Fundraising for medical mission trips?


I'm considering going to Guatemala with Refuge International in December. The trip is $1000 plus airfare, but because I'm deciding so last minute, I'd like to do some fundraising for my trip... I'm thinking I would try a GoFundMe page and then maybe baking some goodies to have for sell in the breakroom at work (if that's allowed).

Is this appropriate? Does anyone have any experience with this?

Refuge International helps you set up a page for fundraising but all of those donations go to the program. And it states on the website that they'd like us to pay for our expenses out of pocket that way any donations can go toward the program and supplies and such.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. :)

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

Make certain that if that is the agency policy you don't violate it by using go fund me or personal fundraisers. Many of these groups seek nurses that are financially stable enough to self fund the travel fees and discourage those that must seek funds from others to volunteer time.

In my opinion if you cannot afford to self fund the associated expenses it's better to defer volunteering until you can do so, and it sounds like that is the agency preference.

I know a nurse that really wasn't financially stable to travel on a medical mission but felt compelled to take time off from work and go anyway. (Wasn't going to have enough PTO to remain on payroll so this was going to be a leave of and envy)

All volunteers were expected to pay travel, room & board plus visa fees, medical exam and vaccinations. The sponsor would secure local licensing if needed

When the sponsor found out the nurse was fundraising to attend the mission they rescinded the acceptance for the mission. The agreement clearly stated that volunteers cannot solicit funds to pay their expenses.

Another nurse set set up fundraising for a mission but it was not for her expenses it was to secure needed supplies and the costs to ship donated supplies to the destination. That was acceptable because funds raised, though not tax deductible, were supporting the agency mission not supporting the nurse's living expenses