Sponsor an AFSer is an online fundraising tool provided by AFS to allow individuals to make easy and secure contributions to your program fee. AFS handles all of the details, so after setting up your widget all you have to do is go out and find people who want to help you reach your goal! To learn more about this program, please read the Sponsor an AFSer frequently asked questions.
If you would like to utilize Sponsor an AFSer, follow the steps below to create your personalized fundraising widget.
STEP 1: Create a Blog
Create a blog using Blogger, or a similar blogging platform. Make sure to select the “Simple” template, or else the Sponsor an AFSer widget may not show up on your blog. We strongly encourage you to choose a blog template with a light-colored background. Your AFS-USA widget has a white border and will look the best against a light background.
For your first blog entry, your post (at least 3 paragraphs) should reflect who you are and answer all or some of the questions below. Be sure to consider your audience when writing your post(s). People other than just your friends will be reading your blog, so you will want to write in a clear, professional manner that demonstrates why supporting your goal to study abroad is a good investment. Here’s a great example blog.
Answer the following questions in your first blog post:
- Who are you?
- Why do you want to go abroad? What will you be doing there?
- What do you expect to gain from the experience?
- How/what will you give in return for someone’s contribution?
- Why do you need help funding your AFS experience?
- What have you already done, and what are you planning to do, to contribute to your fundraising efforts?
- What is the Sponsor an AFSer program? Copy and paste the following directly on to your blog: Sponsor an AFSer is an online fundraising tool provided by AFS-USA to allow contributors to make easy, secure, and non tax-deductible contributions to my AFS program fee.
At the end of your blog entry, please include the text:
To sponsor my AFS program, please click the Donate Now button to make a non tax-deductible contribution directly to my AFS program account.
Make sure you show that you are working hard to make your AFSNext experience possible. It is also important to include a nice picture of yourself somewhere on your blog.
STEP 2: Email us your blog URL
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- “Sponsor an AFSer blog” in the subject line
- Your blog URL
- Your first and last name
- Fundraising goals will automatically be set at $3,000
- After sending an email to us with your blog URL, you will receive an email containing your unique widget code and instructions on how to place it on your blog.
Note: If you get within $500 dollars of your goal, we can raise your limit. Email email@example.com to let us know you need your fundraising goal increased!
STEP 3: Start promoting your blog and goal to travel abroad!
Remember that with Sponsor an AFSer, your results depend on how much effort you put into publicizing your blog and mobilizing sponsors. So work hard to get the word out! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Write an email appealing to your family, friends, co-workers, professors, and anybody else you think would be interested in contributing Ask your parents to forward it to their contacts, too.
- Create a Facebook event to get out the word.
- Put a link on your personal blog or other social networking sites you use.
- Post a short “ad” about your blog through your local newspaper or a bulletin board at your school, favorite coffee shop, or parent’s work.
- Ask your parents or grandparents if they will match every dollar you raise through your AFS blog.
Here’s an example of an email to your family and/or community:
My name is Sara Jones and in five months I will leave Seattle to study abroad with AFSNext for one year in Morocco. I am so excited about learning Arabic, meeting locals, and gaining an intimate window into a culture that many Americans know very little about. I’m also excited to share some American culture with my new friends in Morocco.
I’m writing you because I have been working very hard to raise money by babysitting and selling some hand-knit scarves I’ve made, but I still need some help to make this dream happen for me.
Please consider making a secure non tax-deductible donation through my blog, [insert blog link], where you can read more about me and keep up with my adventures once I actually get to Morocco. No amount is too small–I know that times are tough, but every little bit will help me get a little bit closer. Thank you so much for reading this, and I would greatly appreciate it if you could forward this message to anyone else who you think might be interested in sponsoring my AFSNext experience.
Need some more ideas?
Check out our Top Fundraising Ideas