I strongly believe that adventurers have a duty to help others. Firstly because we are in a privileged position to be adventuring in the first place. We also often use developing countries and natural spaces as our setting for adventures, so it seems only fair that we do what we can to protect them.
Plus going on an adventure attracts attention and inspires others…… it’s the perfect combination for fundraising and raising awareness.
Fundraising & Kicking the States
Kicking the States was the biggest fundraising challenge I have set myself (outside of work….I used to work as a charity fundraiser!). Gil and I were aiming to reach $10,000 to help Africa’s Children in Education build a school in Tanzania. This was a really daunting target.
We fundraised by..
- asking friends and family to sponsor us
- giving free talks in exchange for donations
- collecting donations en route (we handed out leaflets saying what we were doing and with our donation page on to anyone we met)
- giving media and press interviews to spread the word about our fundraising
And by the end of our 3-month expedition, we had reached almost spot on $10,000 (or over $11,000 if you include Gift Aid).
We benefited too
It’s cliche to say it but fundraising really did add purpose to our expedition. Rather than it just being about us taking on a personal challenge, we were able to use this experience to help children living in poverty.
There were other ways being charitable benefited us beyond that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Because we were fundraising, we received far more support from people wanting to support us, usually in the form of a comfy bed for the night or unbelievably tasty food. It was the most memorable part of our trip.
People like to help people who are helping others!
Use your adventure for good
So if you are thinking of raising money for charity with your next adventure then I’d really urge you to do so!
I’ve now raised over £20,000 for charity in my spare time. It’s my proudest achievement to date.
If you feel inspired to use your next adventure for good then I’ve put together this series of fundraising blogs to help:
- 8 charity fundraising ideas for the adventurer
- Top tips for organising a fundraising event
- How to get people to donate money to your cause
- Raffle prize ideas 2019 & how to ask for raffle prizes
Science & raising awareness
There are other ways to use adventure for good if fundraising really isn’t your thing. You could use it to raise awareness for a cause. Like Cal Major, who SUPed the length of the UK, or Lizzie Outside who are raising awareness against plastic pollution. Or Kate Rawles who uses expeditions to highlight conservation issues.
Adventure can be used to gather scientific data and research or to provide a service, education or clinics in deprived areas. There are loads of examples of these when looking at the previous winners of the Land Rover Grant, Geographical Fieldwork and Journey of a Lifetime awards.
For more inspiration, you should also check out the Adventure Uncovered blog.
A final thought on adventure for good
I’m a logical thinker. If you are going to put effort into something then why not make sure it’s has the most effective outcome.
This is one of my favourite TED talks! I really urge you to watch it and think about the charities you choose to support.
Whatever cause you do decide to support it should be about doing what you can. And combining it with an adventure should be fun. There really is no outcome too small…. so take out all the stress and expectations.
Please do share your adventure for good stories in the comments below if you have any!