More and more people are combining their passion in adventure expeditions with their charitable giving instincts through charity expeditions. This is an opportunity to raise money for a specific charity by fundraising, which in turn qualifies one for an adventure trip. Many charity expedition organizers have pre-set charity challenges that involve trekking, biking, hiking and climbing. Here are some things to consider if thinking about taking a charity expedition.
First you have to choose an expedition. There are lots of entry points for choosing. If there is a particular charity you have in mind, check to see what kind of expeditions they may already have set-up that you can join. Another route is to determine what kind of expedition or trip you’d like to take and then see what charities are supported. Ideally you’ll find both an expedition and charity that matches your interest.
There are two options for funding a charity expedition. The first is where you will agree to a fundraising target and when reached, the charity pays for your tour. In general the charity retains between 60% and 75% of the funds. The alternative is called a self-payment option. With this approach you pay your own tour costs and all the proceeds from fundraising go to the charity. This last method can be expensive, but there is not as much pressure to raise substantial funds.
Once you’ve decided on a trip and charity, you’ll need to get approval to start fundraising on the charity’s behalf. This generally means you need to commit to the expedition with a deposit. Depending on the type of expedition you may need to provide other details such as medical history, physical fitness and other personal details.
When approved by the charity, you’ll receive details on fundraising. These days this is most often provided online and you’ll have access to all the forms and documents needed to begin raising funds. You’ll also receive details on the trip itself, most often including a suggested physical training regimen and any travel documents or medical and vaccination requirements.
The fundraising is the next part. While you’re training you’ll need to be raising money for the charity. Most trips have certain thresholds you need to meet in order to keep on track and join your expedition. The charities will provide support for your activities, but it is important to keep track of deadlines and not wait until the last moment to begin raising funds. Most require the majority of funds be raised 10 weeks prior to departure.
Soon you’ll be transitioning from fundraising to getting ready for departure. As travel day approaches, be sure to keep up with training and most importantly, review the checklists and notes you’ve received from the expedition company. Depending on the level of difficulty for the challenge you’ve chosen, there may be special requirements or equipment needs. If you have any questions, be sure to follow-up.
Many people set up websites to keep their sponsors informed of their progress during their challenge. Even you don’t do this, it is important to communicate your thanks of support through a letter or other communications. Be sure to include photos and personal anecdotes.
Charity expeditions can be personally rewarding whilst supporting a favourite charity or cause. Check online to see what is available and how you can get involved.