How to Crowd Fund Your Overseas Education?

Studying abroad is an ambition many students have. Changing places to study teaches you more than just academics. It introduces to a whole new world of culture, traditions, rules, etc. To study abroad, you have to jump off of your comfort zone and venture into a completely alien territory. If you think about it -- oversees education is kind of like an adventure. But this adventure is costly. Not many students can afford the cost involved in studying abroad. From the tuition fee to the daily living expenses, it requires a lot of money to sustain in a different country. Due to the financial constraints, a lot of these adventure dreams are cast off.

Using Social Media to Crowdfund

What if I told you that the solution to this problem is right with you at all times? It is on your mobile phones, on your desktop or laptop. Let me give you a hint: this solution is a platform. The platform that you interact with almost on a daily basis. The platform that is used by virtually every person in this world. Yes, you guessed it right! The solution to the financial problems while studying abroad is Social Media. Just like the million other advantages of the social media, it can also be used as a crowdfunding campaign for your overseas education. First, let's see what exactly crowdfunding is:

Let the people pay for your idea

Fairly recently, crowdfunding has gained solid prominence within the millennial generation. Crowdfunding is basically a platform where you invite people to invest in your idea that is full of passion but lacks on the financial side of the spectrum. You can invite everyone from philanthropists to the general people to contribute a small amount to your idea. The concept of crowdfunding is that if a large number of people contributed even a small amount of money to an idea, the idea holder could raise the desired amount of money. For example, if you need ten thousand dollars for your overseas education. You can ask ten thousand people to contribute only ten dollars for your dream and you can see the campaign through. And this has been made possible by the social media platform. Only the social media can give a person the platform to reach ten thousand people. If the crowdfunding campaign is done right, you will certainly get the funds you need for your overseas education.

Platforms for Crowdfunding your education:

 Many universities worldwide have understood the relevance of crowdfunding for today's youth. They have realized that education should no longer be bound by financial constraints. For this reason, they have incorporated crowdfunding platforms in their own websites. For example, The Arizona State University uses the crowdfunding platform on their website to help people raise funds for the education.

Apart from these universities, a lot of crowdfunding platforms have opened up on the internet as well, such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe. You can use these platform to crowdfund any idea, from a film's production to the money needed for a scientific research work. In this article, we are only focusing on crowdfunding the overseas education.

All of this looks quite idealistic, but you must be wondering how does this platform work.

Why would someone want to pay for your education?

Well, no one would want to pay for your education just like that. They need a reason. And it is your job to provide them with a reason. Afterall, it is your crowdfunding campaign.

Because there is money involved, you must look at your crowdfunding campaign like any other business proposition. It is only then can you reap the benefits of your campaign. This means that you can never expect to get money from someone without giving them something in return. A business proposition is always a matter of give and take. Therefore, you must come up with something you can give to your people for contributing money for your dream. This 'something' can be a societal value or a material object.

For example, I know about a documentary filmmaker who ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for an overseas film residency programme. While asking for a mass contribution, he promised the people that they will receive the DVD of his next exclusive documentary set in the Himalayan Mountains. This gesture by him made the contributors feel like they are doing a good deed supporting someone in their ambition, as well as they are getting something in return.

Before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign, you have to carefully think about the value or 'thing' that you can offer to your contributors that will entice them to pitch in money for your dream. The value can be a social one, for example, you could say that you are taking this particular course to make a substantive change in the world. You have to be specific about the change and show your contributors how passionate you are about the overseas course. Also, you need create an excellent campaign to communicate your values clearly to your target audience. It is advisable to take services of freelance copywriters from sites like WritersPerHour or Upwork to write a convincing copy that encourage users to contribute. Similarly, you may have to take professional help in creating a compelling video.

Final Thoughts

Running a successful overseas education campaign is like marketing. You have to make your dream, personality, and idea saleable. It is only then; people will become interested in all of this and decide to contribute their money.

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24 October 2017
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