Leveraging Narrative Structure in Documentary Films
August 29, 2018

Fundraising Is Simple

For most people, the biggest obstacle to international travel is the cost. It can be daunting, but you should know that many, many past students successfully fund-raised all the money they needed to participate in our documentary outreach programs.

It is not complicated.

There are essentially only three different approaches to fundraising:

  • Scholarships
  • Donations
  • Side Hustles

The only catch – to be successful in your goal, you will likely have to pursue ALL three together.


Yes, they do exist for travel. There is huge support in higher education right now to encourage more students to study abroad. Seek out grants and scholarships from your current schools, religious organizations, civics clubs and any other group that you or your network is associated with. Many small, local civics organizations set aside money to support individuals in their educational or humanitarian endeavors. Ask your professors, advisors, mentors, friends, family, friends-of-family if there any of any program that you can apply to. Here are a few to start with. 


You should make direct requests to people that know you personally for individual donations. How you make the ask can take many forms: online crowdsource, direct emails, personalized letters in the mail, phone calls, text messages, etc. Any of those can work – what is important is you reach out to people that you know and ask them. Don’t expect strangers to support this kind of fundraising approach. Your network will want to help because they want to invest in you and your success, and your request is giving them the opportunity to do so. The individual donations may not be large, but combined it can make a serious dent in your fundraising goal. We wouldn’t confuse this approach with a fundraising event (which can also be successful, but is specified below). Most of the people in your network would rather give money than feel obligated to attend something. Just make the ask and make it easy for them contribute. 


There are many ways to trade your time for money, the goal is to figure out how to make the most amount of money per hour spent. Everyone has abilities that other people will pay for. This could take the form of selling items at the farmers market, organizing a fun event with a door fee, starting a small business using your skill set or just getting an regular job. The internet has countless suggestions of creative fundraising activities you could launch, and they are all just different examples of how to sell your own goods or services. You just have to make sure that what you are selling is something that people truly want. Think about what could do to create value for others, and then do so.


That’s it. You can do it. If there are aspects of the ideas above that are outside of your comfort zone, that’s ok! This could be the start of your transformative experience with Actuality Media. This webpage on fundly.com is also a great resource to review when brainstorming your campaign. https://blog.fundly.com/personal-fundraising/

Don’t let the fear of fundraising stop you from joining the adventure.